Charming villages

Trip Start Jul 27, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Lower Austria,
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just when you think it can't get any better, you have another amazing day.
Today began with us arriving in Durnstein, a village in Austria. This village is dominated by the ruins of the castle in which Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned. The village is literally on the edge of the Danube and after breakfast we strolled through the charming streets of this fairy tale village. We are in the area that was affected by the floods in June and we could see where the water had risen to...right in to houses etc. but they seem to have got lon with things. The banks of the river here are quite sandy and it is like a beach. With the temperatures so high there are families enjoying a dip in the river. Petra says she wouldn't swim in the river (because of the pollution) but the Captain of the ship does. However she is not going to tell us when that is happening because then she would have no one listening to her!! The Captain is a bit of a dish!
This is a grape growing area so we were taken for wine tasting (at 10.30am). This was an event where we all sat down to bread and water plus information on the organic grape growing and then tasting of the wines. The area is also known for apricots, almonds and other fruits which we saw growing.
Back to the ship for lunch before sailing about 30km up the river to another village called Melk . About a dozen of the passengers including Stephen from Napier, hopped on the ship bikes at Durnstei and met us when we arrived in Melk. Their 30km journey was along the side of the river on a cycle way that was tar sealed. There was evidently only one hill to climb. There are hundreds of people on bikes in this area. One of the ships I saw today obviously caters for the cyclists and the decks are completely covered in bikes.
Melk is a spiritual and cultural centre of Austria and since the year 1089 the Melk Abbey has been a Benedictine monastery. It still has 30 monks living there. It is an impressive building and is considered one of the finest attractions of Austria. I was blown away by the size (over 400 rooms) and the opulence. I won't even try to explain the breathtaking centre of the abbey . As I said, just when you think it can't get any better something blows you mind away!!
In this village we also saw the results of the floods.
Now return to the ship for an hour of music before dinner ...APT arranges for the local musicians to come on board at various ports of call. All in all another full day..oh and I did manage a dip in the spa pool this afternoon while we were sailing. The temperatures were up to 38 or so this afternoon.
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hebrideankiwi on

Your absence for a few days and the news here saying that your area was nearly 40 deg C was making me wonder how you were. Good to hear that all's well. The monastery looks even more opulent than you described. It would be nice to think that the faithful who paid for it had had the opportunity to appreciate it as much as the generations since then will have done.

jocelyn on

We missed our morning report from you ......another wonderful day. Marcia is enjoying your ''flood'' free cruise tho rather sad there trip became bus and not a lo t of the glamour you are enjoying. Jx

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