Trip to Melk Abbey

Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Austria  ,
Friday, June 1, 2007

Today we are taking a tour to Melk Abbey.  It is in the Wachau Valley on the Danube River.

We get up early to be ready for the tour bus to pick us up.  They are real nice in the morning, they pick you up at your hotel.  At night they just dump you in the middle of town.

Anyway, we are ready and waiting for the bus.  We are then taken to a large bus terminal with about 500 other people going on tours.  We look for a bus that has English on the front to find the one on which we will understand the guide.  I am looking forward to understanding something for a change.  There is mass confusion, but then a very, very dapper man takes charge of us dumb english speaking people and loads us on a bus.  He is dressed very contintental.  Everything is coordinated right down to the had and umbrella along with his briefcase.

We take a nice drive for about an hour, with our tour guide Tommy explaining the sights.  Castle after castle and surprisingly, mile after mile of wall along the autobahn.

We arrive in Krems for the boat ride up the Danube.  It was a nice boat and had three levels of seating.  Surprisingly, two were devoted to restaurant, so we decided to have lunch.  How grand, lunch on the Danube. We got a table right at the front and enjoyed the brillian scenery pass by while we ate and drank local wine. Well, actually, it was overcast, but that did not spoil anything.

We passed the old castle where Richard the Lionhearted was held prisoner, and much more.

After about an hour we rounded a bend and saw Melk Abbey.  What a sight.  We boarded our bus again and it took us to the top of the big hill.

We got off and had about an hour and a half to explore the town on our own before the tour of the abbey.  We decided to go down to the town.  Then we saw the stairs.  Lots of stairs.  I mean a REALLY lot of stairs.... We debated the idea of going down, for we would eventually have to climb back up.  We looked at each other and said, what the heck and started down.  The people we passed who were making the return trip up almost made us stop for everyone was out of breath and panting.  We were told it only takes five minutes to go down, but 15 to go back up.  In my case, that would probably be thirty, but when have any of you known me to avoid anything... do not answer (still can not find apostrophe).

We went down about one quarter of a mile.  We found the town and it was cute.  Kind of like Mont St. Michele without the island part.  We walked around, but knowing we had to climb back up we did not stay long.  The climb back was horrible!  Think of going from the atrium to the third floor about 10 or 12 times.  I would stop to take a picture just to catch my breath.  I did not feel too badly though, for it was tough for little kids too.

We gathered for our tour and found the abbey glorious and worth the trip. 

We almost missed the bus back to Vienna.  I think Tommy was hoping to get everyone else on before we made it back, but we found him!  The tour bus left us off by the Opera house in downtown Vienna, but by now we are very good at finding our Ubahn line and way back to the hotel. 

We could barely crawl up the stairs to our room and collapsed after we got inside!

View from the town.

Stift Melk 

Courtyard

Courtyard of the Stift Melk 

Enjoy the pictures.

Melk is somewhere on here... Actually it is by Durnstein.

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