Saturday, August 8, 2009


During our visit to Vienna, we used the city as a home base to see some other nearby sites. Our first day trip was to nearby Melk, Austria, a sleepy and picturesque town located right on the Danube River (at right) and known for Melk Abbey. Below you see two views of the colorful city, one from a high point and another from street level. Laura and I enjoyed walking the streets of the quiet town and of course happily stopped for a quiet lunch at a sidewalk cafe.

Melk Abbey was quite a site to behold. Although an abbey has been on the spot for many centuries, the structure seen today was built in the early 1700's in Baroque style. Due to recent restoration, the brightly colored abbey gleams, and the ornate stylings occasionally give way to some surprisingly modern interior exhibits involving neon lights and lots of glass.

Melk Abbey

A statue just inside the entrance

Melk Abbey also contained some very nice gardens, through which we took a stroll.

Grounds of Melk Abbey

Melk is an incredibly picturesque town, and we have many more photographs that you can see on Flickr. Wikipedia also has some very nice pictures of the interior of Melk Abbey.

In returning to Vienna, we had planned to take a Danube River boat for part of the trip, but we were startled to discover the entire region was in the midst of some heavy flooding. The Czech Republic saw the worst of it, but even the Danube River in Melk was nearly bursting from its shores. I read that the Albertina Museum in Vienna - where we didn't personally see any obtrusive effects of the heavy rains - even had to relocate some stored paintings from a leaky underground storage area.

The boats in Melk, of course, were not running on that day, so we took the train back to Vienna.

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