Melk – Dürnstein Sights

1 July

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.

Melk dock
Our dock in Melk

Having some free time, we explored the town prior to the bus trip to the abbey.

Massive road works require a detour to get to the town.


The abbey dominates the town below

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.

Entrance to Melk Abbey

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.

Melk exhibits
A Catholic motif
The church in Melk Abbey

13:15 – Back to the ship for a barbecue lunch.

Barbecue on another sunny day


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.

The blue church in Durnstein
King Richard I was imprisoned in the castle at the top of the hill.


16:30 – There was a tasting session of various apricot products on board – chocolate, schnapps, liqueurs and jams by a company called Wieser.

apricot tasting
Sampling Wieser apricot chutney

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.

Wieser apricot specialists

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

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