Chilly, but not quite so damp

Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
1
4
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Trip End Nov 26, 2009


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Where I stayed
Schwarzes Rossl

Flag of Austria  , Lower Austria,
Saturday, October 17, 2009

Backtrack to Friday: what do do on a rainy evening in Vienna? Go to a concert of course. Went to the Karlskirche, a spectacular church near the Belvedere, where they had a performance of Mozart's Requiem. Tickets with seats were €36 which seemed a bit steep for such a short piece, so instead I grabbed a 'standing' ticket for only €12. Even better, after everybody was in, the ushers produced floor cushions and even some folding chairs for the 15 or so standers and I was lucky enough to grab one of the chairs so I could listen to W. Amadeus in comfort. Good performance in an eminently suitable setting.
On Saturday I got a train to Krems-an-der-Donau, a fairly large town, not surprisingly beside the Danube. The first three hotels I went to were full (I hadn't realised that October weekends are peak time for this area), but finally I found a tiny room in a small frustuckspension (bed-and-breakfast) for €40. Had a delicious dinner of hirschragout (venison stew) and a couple of glasses of the local rotwein, within sight of the gatetower, built in nine hundred and something, at the entrance to the old town.
This town is at the start of 'The Wachau' which claims to be the most beautiful stretch of the river, so with some scepticism, today I boarded the 'Prinz Eugen' for a 1.5 hour voyage (note that I don't use the c-word) upstream to Spitz. Johann's famous melody kept waltzing around my head, but although the river could be described as beautiful, it definitely wasn't blue; more like a dull green. In Spitz I wandered through the vineyards that surround the town, and up into the forest on the hills for brief views over the town and river. Amazingly, the sun put in an appearance for about 5 minutes, but by the time I was back down in the town, I was being spat upon again. Time for a quick salad and frittatensuppe (clear beef soup with strips of pancake) before hopping on a bus for Durnstein.
Durnstein's claim to fame are the ruins of a castle on the hill above the town, where Richard the Lionheart was apparently imprisoned in 1193 while on his way back from one of his frequent Crusades. I doubt that he was very comfy there, but he certainly had a spectacular view of the bend in the river.
Austrians seem to smoke an awful lot, and surprisingly they still do in restaurants. It's the first time for a long time, that I have noticed a strong smell of smoke on my clothes at the end of an evening. Yuck. Reminds me of pubs of old. I know, Asians smoke a lot too, but everything is so open in Asia, that it never gets on your clothes.
(This computer doesn't have a card slot, so no pix today.)

Ciao.
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Comments

lmcfarland
lmcfarland on

Krems & Spitz
I found some pics of Krems & Spitz online. They seem lovely, with painted stucco buildings & colorful roofs that would seem festive even on an overcast day. Were the vineyards surrounding Spitz entirely harvested by now?

Being spat upon in Spitz from a spate seems oddly spot-on. I hope spells of sprinkles don't leave you spent and spongy or spoil your spree!

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