2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

European River Cruise - First day of sailing and Melk

Trucks in Europe are all cab-over instead of conventional like in the states.

Swan gliding over the Danube

This bridge is low enough that the awnings needed to be lowered.

Austrian scenes along the river

Entering the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There are no bridges in this area.

Dürnstein, Austria

Burgruine Dürnstein, the ruin of a castle where Richard the Lion-hearted of England was held by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, in 1192, overlooks Stift Dürnstein.

A statue of King Richard and his faithful servant Blondell

The vines draped in blue netting are set aside to make ice wine, a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine

The Wachau Valley is also know for its apricots, which are grown on the banks of the Danube just like the grapes.

Pfarrkirche Weißenkirchen
The car ferry at St. Lorenz, Austria has an interesting shelter/sculpture called The Wachauer Nase.  A good nose is essential in a wine-growing area. 

St. Michael's Church is the oldest church on the Danube.  The legend goes that the snow got so high that rabbits got on the roof.  Once the snow melted, the rabbits were stuck.  So you can see seven rabbit statues on the peak of the lower section. 

Spitz, Austria's late gothic church to St. Maurice is famous for its Apostles and altarpiece

Car ferry at Spitz

Hinterhaus, a 13th century fortress

It was time for the emergency drill so we all ran (ok walked) to our rooms for our life vests then assembled in the lounge

Ship's crew with their emergency equipment
Melk Abbey at Melk, Austria was founded in 1089 when Leopold II, Margrave of Austria gave one of his castles to Benedictine monks.
Entering Melk Abbey.  The Baroque abbey you see today was built between 1702 and 1736.

 What's amazing is that Melk Abbey managed to survive the reign of Emperor Joseph II, who seized and dissolved many Austrian abbeys between 1780 and 1790; the Napoleonic Wars and the Anschluss in 1938.   

View of Melk from the Abbey.  We were not allowed to take photos inside the Abbey.

The confluence of the Melk River and the Danube

Main Street Melk

Rabbit Shit for sale at shops in town!???   Yes, the story goes that the abbot didn't like the kids playing with the rabbits and told them they would have to eat the rabbit droppings if they didn't keep them pick up from the abbey grounds.  So the kids were a little devious and rolled some chocolate into drops.  When the abbot ordered them to eat the droppings because they hadn't done a good job of picking up after the rabbits, they substituted the chocolate drops.

The main shopping area didn't allow cars except for this little bus.  The bollards would sink into the street so the bus could get through.

Another view of Melk Abbey

The River Adagio docked at Melk

Right as we left Melk, we came to the Melk lock, the third of 66 locks we would traverse during this trip.  Some locks changed our elevation by less than 10' while others moved us 82'.   I was bummed that the 82' locks were during the night.  Melk lock raised our elevation by 36.08'.

Regulations require that the ship be up against a side of the lock so here's the Captain working diligently to get the ship positioned correctly.

Looking back as the lock doors began to close, I could see Melk Abbey.

Last look at the abbey before the doors close

When I said the ship had to be up against the lock walls, I meant it.

There were seven hooks visible when we got settled into the lock.

Up to the next level

Hey Melk Abbey became visible again.

Melk Abbey and the locks

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