Thursday September 27, 2018 - Melk, Wachau Valley and Krems
We arrived in Melk around 8 am but the tours weren't meeting until 10:30. James and I decided to walk in to Melk and meet the tour at the Abbey instead of waiting for the bus.
We docked by a campground and walked the path through wooded areas to Melk. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning walk
We found some big sunglasses
And then spotted a big abbey.
There are a bunch of cyclists here. Some look like they are camping and cycling and some look like they are on cycling tours.
We walked through Melk up to the Abbey. We looked around the outside a bit before we had to meet up with the tour.
The Abbey is massive! Originally it was a royal palace. Now it is home to 28 monks, a private school and a museum. 900 youth attend school here. The cost is 96 euro/month to attend - students do not stay at the Abbey.
We met the group and toured the inside of the Abbey. No photos are allowed inside so I have nothing to share. There are likely photos on the internet if you are curious.
Melk was the first capital of Austria. The palace was gifted to the Benedictine monks from Leopold II of Babenberg in the 11th century and they turned it in to a fortified abbey. The church in the abbey is pretty spectacular - in a baroque over-the-top kind of way. There are a lot of libraries (12 libraries with 100,000 books) with fresco paintings. We also learned about reusable coffins.
After the inside tour we visited the gardens. They had some odd cut out characters.
We walked back through town and went through a few stores. There are a lot of apricot and peach based products in this area. The monks own a bunch of vineyards and forest land.
We were back on the ship by 1:30 for scenic cruising of the Wachau Valley. Another perfect afternoon for scenic cruising. The valley is famous for its white wine and warmer weather. It is a UNESCO site.
When you scenic cruise the staff bring around little wine spritzers. We also decided to have some Wachau Valley wine while sailing in the area.
We stopped in Krems at about 4 pm and shuttles brought us in to town. We walked around for a bit and then headed back to the ship.
Tonight was an Austrian themed meal and the staff dressed up. The food was delicious. Dad was happy because he finally had schnitzel - something he has been talking about since we arrived in Germany and mom got her spaetzle.
After dinner we had fun music trivia in the lounge.
Oh and a couple more name sightings today...