Life Becomes a Vacation Again!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jul 01, 2014

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Flag of Austria  , Lower Austria,
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

As you may have noticed, we haven't updated this blog much recently.  Not really since we arrived in Vienna, actually.  The reason for this is that, upon arriving in Vienna, the "traveling" portion of this journey ended and "real life" came barreling back into our trip.  Had we continued regularly updating our blog posts here, they would have included such mundane minutiae as our struggle with obtaining our residence permits, the frequent purchase of groceries, the gradual mastering of the public transit system, and our inability to find anywhere to eat after 9:00 at night.  Nothing we would want to bore you with.

Now, however, the dust has settled, as have we, and we finally ventured beyond the streets of Vienna.  The first day trip of our European adventure: a journey to Melk.

Melk is about an hour outside of Vienna by train.  It's a relatively small town (especially compared to Vienna) and home to Melk Abbey, which is situated atop a hill overlooking the city and right alongside the Danube River.  The Abbey is the main attraction in town, and, while the abbey has existed in some form for about 1,000 years, the current building is about 300 years old.  And, like the best of all European churches, they make their own booze.

A street fair/festival/market was being held the weekend we were there, and believe me when I say they had everything there.  Whole chickens to devour, knock-off superhero toys (my favorite of which was an "Avengers" toy pack which included Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and the Batman), and, best of all, plenty of STURM, a beverage that deserves its own entry on this blog.

Somehow, we managed to navigate the throng of people and get up the hill to abbey itself.  The building was impressive inside and out.  And we had fortunately decided to go on the one day of nice weather Austria has enjoyed since we arrived here, so the view from the abbey was equally breathtaking.

After visiting the abbey (and procuring some of their homemade liquor), we hopped on a boat and took a ride up the Danube.  Along the way, we passed all manner of mountain fortresses which would have been nice to stop at.

Our boat dropped us off in the town of Krems which, like Melk, was a small, quaint locale nestled in the mountains.  It was a nice alternative to the hustle/bustle of Vienna.  Once in Krems, I asked Jaclyn what the plan was.  Apparently, the plan was to not have a plan (or any idea where the train station was), and so the plan became "get lost in the streets".  You'd think that such plans would be disastrous, especially in unfamiliar European towns.  However, this is pretty much the way we usually fly out here, and it hasn't let us down yet.

At the end of the day, we found ourselves returning home with a feeling that might have escaped us a few times since we moved to Austria--the realization that we are actually living in Europe.  As odd as it may seem, it can be easy to forget this when we're focusing on the typical mundane aspects of life.
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Mom on


Christine Martin on

I'm playing catch up and am going to read through all your blog posts where I left off. It's pretty sad to say this is where I left off, please don't disown me.

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