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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 15, April 5, Melk Abbey, Krems and Wachau Valley Cruising, Part II

approach to Melk from the Ingvi stateroom
As I am feeling much more rested these days the posts about the trip are getting longer.  It is hard to condense an experience like the Melk Abbey with all the beauty we could photograph.  Most of the palaces did not allow photographs so forgive my exuberance with the Melk post.  I am adding a few additional shots cause we had like 400 from this day.

front courtyard seating
Abbey entrance

Ceiling details.  It was a palace

heater accessed from the rear
by the servants of old

more ceiling detail
Tapestry showing the size of the Melk Abbey

staff in Melk museum 

small window to show wall thickness

squash drinking vessel of St. Ulrich
later silverplated
'eternal stairs' is only 2 flights with
a mirror at the bottom

As a counter dose to all the gilt and glitz we returned to meet the boat at a different dock.  While we were at the abbey the boat was in line at the locks.  Evidently quite a backup as we had an extended bus tour of the small city of Melk.  Once at the dockside we had a while to enjoy the riverside area before the arrival of  the boat.

 And there was lots of nature to enjoy with all the spring flowers and plants emerging.  Birds were feeding nearby with little regard for cameras snapping.   And of course the Rock Lady needed to get a photo of some of my favorite subjects, rocks and flowers.

Back on shore before Hubby boarded the boat he found this Gentleman selling his homemade brandy.  He sampled a little of each and purchased one to bring home.  I had purchased two bottles, a wooden box, a couple of small paintings, etc at Melk.  We were beginning to fill up that extra suitcase we had brought for souvenirs.  And we are only half way through the trip!
Melk Abbey from the river

Topside with shades down after
going through a lock or under a bridge?
The Ingvi arrived and it would soon be time to do a little sailing through the Wachau Valley while enjoying lunch and some topside sunning.  Here are some of the sights we saw in this beautiful vineyard filled valley.  A Valley filled with history including the oldest documentation of civilization in the area, a 30,000 year old well endowed Venus of Willendorf fertility symbol.
Army working on shore maintenance

random naked guy maybe looking
for that fertility symbol ; /

There was the Schönbühel Castle next to the river. Further on the Dürnstein castle ruins. Dürnstein was where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned after his capture in 1193.  A statue of Richard and his mistral is near the river bank.

Lovely little villages nestled near the river crowned with hillsides of vineyards.  And always churches and chapels of all sizes and locations.

The Bunny Church.  There are bunnies statues running along the back roof line. 

As with every day on the cruise, we get to experience local customs.  This day the chef gives a demonstration for making apple strudel.  Samples follow!  

We arrive in Krems around 4 PM.  A shuttle bus takes us closer in for a short tour and then a drop off for sight seeing and shopping.  We see a few thing before time to meet the shuttle.  Most of our free time is spent in a cobbler's shop looking for the perfect width and length belt for Hubby.  Eureka!  We found one for only 25 euro.  Pure leather.  We could not speak the cobbler's language nor he ours.  But we managed a transaction and lived to wear the belt to this day. 

We catch the shuttle and grab some dinner.  While the more sturdy of the guests head back in town for more shopping and fun, we turn in for the night.  I mean, aren't you just tired reading about this day?  Two towns, an abbey, two hours of scenic views photographed, strudel demo and sampling and a rather lengthy belt buying session.  Yep, it's bedtime.  Sleep soundly cause tomorrow we arrive in Vienna for two days!

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