Austria to Germany

Sept. 19: Vienna Austria — If we hadn’t been to Vienna before, this single short day would have been soul-crushingly inadequate. But we’ve been to most of the major sights on a previous trip, so we focused on the single thing we’d not done before: visit a Viennese Café. After the morning tour of the Royal Apartments (photos verboten), we more or less wandered from Cafe Griensteidl, by Hofburg Palace, to Sacher Café, by the Opera House. We also intended to go to St. Stephen’s for photos, but we ran amuck on the metro system and ran out of time.

Sept. 20: Dürnstein & Melk Austria — In the morning, we docked at Dürnstein and walked up the hill and through the town. We also toured the church with its iconic blue and white tower. Back on board, the crew treated us to Frühshoppen (a special brunch) as we cruised through the Wachau Valley to Melk Abbey. At the Abbey, we toured the museum, the incredible library (photos verboten) and finally had free time in the jaw-dropping Abbey Chapel. The Benedictine Monks raised part of the money needed to restore the abbey to its present grandeur by selling their Gutenburg Bible to Yale.

Sept. 21: Passau Germany — We arrived in the morning and took a walking tour through Old Town along the narrow cobblestone streets. We saw the Town Hall (Rathaus), Residence Square, and St. Stephen's Cathedral. Jim and Corky, who live 2-hours away, drove to Passau and met us at noon at Wirtshaus zum Grünen Baum. As expected in Germany in September, it was raining off and on. We went back to the Cathedral and then down to the point where the Inn and Ils Rivers flow into the Danube. Then, of course, we found a Beer Garden (zum Ulten Brahaus) for an early dinner.

© Virginia E. Vail 2012