Sunday, June 7, 2009

Durnstein- Scenery- Bicycles

Another beautiful day in which to wake up. We arrive in a small village up the river in the Wachau Valley.  Grown here are apricots, white wine grapes, and it looks like a variety of other things. It is green and hilly and the river is busy with barges for trading.
John and I take off with about 15 other passengers from our ship on a gorgeous bike ride . The vineyards and farmlands are everywhere you look along the river and across a couple of bridges.
In the tiny villages along the river are well tended gardens with peony's, poppy's, and roses in full bloom. There is an old abbey on a distant peak. We are told that all the land we are biking around is still owned by the abbey. The bike trail takes us through farmland growing wheat, barley, lots of potatoes and wild poppies, as well as along the river bank. Not traveling up the hills, we just observe them from a distance.  We stop for some German brown bread, pate, & wine (or gingerale).  Beautiful day, beautiful ride.
Durnstein is the village along the river where we dock. There is an Augustinian Monastery with a baroque blue tower and adorable little burgher houses built from the 16th through 18th century. Notice the castle ruins (Kuenringerburg) high above the village where Richard the Lionheart was held captive in 1192-1193.
This 19 mile stretch of river cuts through a protected rocky gorge in the foothills of the Bohemian Forest.
John is always up for a good game of chess. Our token kid on board knows who to ask.
Next stop is in the quaint Austrian town of MELK. This 900 year old Abbey sits above the granite cliffs of the Danube. Once a Babenberg Castle, it was given to the Benedictine Monks.
An important center for learning in the Middle Ages, this library contains more than 80,000 medieval manuscripts.  Seriously awesome room!
.... and the chapel was incredible as well. With the gold work and paintings and marble walls and carved wood, and.....  you catch the drift.
Here's a picture "window" like I would imagine in a pleasant dream.


  1. spectacular photographs! (and photographers i might add) my favorite is the close up of the blooming flowers with the yellow i'm guessing farmhouse behind. & that library! i want to spend my last 20 years in that room! i bet i would have died for the smell of it! oh & from your last post, what's an orangerie? & was the middle place worth reading?

  2. Wow, what a trip! Your photos are gorgeous. Hope you're having a fantastic anniversary celebration :)

  3. Oh, I LOVE the picture window...and everything else, too! Someday we will take a trip like this one! (You have inspired me...)


  4. my favorite pic= u sporting a UTAH shirt