Thursday May 20, 2010

The Austrian city of Linz was founded by the Romans (they called it ‘Lentia’), became a big-time trade centre, then an even bigger-time home of the Hapsburg Emperor Friedrich III. Linz was also big-time home to little Adolph Hitler, who was born in the border town of Braunau am Inn, but spent most of his younger days here.

In persistent rain late yesterday afternoon, we explored the historic Old Town, main square and Mozarthaus, and got to taste the region’s famous Linzer Torte (cake) at a local bakery.

Then, late last night, following a ‘pirate dinner’ on board, the Amadeus Elegant cast off its mooring ropes and glided downstream in the direction of the Wachau Valley – a stunningly beautiful chunk of Austria smack in the middle of a world-famous wine-growing region.

We woke up this morning to find the ship docked in Emmersdorf, and drove out after breakfast for a whirlwind tour of Yet Another Church – the magnificent Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest baroque monasteries. Following which we wandered down cobblestone streets in the 16th-century town of Duernstein, located below the castle where Richard the Lionheart (one-time King of England) was imprisoned in 1192.

Finally, we continued sailing through the afternoon to Austria’s gorgeous capital: historical, musical Vienna! And, after dinner on board, we enjoyed a special excursion – ‘Vienna At Night’ – which included views over the vineyards and city, plus a pub visit in the village of Grinzing, where we sampled some local wine, bread and dips, and listened to a couple of old guys playing ‘Heurigen’ music on accordion and guitar.

A lovely, laughter-filled evening was had by all – by the end of which some very sleepy Kiwis were more than ready to collapse into cosy beds aboard our floating hotel. 

TOMORROW: We’ll explore more of gorgeous Vienna in daylight, and visit Schönbrunn Castle. So don’t change channels …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on ‘COMMENTS’ (or ‘NO COMMENTS’) beside the title for the day’s blog, and type away! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief. And if you want a better look at our map and photos, just click on them and they’ll enlarge –  magic!

This entry was posted in 2010 Danube & Rhine by John Cooney. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!

4 thoughts on “LINZ, MELK ABBEY & VIENNA

  1. Hi Mum (Patricia) – Looks like an amazing adventure. We had Nicki and Callum over here with us for a few days. Had a great time with stunning (albeit cold) weather. Did the touresty bit showing them around Melbourne and the Brighton / Bayside area. They ablsolutely loved it. The family are all good and fitting in well over here. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing about the trip. Looking like I’ll be over in NZ around the 8th / 9th June so will catch up then. Bye for now Jeff, Karen & Luskie tribe

  2. Granny J (Janice)
    How’s it going? Lee Lee told me to leave you a message so here it is. I’ve had a geez around the Website and saw you in a picture. Looking good! haha I’ve herd that you have a delicious danish tart every morning. YUM! mum is jelous of you!Anyway have heaps of fun and get in more photos so i can see you. See you when you come back.
    So long for now
    Fee xoxox (Awhina Walters)

  3. Hi Murray and Joy,
    Hope you have a happy 70th. We thought of you. Caught up with Nita and Max in Dn last Monday. We are putting ensuite in our room so busy stripping wallpaper. All well here. Hope your weather starts drying up. They are predicting heavy rain here – up to 200mm in North Otago – coming in from east. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Anne and Bill.

  4. Hi Mum (Lorraine),
    Wishing you a safe trip home and looking forward to catching up and hearing all your descriptive stories…..
    No rain here to speak off, everything starting to go brown again!
    Thinking of you,
    Tracy & Rick xxx

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