River Cruise
Vienna to Budapest
Melk Abbey Library, Melk Abbey Treasure, Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey Library in Melk Abbey One of its Treasures
Melk Abbey is Austrian Benedictine abbey which we had never heard. The tour was breath taking. It was full of amazing rooms and had a dazzling array of treasures. We tried to space our side trips to avoid exhaustion but this was a plesant surprise which we are glad we didn't skip.
Kursalon Inside Kursalon Outside
Kursalon Inside Kursalon Outside
One of the high points of Vienna, for us, was a chamber music concert in the Vienna Kursalon. This was the site of the famous Promenade Concerts of the brothers Strauss in the late 1800s. You can hear excerpts of what we heard using the "chamber music" link above.
We looked forward to Vienna as one of the few cities we missed from our "sites to see list" from our German sabbatical. There were way too many places to see in our alloted time and not enough room here to show the ones we did see. Here are some which were particularly memorable. Many were overpowering, like Saint Stevens Catherdal shown to the right. The altar shown below is just one of seventeen such altars in the Catherdal itself.

After the concert in the Kursalon, forever linked to the Strauss brothers, we really enjoyed seeing the building (below) where Johann Strauss wrote the famous 'The Blue Danube Waltz' while living on the 2nd floor.

Then there was the Pestsaule, a monument to the 100,000 residents who died from the plaque in 1679. That is a large number now but it must have seemed huge then when the city was much smaller than it is today.
Mainz Canal Lock
Blue Danube originated here Pestsaule Moveable Bridge
Where Johann Strauss wrote 'The Blue Danube Waltz' Pestsaule St. Steven Altar
And then there was the cruise! Actually, we spent more time on the boat than we did sightseeing on shore. Cruises appeal to us because we only unpack once or twice, not every day. In addition, there were things to do on the boat and interesting sites to see on the riverbanks as we passed. Last, but certainly not least, the cruise lived up to what everyone expects on a cruise; great food and good companions.
Typical Scene Commercial Traffic Walhalla
Typical Danube Scene Commercial Traffic Walhalla
English Friends Dining Room Bavarian Beer Experience
Friends from England Ship's Dining Room Bavarian Beer Experience
Crew Show Crew Show Crew Show
One night, the entire crew turned thespian and put on a "show".
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