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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Niederösterreich, Austria

Dec 26, 2019 - Last Day of the Danube River Cruise

Martha, Judi, and I gathered on the Sundeck of the AmaSonata under clear, blue skies with our cameras....cold and windy! We were approaching the city of Budapest. Our cruise director gave a guided talk...Pest to our left side of the Danube was the flat, commercial area; Buda on the right side was the hilly, residential area of the city. We sailed under the well known Chain Bridge...one of seven bridges connecting the two sides. After docking we went on a guided tour of Budapest learning of its history...quite a beautiful city. While...

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Christmas Markets

Dec 24, 2019 - Christmas Eve

Our first sunny day since boarding the ship was today, Christmas Eve. We started our tour this morning by venturing to the Melk Abbey. The Abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopold II gave one of his castles to the Benedictine monks. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times and the current beautiful architecture dates to the18th century. It is a high school now for over 900 students. We have had wonderful guides who have been so knowledgeable in the history and share so many great side stories. During the Christmas Eve lunch and a decadent...

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Trip Journal


Christmas Markets

Sep 13, 2019 - Melk & Krems

Last night and today were spoiled by the "bug" that's been shared onboard. After a night of coughing, I walked through the woods to the Apotheke for some remedies; you cannot select your own products, but the pharmacist was very helpful. (As I went from the ship into town I stopped at the information service; I was able to only understand about 10% of what the woman said - this is a very different German! The day was low key and I tried to keep myself to myself, with the help of Downton Abbey on shipboard TV. Our executive chef Chester...

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Jun 10, 2019 - Vienna and onwards

Vienna day 3 This morning, after an earlier breakfast than yesterday, we caught up with yet more riders and some of the Bike Dreams team. It was great to see Wilbert again. He hardly seems to have changed over the last 8 years. Perhaps his whiskers are a little greyer. He seemed very happy to see me and welcomed Bruce to our group. I forgot yesterday to mention the e-scooters that we see all around Vienna. They are like an adult version of the new style of scooter with tall handlebars, a large flat platform and smallish wheels. These are...

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May 4, 2019 - Two Stops in One Day

We woke up this morning somewhere between Passau, Germany and Melk, Austria. We arrived in port around 8:30am and were on our way to our tour of Melk Abbey by 9. The golden building is on an outcropping which rises high above the Danube. The abbey was built in the early 1700s as a royal palace. Today, Benedictine monks still live there and there is a co-ed, semi-private high school on site. The Stiftskirche or Abbey Church is a masterpiece of baroque extravagance. There are beautiful frescoes and gold leaf on everywhere else. After touring...

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Cruising to 170

Sep 22, 2018 - Melk Abbey

The river cruise took us right up the Wachau Valley, famed for it’s wines, fruit and grains. We toured the renowned Melk Abbey, a masterwork of baroque brilliance. Perched on dramatic cliffs high above the Danube, this ochre-colored confection is perhaps the most graceful landmark of the Wachau Valley. At the abbey’s entrance, we met our guide. Rebuilt during the 18th century after the original 12th-century building was destroyed by fire, its library is now home to 30,000 offering a wide range of medieval manuscripts. Then we toured the...

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Sep 19, 2018 - Durnstein

Last night we moved further south on the Danube to Melk. It is a quaint town of 5000 people, with a World Heritage designated site, the Melk Monastery. The abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopoldo II gave one of his castles to Benedictine monks. A monastic school was founded in the twelfth century, and the monastic library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. The monastery was also a major site for the production of manuscripts. There are 12 library rooms, home to thousands of historical books. This afternoon we...

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Aug 13, 2018 - Heading along the Danube River

After the disappointment of yesterday we headed east out of the city along the Danube. It was a lovely day. We enjoyed a walk along by the river, although it was too hot to go too far. We then drove along by the Danube and found the lovely little town of Grien . not only was it by the river but it had a lovely town square with the oldest theatre in Austria dating back to 1791. Further on we had a look at the locks and generating stations neat Ybbs before heading away from the river up to Maria Taferi with its huge pilgrim church and great...

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Aug 8, 2018 - Melk Abbey

The one must do in this area is to visit the Stift Melk or Melk Abbey. The Abbey sits on a high cliff above the town of Melk and the Danube River, and visible for miles. The site was originally a castle but in 1089 Leopold II of the Babenburg Margrave of Austria gave his castle and church on the Melk cliffs to the Benedictine monks, who converted it into a fortified abbey. Fire destroyed the original fortress so in between 1702 and 1736 the magnificent sunny-yellow Baroque building seen today was built in accordance with plans by Jacob...

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Aug 7, 2018 - Spitz an der Donau and into the hills behind

The one thing the Wachau is not short of is churches, monasteries, and castles, many dating back to medieval times. We continued are exploration along the Danube despite the weather continuing to be extremely hot. Our first stop was at Wösendorf in der Wachau which had three generations of church/ fortifications. We were able to climb the original tower. From there we continued along to Spitz an Der Donau. This small town had a church , an old castle , and a lovely riverside location where we sat and watched the hotel boats. We drove the...

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Aug 6, 2018 - Schönbühel and Aggestein Castle

Today we were determined to find the castle on the Danube that was on the front of our Lonely Planet Guide for Austria. We found it at Schönbühel It was certainly impressive and huge but privately owned – must be some Russian Oligarch! We walked along the Danube to get the perfect shot! From there we decided to head to Aggstein Castle ruins which stands high on a hill above the Danube. It was an impressive place to visit not only for its views , but also the history surrounding the castle. The excellent audio guide took you to some...

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Aug 5, 2018 - Dürnstein and Weissenkirchen in der Wachau

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...

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