Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy country girl!

Well, you'll just have to take my word for this, but I wrote a lively account of today's adventures full of significant detail, humor and insight -- then I lost it! So this is take two and I'm never going to recreate the original account, so this one will be more pics than commentary (unless I get a second wind as I go along.)

Today's agenda included a cruise through Austria's Wachau Valley (the most beautiful landscape along the Danube), along with a trip to the gorgeous Melk Abbey and town of Melk. (Cities are nice, but countryside is my favorite, so I was excited!)

I woke up early to this gorgeous sight:

Then after breakfast, we headed up to the top deck to enjoy cruising along the Wachau Valley, dotted with castle ruins, medieval towns and churches and lush vineyards. 

We saw some castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned on the way home from one of his crusades. He was trying to travel incognito but was found out when he attempted to pay his bill at an inn with coins imprinted with his face. 

There was definitely a fairytale quality to the landscape...

Wine produced from the very vineyards we were traveling by was served (at 8:30 in the morning!)

This was called "the hill of a thousand buckets" because it produces a thousand buckets of wine annually. 

There was also a spontaneous "Sound of Music" singalong with a few of our shipmates...

And a couple of nudist sightings along the river bank. (I didn't take pictures of them, but June's binoculars *may* have been used. I'm not saying June used them, I'm just sayin....)

So thankful to be celebrating this wonderful woman's health and recovery...  

...and to be doing it with these wonderful women! 

After lunch, we headed into Melk to visit the amazing Melk Abbey! 

Constructed as a palace, it was donated to the Benedictine monks in the 11th century and has functioned as a monastery for over 900 years. 

This room was used to entertain guests. The orchestra would be placed in the room upstairs, behind the three round windows, and the windows were used to control the volume of the music! 

View of the town from the top of the Abbey...

Looking up at the beautiful spiral staircase...(it reminds me of a seashell) 

Another view of the staircase...

I love old doors...

Our guide leads us through a maze of rooms filled with art and religious artifacts...

The Abbey Church was absolutely breathtaking...

That's Peter and Paul in the center, flanked by Daniel, Jeremiah and David, to the left and to the right are Isaiah, Ezekiel and Gideon. The crown represents the ultimate victory, while the instruments of Peter and Paul's martyrdom are also depicted -- the upside-down cross to the left and sword to the right. At the top, God is on his throne (the earth his footstool) as Moses and Aaron stand beside. 

We then hiked down through the town before returning to the boat. 

So charming! 

Well we're already making our way toward Passau! 

Enjoyed this view after supper… 

Goodnight! Aufweidersein! 

No comments: