Chilly, but not quite so damp
Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
18Trip End Nov 26, 2009
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Where I stayed
On Saturday I got a train to Krems-an-der-Donau, a fairly large town, not surprisingly beside the Danube. The first three hotels I went to were full (I hadn't realised that October weekends are peak time for this area), but finally I found a tiny room in a small frustuckspension (bed-and-breakfast) for €40. Had a delicious dinner of hirschragout (venison stew) and a couple of glasses of the local rotwein, within sight of the gatetower, built in nine hundred and something, at the entrance to the old town.
This town is at the start of 'The Wachau' which claims to be the most beautiful stretch of the river, so with some scepticism, today I boarded the 'Prinz Eugen' for a 1.5 hour voyage (note that I don't use the c-word) upstream to Spitz. Johann's famous melody kept waltzing around my head, but although the river could be described as beautiful, it definitely wasn't blue; more like a dull green. In Spitz I wandered through the vineyards that surround the town, and up into the forest on the hills for brief views over the town and river. Amazingly, the sun put in an appearance for about 5 minutes, but by the time I was back down in the town, I was being spat upon again. Time for a quick salad and frittatensuppe (clear beef soup with strips of pancake) before hopping on a bus for Durnstein.
Durnstein's claim to fame are the ruins of a castle on the hill above the town, where Richard the Lionheart was apparently imprisoned in 1193 while on his way back from one of his frequent Crusades. I doubt that he was very comfy there, but he certainly had a spectacular view of the bend in the river.
Austrians seem to smoke an awful lot, and surprisingly they still do in restaurants. It's the first time for a long time, that I have noticed a strong smell of smoke on my clothes at the end of an evening. Yuck. Reminds me of pubs of old. I know, Asians smoke a lot too, but everything is so open in Asia, that it never gets on your clothes.
(This computer doesn't have a card slot, so no pix today.)