Another hot day. There is only so much you can do when it is so hot!
Our first stop today was Dürnstein, a very popular stop. Two things strike you as you approach the town- firstly the blue-white bell tower of church of the Augustinian Monastery. Secondly the ruined castle high above the town. You could tell the town got a lot of visitors as there were two large carparks outside the town walls
We enjoyed wandering the cobbled streets with its mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Boroque architecture and the best views of the Danube was from within the Abbey . The Abbey had a very narrow church with over the top in ornateness as usual. We decided it was too hot to walk up to the castle ruin above the town! It was in this castle that Richard the Lionheart of England was held for ransom by Duke Leopold V.
Surrounding the town and this side of the river are numerous vineyards on the south facing slopes of the surrounding hills. We drove through them to our next stop Weissenkirchen in der Wachau. This picturesque wine-producing village was once the administration centre of the Wachau in Lower Austria during the 11th to 13th centuries. There were two main striking features of the town. Firstly, its parish church standing high above the town, constructed in the 13th century with its covered steps and underlying fortifications. It was one of the most important church strongholds in Lower Austria during medieval times. The second was the Tiesenhoferhof which is now an interesting performance venue and the local museum.
From Weissenkirchen we then took the short car ferry to the other side of the Danube for our journey back to base. The ferry could only take six cars. We can now say we have been on the Danube!