My Viking River Cruise took me to the cruise ports of Linz and Melk, Austria at the docking point of Dürnstein. At Linz, our first cruise port after boarding the Viking Vilhjalm in Passau, Germany, my cruise companions and I opted for the day trip to Cesky Krumlov. Here, we crossed countries into the Czech Republic and had a lovely visit to Cesky Krumlov, one of the gorgeous medieval towns in Europe.
We stayed with the Viking River cruise staff for the guided tour of Melk, Austria, a sprawling city that appears to have stood still in time.
You can read about Cesky Krumlov here.
Scenic Cruising At Its Finest
My friends and I enjoyed a few hours of scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley, complete with colorful villages, ancient architecture, and vineyards hanging from the cliffs. We ended in Dürnstein, Austria.
After dinner, my friends and I walked around, and be warned it is an up and down, hilly village, almost like a ghost town from a Dickens village. Charming cottages were plentiful, but there were only 1-2 of them with lights on at a very early time of night, which seemed a bit abnormal to us. It also added to the eeriness of the still night. On the hillside, a gorgeous medieval castle was lit up like a beacon.
A Short Glimpse of Austria
In Melk, we visited the most famous attraction, Melk Abbey, the home of 50 Benedictine monks, the most in Austria. Though we didn’t physically see any monks during our visit, a visit to the Melk Abbey is a must. I was caught by surprise when we arrived. It was a state-of-the-art facility with eye-popping displays.
We arrived at the enormous Melk Abbey, which was towers of coffee and white colored columns (some under construction) with a massive clock at the top of one of the towers. Built in 1702, the royal palace of Melk Abbey has impressive great halls, ceremonial courts, and apartments. Its’ beautiful interior is Baroque in style and has noteworthy painted frescoes.
My favorite part was the jaw-dropping library, complete with 80,000 manuscripts. Photos were not allowed in the Melk, but I have great memories.
In the museum part of the Melk, contemporary style decor and art adorn the sterile facility and a chanting sound of the word repeated over and over again play without end. It was frightening, to say the least as it is in a low baritone voice chanting the word “whhhhooooorrrreeeee” over and over again. I’m sure it means something different than how Americans convey it, but none-the-less, it was odd.
I’m Sold on Viking River Cruising
Our time in Austria was good, but we were preparing for the big day in Vienna. Viking River Cruises does a great job of showcasing UNESCO sites as well as interesting cultural finds in these gorgeous European locations. If you haven’t been on a river cruise yet, I encourage you to look at Viking River Cruises. You may be surprised at what you are missing.
Have questions? I will be glad to answer them for you.
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