PassauMelkMelkMelkPassauPassauPassauPassau

You know that saying “you’ve seen one church, you’ve seen them all”? Wait until you see what we experienced in Melk, Austria and Passau, Germany. This is going to be day 5 and 6 of our Viking River Cruise and forgive me if my facts start getting confused. These two days run together for me. Part of it is that both of these towns and excursions are in beautiful, charming towns along the Danube river. The other part is that once you start walking on cobblestone roads, it all becomes a blur.

The Sift Melk (Melk Abbey) is a Benedictine monastery that began in 1089 and is perched high above the Danube river. The current abbey is in the baroque style and is so spectacular on the inside that we could have spent countless hours there and never seen it all. They have many relics in this abbey including one that contains a splinter of wood from Jesus’ cross. Today’s monastery was built between 1702-1736. They have an incredible library that looked like it was something from Hogwarts. There were no pictures allowed in the library but I can share with you that they have many works from the 16th, 17th and 18th century. Click here to see pictures of each room that we enjoyed on our tour (you will see a list on the right side, click “The Abbey Museum, marble hall, library, church”).

Passau is an elegant town called the “Driflusstadt” (city of three rivers). This is where the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers meet. We toured the impressive 14th century town hall, the magnificent 17th century St. Stephan’s Cathedral containing the largest pipe organ in the world (in a church) and were treated to an organ concert. We all had a traditional German meal in a lovely restaurant after the concert and a little free time to roam around town. When you look around the houses surrounding the rivers you will notice demarkation lines and dates. This notated the level and date of a flood. Living near the Danube means you are in a flood zone. Their houses are built of stone and survive. Amazing when you think about it.

If my travel style is starting to look the same it’s because this region of Europe was experiencing a heat wave last week. It was in the upper 90’s all week and their version of air conditioning is what we would call a fan on low-speed in Texas. Comfort was key each day for excursions. Tomorrow’s post will have a little bit of flair again.

This is all building up to the final travel post about the ship. Stay tuned.  xoxo- Tanya

Photo credit: Pete Foster

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