Day 11: Melk & Krems: A Benedictine Abbey and LOTS OF WINE (Not at the same time)

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The Austrian countryside from Melk Abbey.

If there is a mathematical formula that determines the inverse ratio of wine consumption to blog length, this will be a very short blog.  With some nice pictures.

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Melk Abbey Courtyard

The Benedictine Abbey at Melk was the first stop of the day and, as are all the medieval and baroque structures we’ve seen, it was amazing.  Benedictine monks have lived, studied, worked, prayed and taught at this site at Melk on the Danube for a thousand years and the recently restored but still active monastery stands as a tribute to the faith and hard work of these devoted men.

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No photography was allowed in this UNESCO World Heritage site, so there are a limited number of pictures, mostly from the exterior.  But touring the building and gardens was a great way to spend the morning.   In particular, the library, which has one of the best print and manuscript collections in Germany smelled like history.  The old, leather-bound books and manuscripts were multi-sensual.

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Richard the Lion Hearted was held captive in this fortress along the Danube on his return from the Crusades.

In the afternoon, we sailed on the Danube through the Wachau Valley wine country.  Vineyards lined the river and old castles and picturesque towns made frequent appearances as we headed toward the day’s destination at Krems.

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Typical village view along the Danube.

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Erhard Mörwald, the vintner, Trinka, our guide, and Thomas, the ship’s Austrian Hotel Manager.

At Krems we debarked and traveled a short distance to the winery chosen to supply much of the wine consumed aboard the Viking Cruise Line’s 50 long ships.  We met Erhart Mörwald, the owner of the winery and our special guide for the afternoon.  This energetic Austrian took us through the winery, showing us the pressing process, the fermenting process, the bottling process and, most importantly, the tasting process.  We sampled six of his award winning wines, then a shot of apricot schnapps.  Oh, and then a glass of cherry cordial.  I don’t know whether it was the delightful wine or the significant buzz, but we left with three additional bottles and an appreciation for Austrian wine.

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This evening, celebrating our first day in Austria, the ship’s chef prepared an authentic Austrian dinner, complete with Austrian beer, Austrian wine and, of course, more Austrian schnapps.  Holy Crappen.  We had a good time.

Tomorrow we head to Vienna, and, I think, less wine and more Viennese coffee and sacher torte.

Gros Gutte.

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Returning to the long ship Skirnir

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3 responses to “Day 11: Melk & Krems: A Benedictine Abbey and LOTS OF WINE (Not at the same time)”

  1. johnwest2343 says :

    AA meeting at the end of the cruise. Great pics and very descriptive writing. Have fun.

  2. Cs Marcus says :

    I love reading daily. My uncle Dennis’s writing takes me to these beautiful places. Thank you for sharing. I saved several pics on my phone from earlier posts to show Carolyn while in NC for a couple of Days.

    Continued safe travels, Shane❤️

  3. nuke53 says :

    The wine seems to be flowing well and it always is easy after those tastings to purchase a few keepsakes! Enjoy and great pictures!

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