The Wachau Valley

So today we kicked off our first little bit of Austrian touring as we took in the sights of the Wachau Valley

We started off early ish for a holiday by getting the 9:35am train from St Pölten to Melk, famous for its Benedictine Monastery & Melk Abbey.

We arrived in Melk about 20mins later & had a wander down through the typical Austrian architectural town to get to the banks of the Danube River. 

The Danube is Europes second longest river, with its primary source within the Black Forest in Germany, runs through 8 countries in Central & Eastern Europe & 16 main cities. The small 36km section of the river we travelled on today went through the Wachau Valley between the cities of Melk & Krems. 

There were 2 main operators of cruises along the Danube & we chose to go with DDSG Blue Danube Tours only because it’s the one Bean’s sister had got prices for & we knew the signs in German that we needed to follow (from numerous notes of German words for boat/train station etc from the night before). 

So we boarded the boat, along with a large group the blue rinse brigade & managed to get a table on the ratten chairs on the back of the boat on the sun deck. It was 10:30am & the waiter came to take our order. “4 large Radler’s please”,  a conversation about the time of morning & the possibility of being brandished with the ‘typical Brit abroad’ name was quickly quashed as the rest of the boat proceeded to order lager & wine (only on the continent would 10:30am drinking be acceptable without hesitation!)  

The boat journey was calm, a little windy but with beautiful scenery with a German & English commentary when we passed places of interest like Dürstein where in 1192, King Richard III the Lionheart was held captive after a dispute with Duke Leopold V during the Third Crusade.   

One & a half hours later & we arrived in Krems. The temperature had soared, the wind had died down & we strolled down the side of the River & through the cobbled streets stopping for some traditional Austrian Würstl (Viennese sausage) and schnitzel, along of course with more Radler before getting on the train back to St Pölten.

Tomorrow we’re off to Salzberg and yes they’ll be more Radler there too! 🍺

Jacqui & Frankie


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