I'll split the post into two parts again today.
We're still in Austria, yesterday we visited Schonbrunn Palace and Vienna.
We woke to this view, deep within the rolling Wachau valley of Austria, Dürnstein isonly 50 miles west of Vienna, dominated by the ruins of the mighty castle fortress that once imprisoned King Richard the LionHeart of England.
It was a beautiful sunny spring morning. As we stepped off the boat we were surrounded by vineyards.
630 feet above sea level
1019 mentioned for the first time in a document, town since 1476.
The first sight after we pass through a tunnel is the magnificent Wedgwood-like church tower.Stift Dürnstein, the former Augustinian Monastery was by built by Josef Munggenast with the participation of Jakob Prandtauer and Mathias Steinl in the early 18th century. The monastery was actually founded in the 15th century but by the 18th century had fallen into a state of disrepair and so a decision was taken to modernise the buildings. Steinl was responsible for the southern gate which leads into a spacious, elegant courtyard where the coat of arms of the former prior, Hieronymus Übelbacher, dominates the monastery entrance.
We all stopped into one of the town's many wine taverns and sampled the unique vintages.The Wachau valley is known for its apricot spirits, and every shop in town offers free samples of brandy, liqueur, or schnapps. I must say I did not like the apricot liqueur, it tasted like cough syrup to me.
It was time to return to the boat. I went to the cabin to sort some of the photos and the others went up on deck. DH came and got me saying the others missed me and I went up to find them sipping Bloody Marys and mimosas. As we sailed towards Melk charming picturesque villages stand along the riverbank among terraced vineyards and orchards, and the ruins of fortified castles stand guard over the river.
The views were magnificent and I was glad I had come up on deck.
The best view of the Durnstein church was as we sailed away.
What a beautiful day to be sailing along with new friends!