Situated within Austria’s wine–growing region, Melk is home to an imposing 900–year old Benedictine Abbey which features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture, with its ornate gold leaf walls, 640ft Imperial Corridor and fresco ceilings.
Having some free time, we explored the town prior to the bus trip to the abbey.
11:45 – Bus to Melk Abbey. The bus ride was very brief, but if you get a chance, sit on the left of the bus with the camera ready, as there is a nice river view that you should grab on your camera.
Of course, the abbey is full of the overstated superlatives you can expect from a wealthy church. Hundreds of rooms, lots of gold and paintings.
13:15 – Back to the ship for a barbecue lunch.
15:00 – The ship sailed through the spectacular Wachau Valley and stopped at 16:30 at Dürnstein, one of the most enchanting villages of the Wachau Valley wine region. This is the site of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades in the 12th century.
16:30 – There was a tasting session of various apricot products on board – chocolate, schnapps, liqueurs and jams by a company called Wieser.
17:30 – 18:45 – Free time to discover Durnstein. There isn’t much to see in this town other than its short main street with a handful of shops that all closed at 6 pm. We took a wrong turn and had to walk through a busy road tunnel before we got into the town.
21:00 – Aussie Night – the passengers showed their talents – most of the acts were great. As they say, a great time was had by all.
Day by day
- Days -1 to -3 – Paris Extension
- Day 1 & 2 – Amsterdam
- Day 3 – Cologne
- Day 4 – Rhine Gorge – Rudesheim
- Day 5 – Miltenberg – Wertheim
- Day 6 – Wurzburg – Rothenburg
- Day 7 – Bamberg
- Day 8 – Nuremberg
- Day 9 – Kelheim – Regensburg
- Day 10 – Passau – Salzburg – Linz
- Day 11 – Melk – Durnstein
- Day 12 – Vienna
- Day 13 – Bratislava
- Day 14 – Budapest
- Day 15 – Disembarkation