Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 6th - Travel Blog

Hi, it’s Christina –

Greetings from somewhere between Melk & Linz. Today our excursion is taking us back to the Czech Republic. It runs between 9 and 5, so I will be gone most of the day, so I need to hustle my bustle if I plan on getting you a blog post today.

Dürnstein was adorable. It’s a tiny mountain village with around a thousand inhabitants, and the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lion Hearted was imprisoned. I tried making my way up to the ruins, but half way up the mountain I must have made a wrong turn, because I ended up in someone’s back yard with nowhere else to climb. So, sorry, the only pictures you’ll have of the ruin are from very far away.
Shopping around yesterday was a bit of a challenge because it was a holiday – Ascension – and most businesses were closed, and yet I was still able to purchase my first souvenir for myself. Yes, I do realize I did pick up paprika in Budapest Market, but that’s not really a souvenir now is it? I got myself a Christmas ornament. It’s a little moose, and when you pull on the string, his arms and legs go up and down. He’s so cute.

We were only in Dürnstein for a few hours, and then we started making our way to Melk. I cannot remember what the region was called, but they weren’t kidding when they said it was the most picturesque on our voyage. 

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I was in the library, which is in the stern of the ship, working on yesterday’s blog, and then I’d look up, and there was something wonderful to photograph, so I would go above deck. I’d stay out there for a few minutes, snap as many pictures as I could, then go back to the library. 

Did I mention it was cold and windy yesterday? At least it was until the mid-afternoon, just in time for us to go and explore Melk.

I didn’t hear everything they were saying about the towns, villages, settlements we were passing, but I did get a little bit. One of the villages was called Krems (yeah, that’s all I heard – LOL). 

St. Michael’s was built in 980 ad by a man with the last name of Seibenhase, which directly translates to 7 rabbits or hares, and they believe that is why, on the roof of the church there are seven rabbits – you have to look close, but they are there.

I was seriously debating forgoing the Abbey tour, because quite frankly, I’m getting tired of visiting churches, but I caved to peer pressure and went. My favorite part, hands down, the frescos on the ceilings. It’s funny, one of the ceilings is a curved ceiling, the other is not. Can you figure out which is which?

From the Abbey we wandered our way through Melk back down to the boat, but not without taking a little break on the way. Janet decided to take the bus back, but Trevor hung back and walked with mom, Jennifer, and me. 

We stopped at a café for a bit of refreshments. I had the best iced coffee, we seriously should make them this way in the states. Picture an old fashioned root beer float glass. In the bottom a double shot of espresso, then a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and then a mountain of whipped cream sprinkled with chocolate, and two of those cylinder cookies stuck in the cream to look like straws. Oh my!

The absolute highlight of the day was the dinner last night. The crew dressed in lederhosen. The chef outdid himself with the authentic German cuisine. We were entertained by a man with a accordion and another with a guitar. We ate, we drank (yup, even me), we sang, we laughed. It was a roaring good time.

After dinner we climbed to the lounge on the third deck where we played a music trivial game. Again, another roaring good time – even though all we were drinking was water. You see, your team got points, not only for correct answers, but also for dancing, so… we danced…

Okay, now it’s time to put the photos together to go with this blog. I’m still hoping to get this finished and posted before we have to leave, but no promises. You may be getting it around dinner time.

Until tomorrow, have a WONDERFUL day & happy writing.