Reflections in Photos of My Austrian Summer

This statue in Krems is called
This statue in Krems is called “Simandl.” It is about the hen-pecked husband begging for the house keys so he can stay out late with the boys.

In three weeks the time on the clocks will change here in Central Europe and we will be on “Winter Time.” Summer has come and gone as I spent much of it exploring Austria on holiday and in two weeks I return to Spain.

A grand Danube River View from Aggstein Castle in Wachau Valley
A grand Danube River View from Aggstein Castle in the beautiful Wachau Valley

I have most recently been living in a small village in Wolkersdorf but my travels have taken me far and wide throughout the country to Krems, Horn, Melk, Tulln, Semmering, Salzburg, Graz, Innsbruck, Villach, the Wachau Valley, and Vienna. Many of these beautiful places, people, and artwork have been captured in photographs that I have shared on Facebook, blog entries and in messages to friends and family.

It is both happy and sad to be returning to Spain in two weeks. I have greatly enjoyed my holiday in Austria and with Winter cold and snow coming and the time change bringing darkness earlier in the day, I am anticipating the warmth on the Costa del Sol and friends there. I will miss the people I have met in Austria, the confectionaries, lattes, apple strudel, wiener schnitzel, and this distinct culture that I have appreciated.

In Salzburg, Pegasus in Mirabell Gardens. It was also in The Sound of Music 50 Years Ago
In Salzburg, Pegasus in Mirabell Gardens. It was also in The Sound of Music 50 Years Ago

Today’s blog is all about places I have captured in photos while in Austria. I hope you enjoy them!

Melk is at the beginning of the Wachau Valley and is also on the Danube River. It's famous Benedictine Stift Melk Abbey dwarfs the little town.
Melk is at the beginning of the Wachau Valley and is also on the Danube River. It’s famous Benedictine Stift Melk Abbey dwarfs the little town.

My initial stop in Austria was in Krems an der Donau. It is one of the oldest settled communities in all of Austria and was an excellent place to begin my Austrian holiday. Many people speak English in all of Austria but especially in Krems. I wrote a few entries in my blog about Krems but my favorite one is here. Following Krems, I stayed awhile in Melk. In Melk I particularly enjoyed the park at the Abbey and wrote about my Melk holiday. Krems and Melk are the bookends of the Wachau Valley. Famous for apricots and grapes for wine, the Danube River flows through the Wachau passing many small villages with Spitz, Durnstein, Rossatz, and Emmersdorf among my favorites. The castle ruins at Aggstein are in the Valley and well worth the visit. I wrote about Aggstein and its famous “Little Rose Garden.” I especially enjoyed visiting the ruins during a Renaissance festival and loved the food and writing about my visit to Aggstein.

Lake Wolfgang near Salzburg was in the opening scenes of the movie
Lake Wolfgang near Salzburg was in the opening scenes of the movie “The Sound of Music.”

A beautiful view of the Alps in Bavaria from Eagle's Nest
A beautiful view of the Alps in Bavaria from Eagle’s Nest

In many of the places I have mentioned I went by train and boat to visit towns and cities in Austria. Most notable to me was Salzburg and is certainly one of the places I want to visit again someday. Salzburg is the location for the movie “The Sound of Music.” The scenery in the mountains and lakes is stunning and in the mountains one cannot help hearing Julie Andrews singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” While in Salzburg I visited Hitler’s “Eagles Nest” where the beautiful mountain views take your breath away. I wrote two blogs about my visit to Salzburg and Eagles Nest. One can’t help but to be inspired to write in these places with beautiful skies and spectacular peaks.

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Schönbrunn Palace, the Summer residence of the Hapsburgs

Johann Strauss in beautiful Stadtplaz in Vienna
Johann Strauss in beautiful Stadtpark in Vienna

I have taken so many photos that it is always difficult to determine which to include in any blog or to post on Facebook. Staying in Vienna presented a problem in that there are so many places one wants to visit and if I were to reflect on them all, the blog would be way too long. The city offers so much… classical music by Strauss and Mozart among others, opera, historic, beautiful monuments and architecture, and wonderful food and drink. I narrowed my photo selections to a few and decided to write about the “City of Dreams” from a perspective that focused on present day Vienna as dreams that have been realized. There are also memories in Vienna that are sad such as the 65,000 Jews who never returned during the Holocaust, the NAZI annexation of the entire country during World War II, and the oppression by the occupying Russian forces following the war. Vienna was also the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and there are wonderful and sad stories throughout the history of the Empire. These are captured in the numerous museums throughout the city.

A Wachau Vally trail marker
A Wachau Vally trail marker

Hiking along the Wachau Valley Trails brings you to many of the famous places I have mentioned previously. There are many selections of trails to take and one can always find solitude and reflection somewhere in the Wachau. Surprisingly often you find yourself in one of many vineyards. The grapes from the Wachau are particularly desired for making Gruner Veltliner wine which is loved throughout Austria and Germany.

An original 14th century walkway to the Danube inside the Durnstein walls
An original 14th century walkway to the Danube inside the Durnstein walls

Two of the towns in the Wachau Valley are Rossatz and Durnstein. Each are known for many things but my adventures were often focused on taking photographs, eating different foods, learning about history, and tasting wines.

Rossatz early in the Summer
Rossatz early in the Summer

Rossatz in particular is quite beautiful. Located across the river from Durnstein in the Valley, the town is often identified as the heart of the Apricot Mile. In the Summer when apricots are ripe, they are for sale everywhere. In addition to fresh apricots, apricot dumplings are particularly popular. There are all sorts of drinks and syrups made from apricots. But in Rossatz I enjoyed its quiet charm. Many just don’t know about it and the serenity found there in the vineyards, throughout the community, and along the beach. That’s right, there is a beach on the Danube very close to Rossatz. It also turns out that there are several along the Danube.

The Jester in Villach
The Jester in Villach

My excursions have taken me to many fascinating places in Austria and I have captured some of those memories in this blog. I enjoyed my Summer holiday very much and look forward to returning sometime and reliving many of the memories that I have described and many more. So for now I will say “Auf Wiedersehen” from Austria as I plan my return to Mijas Pueblo, Espana, later this month.

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Vienna – City of Dreams

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss

Vienna, the “City of Dreams,” is much more than Freud’s dream studies in Vienna. In Vienna, dreams are much more expansive and expressive than his work alone. The ever-changing, diverse city holds dear all forms of artistic culture. The visions of dreamers extend into every aspect of the city at the Staatsoper Opera House and numerous concert venues. Mozart’s, Strauss’ and Schubert’s dreams of beautiful music come alive in Vienna. And native son Klimt’s paintings adorn the city along with Austrian masterpieces in the Belvedere.

Dreams leap to the present from the imperial past and the stately palaces at Hofburg and Schönbrunn and numerous museums depicting Austria’s past and dreams for the future. Public places depict the dreams of emperors from the bustle on the Ringstrasse to the relaxing calm at Stadtpark. Dreams brought to reality are exhibited in numerous festivals like the Film Fest held outdoors at the Rathaus town hall and numerous other sites that attract people from around the world to both visit and to stay.

Stadtpark
Stadtpark calm and beauty

The visions of past Vienna dreamers have affected and continue to shape the future of Austria and the world. The city continues to set an example for quality of living as it is identified as #1 in the world according to the latest Mercer “Quality of Living Survey.”

During August 2015 I experienced many of these dreams and the quality of life as I lived in the city and have seen how, over time, the dreams have become reality in this City of Dreams.

St Stephen's Cathedral built in the 14th Century
St Stephen’s Cathedral built in the 14th Century

The Vienna dreamers emphasize remembering the past and you see it everywhere. Be it simple as enjoying a latte in Stephansplatz with Saint Stephen’s Cathedral’s bells tolling or a visit to the multitude of museums, it is evident that the dreamers for this city want to leave their mark as a commitment to past memories so that future generations will learn from the city’s past. The Technical Museum is a fine example of this where the emphasis on industrialization and dreams for bettering life live on.

As mentioned previously, music and art abound in the city. Monuments to song and dance reside many places and have been left by past visionaries. The most notable of these monuments is the Staatsoper Opera House where beautiful paintings adorn the luxurious grand stairway and patrons delight as one senses the sounds and sights of beautiful music and dance.

Paintings representing Ballet, Comic Opera and Tragic Opera above the Grand Staircase at the Opera House
Paintings representing Ballet, Comic Opera and Tragic Opera above the Grand Staircase at the Opera House

Dreams are also found in the political history of Austria as it was once was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There are grand stories of the dreams of Emperor Franz Josef and his Empress Elisabeth. While Franz Josef was the visionary for much of the way we see the city today, the impression left to us by Elisabeth is quite interesting.

Empress Elisabeth
Empress Elisabeth

Known as “Sisi,” Elisabeth dreamed of not being tied to royal expectations of court life and lived her dreams by traveling. Her story is fascinating and worth writing a blog about her but I will save that for another time.

Vienna is an enchanting city and it is understandable to be called the “City of Dreams.” One can just feel the presence of the past and the visions of many and their contributions for now and the future. If you have a bucket list item to visit Europe, Vienna is your necessary stop to be embraced by the City of Dreams.

One Too Many

Sometimes I think of my blog as just a place to ramble on about things that are interesting or curious to me. I write it for myself and if others read it, that’s fine but it isn’t why I create it. This story, however, some of my former DuPont colleagues may find interesting. When I worked for DuPont for 23 years I was within a unique corporate culture where safety was of utmost importance. Knowing that, decisions I make (even today) are influenced by the ingrained safety culture. That makes the following story more understandable while the title may have raised your curiosity.

Vines in the Wachau Valley, Austria
Vines in the Wachau Valley, Austria

Presently, I am in the heart of Austrian wine country. Just about all of the grapes in the Wachau Valley are Gruner Vetliner which makes a dry white wine. Austrian wine is serious business… right at the pinnacle of national culinary importance just above beer, schnitzel, and strudel. Wine is sacred with two millennia of history and strict attention to growing techniques and quality.

So, here I am in wine country. I think it would be reasonable to have a few glasses of wine now and then. Well, my story is titled “One Too Many” for good reason as I describe my following experience.

Cafe
A very nice cafe

Several weeks ago I decided to travel to Rosenburg, Austria. Rosenberg is a tiny community about 60 kilometers from where I was staying in Melk. I wanted to visit a particular castle there. It was a rather humid, hot day around 37 degrees in Rosenberg. I was thirsty but not for a beer and the cafe next to the train station was open. So, being in wine country I thought that there was a possibility to avoid the popular cold white and get a cold sweet red. I know that sounds sacrilegious for those who know about serving a red cold; you must be cringing. But I have known that some Austrian establishments sell a cold red as an alternative for many like myself.

The "Culprit"
The “Culprit”

I enjoyed my robust red wine, paid my bill, and was off to the castle. Even though the castle was right outside on a cliff overlooking the cafe, to get there, one must hike along a highway for about a kilometer and then climb up a sloped hill for about another kilometer. Less than 50 meters into the walk I felt so light-headed that I had to sit on a bench along the highway. Thinking that the situation was ridiculous, I soon got going and could hardly wait to hug the next bench about 50 meters away. I have rarely been drunk but I recognized the feeling!

Fortunately, my DuPont safety awareness kicked in. I ruled out going anywhere near a cliff. Next, I decided to sit for a while… that was really boring! Then I decided that I likely wasn’t going anywhere other than the direction back to the train station, no more than 150 meters. I consciously arrived at the station to find that the next train wasn’t for an hour and forty minutes!

So for the next hour and forty minutes I found myself doing a variety of things. I thought I could walk along the train track to the next train station. Hummm, if a train were to come, there was nowhere for me to escape so I stopped doing that. Then I decided I could take a well-marked hiking trail to the other train station. The trail went over a swaying foot bridge over a rapidly running stream that seemed like Category Five rapids (but really wasn’t). Oh, in case you have never tried it, that’s a bad decision when your stomach is already feeling like you are riding the tilt-a-whirl, so I paused and held onto the swaying bridge for a few moments and went back from where I came and settled in at the train station.

benchI made it to the station once again and I was feeling worse so I sat on a bench. Similar to this photo from the web, the seat was more rustic and made of a series of wood slats of approximately 25 X 50 mm stock with about a 25 mm gap. I sat there and my head began to swirl and throb. Was I going to fall to the ground? Thinking that I might, I put my head toward my knees so that if I were to fall that would shorten the distance (How about that safety thinking?). Fortunately, I didn’t fall but I was beginning to get sick at my stomach (the swirling water on a swaying foot bridge didn’t help) and I was developing a brain-splitting headache. I decided to lay down.

Only OneRecall that the station bench is about 25 mm wide boards followed by a 25 mm gap. Oh, that is medieval-rack-torture uncomfortable to lay on but I stayed there thinking that was best to do. Meanwhile, Johann, a neighbor by the station, must have been amused and came over to check on me. He spoke minimal English and I speak no German (except for a few words) but somehow I understood he was asking if I was okay. About this time I was becoming more cognizant and the spinning and throbbing had ceased. I told him I was okay as he pointed to his house for what I thought was his way of saying “American, if you can’t handle our wine, at least come inside and be safe.”

The train soon came and I made my way back to Melk. I am still here to tell the story of drinking one too many in my adventure. So here is the precious gem in this story. As it turns out on this particular day it was one too many but it was only one! Yes, one too many.

Salzburg: 50 Years After “The Sound of Music”

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Mirabell Garden Statue (also in The Sound of Music)

Salzburg, Austria is forever etched into our memories as a place of natural and man-made artistic beauty and as a cultural center. The rich history of this city is evident at the turn of every street corner and throughout the nearby lakes and hills. The movie The Sound of Music embraces Salzburg in the late 1930’s. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film and I have been fortunate to have recently visited Salzburg. In this blog I not only share some thoughts about the movie but also many other things that are evident to me in this vibrant area.

In comparison, much larger ViennaIMG_1853 (1) is majestic and bold but in seeking Austria’s soul, it would be found in Salzburg. On arriving by train, you can immediately look up and sense grandeur in the mountains. Yes, these are the “hills” that Maria sang about in the movie. The hills and the city are alive and in your mind you can hear her singing!

Fortress Hohensalzburg crowns the city
Fortress Hohensalzburg crowns the city

Journeying through the city, one can see boats on the Salzach River, lovers expressing their forever love by attaching their locks to the bridges, Mozart’s birthplace, the Fortress Hohensalzburg crowning “Old Town,” Mirabell Gardens with Pegasus dancing at its center, the Mozart Bridge the children ran across to play, and the small towns of Sankt Gilgen and Monsee on the shores of Lake Wolfgang… everywhere there are visions and sounds from the movie that surge into my memory!

My first visit was to Mirabell Gardens across the street from the hotel. With the Pegasus fountain centrally located, everyone was taking the “perfect” shot not only as reminiscent of the movie but also because it is a beautiful artwork. The garden’s colors just explode and several statues found there are in the movie.

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An entire blog could be dedicated to the Mirabell Gardens but I journeyed to the Lake District to see Sankt Gilgen, Sankt Wolfgang, Monsee, and Lakes Fuschl and Wolfgang. Each of these locations were included in The Sound of Music.

People were camping around, sailing on, and swimming in Lake Wolfgang and Lake Fuschl. The mountains around the lakes provide a perfect backdrop for a superb holiday in the region. And who can forget the sweeping images of these places at the beginning of the movie?

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Lake Fuschl as in the opening scene from The Sound of Music

Quaint, traditional buildings in Monsee and Sankt Wolfgang are like time capsules with their large overhanging roofs and decorations of flower boxes attached to the upper levels. Each house has its own large supply of firewood to prepare for heating during the harsh Winters that come to this area. The mountains and the lakes are breathtaking and it is easy to see why these places were chosen for the movie.

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Traditional House at Sankt Wolfgang

Of course the city and area have so much to offer as they pose for the camera’s eye. I endeavor to keep my blog entries to a reasonable length and know that this one doesn’t adequately recount my memories of this vibrant city, the home to The Sound of Music and Mozart.

Looking Downriver at Sunrise
Looking Downriver at Sunrise

Salzburg is one place that I highly recommend be included in your travel bucket list. Salzburg is an extravaganza for your soul!

There are so many more places to see from The Sound of Music and I know that these few memories of the city will be just my initial ones as I will return several more times.

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Sankt Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang as in The Sound of Music
Mozart's Birthplace
Mozart’s Birthplace

I hope you enjoyed sharing in my adventure to Salzburg and that it encourages you to want to come and visit!

My Visit to Hitler’s Kehlsteinhaus “Eagle’s Nest”

Eagle's Nest from Outside
Kehlsteinhaus from the Outside

Last week I traveled to Salzburg, Austria because I had heard so much about its beauty, artistic value and historic significance. One of the historic places I am attracted to is Hitler’s “Kehlsteinhaus” (a.k.a “Eagle’s Nest” by English-speaking people) overlooking Berchtesgaden, Germany in the Bavarian Alps.

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View from Eva Braun’s Tea Room where she entertained diplomatic spouses

Kehlsteinhaus was intended to be a diplomatic reception place for dignitaries and general planning. In 1938 the NAZI Party paid for constructing Eagle’s Nest as a present for Adolph Hitler for his 50th birthday. It is a bit odd to give Hitler such a present because he was afraid of heights and at over 1800 meters above sea level, Eagles Nest is at a significant height with astonishing views. Supposedly, Hitler used Kehlsteinhaus less than 15 times and usually for very brief periods less than an hour. Other than for the guards, there are no sleeping accommodations. There was then a full service kitchen as there is today. Now, Eagle’s Nest is primarily a tourist attraction with spectacular views, a magnet for history buffs, and a restaurant that is open except in Winter.

Tunnel access to the elevator to go up into Eagle's Nest
Tunnel access to the elevator to go up into Eagle’s Nest from the upper parking lot

Access to Eagles Nest from the lower parking lot is by bus to the upper lot and then through a tunnel to get to the elevator for the final 124 meters. Constructing the building and creating access to get to it was a substantial achievement. And the stone work done by Italian masons for the building and tunnel is exceptional. The single lane road to the upper lot is up to 26 degrees which is really steep (I seem to recall that the original section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is no more than 4 degrees). Each bus goes up or down in a group because the road is only 4 meters wide and the drop off is sheer. Given Hitler’s concern with heights, this narrow road with five tunnels and a switch back must have been problematic for him.

Looking to the outside through the elevator tunnel
Looking to the outside through the elevator tunnel

I found it interesting to have an elevator to get into the building. The access tunnel from the upper lot is wide enough for a car and when Hitler came, the driver took the car directly into the tunnel to the elevator, backed out after Hitler got out, and then backed in to be ready when Hitler was to depart. Hitler also was apparently claustrophobic so the walls in the elevator are polished brass that makes a mirror effect that the elevator inside is much larger than it really is. The elevator moves quickly and traverses the final 124 meters in 46 seconds.

The fireplace given by Mussolini is at the head of the conference room, today a restaurant
The fireplace given by Mussolini is at the head of the conference room, today a restaurant

In today’s restaurant you can see the fine Italian marble fireplace which was given by Italian dictator (and Hitler’s ally), Benito Mussolini. The restaurant formerly was the main conference room. The large fireplace has been severely damaged by American soldiers smashing off pieces as war souvenirs and etching names and graffiti into the stone. The damage is evident in the photo.

Damaged Marble Fireplace
Damaged Marble Fireplace

Which military unit was first to reach Eagle’s Nest? Contrary to the movie “Band of Brothers” in which the U.S. 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” were first to arrive, it is not precisely known but it is believed that on 4 May 1945 that the U.S. 7th Army, the U.S. 101st Airborne, and the French 2nd Armored all seem to have been there.

A view from Outside
A view from Outside

Recently I found out that PFC Benedict Vinzani, Senior’s (from my hometown and parent of two of my Facebook friends) final duty station during World War II was in Salzburg. He was a member of 33rd Armored which is recorded to have been part of the 101st. It is unknown if he went to Eagle’s Nest but he served in the area as a member of the “Greatest Generation.” I think it is important that we remember those who contributed to Hitler losing the war and how different the world would be had that generation not risen to the need and challenges. I am forever grateful for them.

Inside view on a walkway
Inside view on a walkway

Today, Kehlsteinhaus it is operated by the Bavarian German State and revenue generated in excess of operating expenses is given to charity.  Last year more than 300,000 people visited Eagle’s Nest. Hitler was an awful, evil, cruel man. I am pleased that charity is benefiting from a remnant of that time. Eagle’s Nest could have been obliterated in the final days of the war but it was spared and I hope that it remains as a reminder of lessons from a very tragic time in history

Are You “Regular?”

Okay, everyone… I am sure this is a topic that few blog about and I do understand the very personal nature of the subject. I will endeavor to keep this blog story at an appropriate level of discretion.

I am certain that many of you recall TV commercials in our youth about Ex-Lax,  the likely parental discussion we had as children about what it meant to be “regular,” and the specific purpose of a laxative. I recall my dad putting it into terms that I would readily understand… “A laxative helps make you poop!”

Indeed throughout our lives, we of a certain age have learned that our bodies respond to different FullSizeRender (24)foods in curious ways. Gone are the days in which we discuss these effects only attributed to prunes! Some could say there is a movement beyond that created by prunes. The laxative responses we get to various fruits and other foods leads me to conclude that doctors and others giving medicinal advice have their favorite remedies to keep us “regular.”

In February I had hernia surgery in Spain. My care was excellent and very efficient. That is certainly a topic for another blog as my surgical experience was quite different from what is done in the U.S. Regardless, the prescription from the Mijas town doctor following surgery was to eat two kiwis a day even though I told him that orange juice would work just as well! He is a determined, friendly man so I enjoyed two kiwis a day as well as a glass of orange juice!

My fresh apricots
My fresh apricots

I have discovered a new fruit that also does the trick!! It was a bit difficult to narrow it down as there is currently an abundance of fresh strawberries and cherries at the end of their season and the beginning of apricot time in Austria. However, through process of elimination (I proudly chuckle at my choice of words) I have found the magical properties to exist with apricots! Yes, they keep me “regular” and running (I chuckle once again) to the nearest toilet. Last week as I enjoyed fresh apricots, apricot dumplings, apricot liquor, apricot jam, and so on, I made sure to always be aware of the location of the nearest toilet…just in case!

Fresh apricots (“marille”) are wonderful and abundant now in Austria.They are sold at weekly town markets in Melk, Spitz and Krems,  in grocery stores, and in roadside stands throughout the Wachau Valley. What a special time to be here and experience the “Apricot Mile” near Rosaatz! I hope you enjoy this story…and I send along my wishes for your regularity!

Apricot Dumplings
Apricot Dumplings

My Melk Holiday

Melk Abbey towers
Melk Abbey towers

I extended my stay in the Austrian Wachau Valley where I am now exploring in and around the town of Melk an der Donau. Melk is at the beginning of the gorgeous Wachau Valley with the Danube River running through it. The Wachau extends about 35 kilometers down river to Krems. Melk is a small community of about 5000 and is dominated by the picturesque 11th century Benedictine Monastery, Melk Abbey (German: Stift Melk).

The Abbey is the principle tourist destination for the numerous Danube River cruise tours that tie-up here enroute from Amsterdam and elsewhere to Vienna, Budapest, and beyond. My apartment is in the older part of the town with the massive Abbey immediately behind me.

Overlooking the Danube, the Melk Abbey has a long history. It was founded in 1089. You can read more about the Abbey and the history of Melk here. For now, though, I am going to share with you some of my pictures and my observations.

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Melk Abbey sitting above the Danube River

The town has a rich history and the town government provides numerous placards (in German and English) throughout Melk that provide the tourist with a great deal of information about the early inhabitants, their relationship to the Catholic church, the influence of the reformation, the first ruling dynasty in Austria, the impact of World War II, the buildings, the town growth, and the flooding of the Danube in recent times as well as the recording of the massive flooding in 1501.

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From the 13th century when bakers sold their wares from this little building

Melk is a chameleon. It takes on a typical tourist hot spot in the daytime as tourists flock to the Abbey. There are many places to have a coffee as well as a good wine and schnitzel. In the evenings, however, the tour groups from the river boats are mostly gone and those in town are residents and numerous bicycle riders who have stopped for the night.

Weekly there are band concerts with participants in traditional Austrian dress playing music on the Rathausplatz. This is when the community just sits back and relaxes with a large beer-in-hand and listens to the music and occasionally sings along.

Abbey tourists enjoy the massive old library, paintings of royalty and old world leaders, statues, and the beautiful artwork of the church interior. The Abbey is beautiful both on the interior as well as the exterior. With a bit of luck you can hear musical rehearsals which in themselves are spectacular. But for me, the exterior gardens are quite special and a place that is often overlooked by the tourists who are visiting with very limited time to absorb the grandeur of the Abbey, the town and the area.

I have found the groomed walkways in the Abbey gardens to be nice but the peace and solitude FullSizeRender (22)found in the garden woods is very special. The smell of evergreens add to this place high over the Danube River flowing by. It is an ideal spot for me to contemplate, listen to nothing except for a few birds and the breeze in the trees. It is a great place to relax in the shade… my next destination.

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