Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Danube and the Wachau Valley

This is the end of the journey which was started in Ehrwald. Want to learn more about Austria? Check out my All Things Austria site.
The Wachau valley, on the Donau (Danube) is a major wine growing area that sits between the towns of Melk and Krems. It is a lush valley with many vineyards, which are much different from Burgenland or around Vienna, as they sit on steep slopes and are terraced.

The area also has three Abbeys (Catholic Monasteries). The one in Melk, which we toured, is an Austrian Benedictine Abbey, and one of the world's most famous monastic sites. Its location above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube in Lower Austria, dominates the area's landscape. It was founded in 1089 and is still active today, housing about 30 Benedictine Monks and a school, which is open to the public.
The museum inside and library inside the abbey are worth visiting.
The setting surrounding the Abbey, is of a charming village with cobble stone streets, curio shops and sidewalk cafes.
On the Riverboat and down the Danube.
  Where little villages, castles and vineyards grace the banks and valley.

Stopped in Durnstein, which has one of the most photographed sites on the Danube, the church with the blue tower, the inside of which is full on baroque style.
Durnstein is a neat little village with little shops, restaurants, narrow cobble streets and a lot of charm.
What a wonderful day and a cruise definitely recommended. 
Good bye Donau, till the next time.

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