Our friend Dave (aka Uncle Dave) visited us from Paris this weekend. We decided to get out of Vienna for a day and see the countryside. We hopped on a morning train to the town of Melk. Besides a sleepy little Austrian town, Melk is most famous for its Abbey.
The Abbey was founded in 1089 and has been visited by emperors, popes, Napoleon and even Hilter. The Abbey has recently gone through a huge renovation, so everything inside looks very new (and almost too elegant). To finiance the restoration, the Abbey sold it's copy of the Gutenberg bible to Harvard university. I'm not sure how much they got for it, but from the looks of the Abbey, I would guess a lot. I thought one of the best things about the Abbey was the views of the Danube and Wachau valley.
After visiting the Abbey and picnicking in its tranquil gardens, we walked down to the Danube where we picked up a cruise boat to Krems (another small town). The boat worked its way down the Danube passing vineyards, small towns and ruined castles. Even though it was cloudy and cold the Wachau valley was beautiful.
Once we arrived at Krems we wandered through the town. There is a university in Krems so the town is bigger then Melk, but still on the small side. As we were walking past a park, Kahlan (aka The mischievous one) saw a large pile of small flower petals on the ground from a tree. Of course... she scoops up a big pile and throws them over her sisters head. This led to a large flower petal fight that even the adults could not resist!
From Krems, we grabbed some dinner and then caught the train back to Vienna. It was great to get out of the city for a day and the Austrian public transportation made it easy. I've attached a lot of pictures to the blog entry of some of the sites we saw. Enjoy!