November 16th, Monday- We were up at 6:00 a.m. to shower and dress. We had breakfast at 7:15 a.m., with Richard, Judy and Lucy joining us (they don’t get up as early as we do). By 8:00 a.m. we arrived at Emmersdorf, Austria.
At 9:30 a.m. we took a bus to the 900-year-old Melk Abbey. It is situated on an outcrop rising above the Danube, crowned by twin towers.
While the abbey was founded in 1089, and given to the Benedictine monks, the current abbey was renovated between 1702 and 1736. It was originally a royal palace with ceremonial courts, guest apartments, grand halls and a library – which contains around 80,000 medieval manuscripts.
The abbey has a blue room,
a green room,
a marble room, and the mirrored room.
Many of the floors have beautiful wood-inlay.
This beautiful stairway is the beginning of the grounds. However, since I still couldn’t maneuver stairs very well, we walked down (and later up) the ramp.
By 12:10 p.m. we were back on board the ship, and had lunch in the Lounge with Janice and John from Ontario. We were also joined by the couple from Los Angles (originally Denmark) but we still did not get their names.
At 2:00 p.m. we sailed through the Wachau Valley.
The countryside is stunningly beautiful. Both banks are dotted with ruined castles and medieval towns and are lined with terraced vineyards. The Wachau is described as “an outstanding example of a riverine landscape.” Noted for its cultural importance as well as its physical beauty, it is described: “The architecture, the human settlements, and the agricultural use of the land in the Wachau vividly illustrate a basically medieval landscape which has evolved organically and harmoniously over time.”
At 4:00 p.m. we docked in Krems.
Fred and I decided to stay on board the ship because it would be getting dark soon and it was cool and windy. Before dinner Fred and I watched the Monuments Men movie in our stateroom. Really good movie, and gave us some insight into the Nazi greed and stupidity.
At 6:45 p.m. we went to the preview of tomorrow’s Vienna excursions. Carl West told us we have to change ships again. Following much groaning from the passengers – during which he remained silent – he said, “thank you.”
At 7:15 p.m. we had a traditional Austrian dinner. We had our first schnitzle with potatoes, a small piece of chicken, wurst, and dessert. Richard, Judy and Lucy ate with us.
We sailed to Vienna overnight.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~