Skip to main content


New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Danube River Cruise - Krems, Austria: April 17, 2018

The Abbey at Melk
We cruised past the ethereal Melk Abbey. Since 1089, Benedictine monks have continually lived and worked at Melk Abbey. It is a UNESCO Heritage site. The abbey possesses a huge library with manuscripts dating back to the 16th century. Within the church there are reliquaries holding jauntily clad skeletons of martyred saints. We visited Melk Abbey in 1994 and I still remember its magnificence.

Our Viking Program Director said because of the crowds of visitors, Viking no longer stops at Melk Abbey, and that Viking has an exclusive relationship for touring Göttweig Abbey.

Between Melk and Krems there were so many beautiful scenes along the Danube. It's no wonder that in 2000 this stretch of the river in the Wachau was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The extremely picturesque Schloss Schönbühel is a castle in the Austrian town of Schönbühel-Aggsbach. It sits downriver from Melk on the right bank of the Danube, and its origins date from the early 12th century.

We cruised past the small city of Ybbs an der Donau established in 1317.

Around noon we docked at Krems. Three Viking ships were ahead of us and just after we docked, our Viking stalker ship, the Bragi, docked next to us completely blocking our view. I call Bragi the "stalker" because it began its downriver journey from Passau the same day/hour as we did. Since leaving Passau, we have been docked side by side at each new port which means that at least half the time, we are not able to view anything other than the adjacent room on the stalker boat. With the arrival of our ship, the Egil, and the stalker, that brought the total Viking passengers from 5 ships to about 1,000. So much for avoiding crowds.

Göttweig Abbey sits atop Göttweig Mountain in the Wachau Valley. Much of it is not original. It was first built in the 11th century but entirely ruined by a fire in 1580. In 1718, the abbey burned once again. Despite all the disasters destroying the original structures, Göttweig Abbey became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. There are 26 hectares of vineyards on the grounds and the abbey sells its wine and fruit brandies in their gift shop.

The church at Göttweig Abbey

Viking literature told us the most impressive room in the Abbey is the library with 130,000 volumes; however, when we toured the Abbey, we weren't allowed to see the library because it is located within the monks' living quarters. A bit of a let down.

Above the stairway in the abbey's Imperial Wing, the ceiling is covered with a fresco from 1739. Showing that the artist was politically astute, the face of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was used for the face of the "god" Apollo riding in the chariot.

After the Göttweig Abbey tour, we took the Viking shuttle bus ride into Krems. We had enough time to walk on the pedestrian street and visit a couple of churches.

Next stop: we wake in Vienna, Austria.