Melk & Vienna, Austria

Melk Abbey

The first stop on the river in Austria was at Melk, where we could go on the excursion to Melk Abbey. Melk Abbey was strategically located on a steep, cliffside perch, originally as a Roman border post. It became a Benedictine monastery in 1089, distinguished for medieval scholarship. I had read Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, a murder mystery of monastic intrigue, inspired by the grandeur of Melk Abbey. (The novel contains a great deal of scholarly information about the Middle Ages and the compelling politics of medieval religion.) I was very interested in the Abbey because of the novel and my history. Although the Abbey was crowded with tourists, I was especially drawn to its meditative walks behind the buildings. Tom and I were not disappointed.

      

  
  
  

Vienna

Our final stop on the river cruise was Vienna, a bustling modern capital city. Music is everywhere, including on the street and a visiting choir (this time, St. John's College Chapel Choir from England).

We took a stroll in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral where German statuary abounded in imaginative portrayals of what was yet unseen...

... vacationing Lippizaner horses, horses waiting to pull carriages, a marriage bower, & just plain folk.
 
 

One evening, I went
to the Prater,
a huge amusement park,
for a ride in the Risenrad,
a giant ferris wheel,
where I took photos as we slowly went
up and around.
The ferris wheel
was in the 1949 film
The Third Man.


 

A traffic light for
bike riders & pedestrains!