Friday, June 24, 2016

Melk and Durnstein, Austria - Cruising the Wachau Valley

Next stop Melk, Austria. Cruising the Danube through the Wachau Valley was a real delight to the senses.  The mountains, valleys, vineyards, quaint villages with steepled churches, and castles from times gone by were a delight on a day when the weather was a perfect 10.

Herb garden on the ship's sun deck.
Our chef is deciding what herbs he will be using for dinner.
Vineyards in the background.

We passed lots of river boats.
Evidently river cruising is a big business on the Danube.

Picturesque - castle ruins, terraced vineyards and villages.
Eighteen miles through the Wachau Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
According to the tour book, the legacy of vintners stretches back as far as Celtic and Roman times. There are more than 30 monasteries that served as vineyards in Renaissance days.

Melk Abbey
900 year old Benedictine abbey.
The abbey is high on the hill above Melk. The baroque abbey has 365 windows, a library with medieval manuscripts and frescoes by Paul Troger.

The Melk Abbey Church.

A view of Melk from the abbey.

Following our morning at Melk Abbey we sailed on to Durnstein.
The castle ruins, high on the hill in the background, is Kuenringerburg Castle.
Richard the Lionhearted was held prisoner here for over a year. He was accused of insulting Duke Leopold V.   Durnstein's landmark the baroque monastery with the blue clock tower makes this scene picture perfect.

Zooming in on Kuenringerburg Castle

A good view of the blue clock tower and castle ruins
at Durnstein.

Kuenringerburg Castle ruins

I visited a local winery for a tasting and tour.
Loved the wine and the tour.

The tour and tasting were so much fun.
I've been to quite a few tastings and this was the best.
Very unpretentious and the wine was really good.

BTW the narrative is based on my notes and tour information. Any errors are unintentional. 

I hope you will join me for our next stop, Vienna.


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