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Va- Va Wachau & Vienna

Day 4, 5 & 6 of Danube Cruise


Four days on cruise at this point: It was time to slow down the pace. Up I went to the comfy peachy pastel lounge area, aka my temporary living room away from my living room. From there, I watched the Wachau (pronounced like English "Va-cow") world go by. The AmaLea drifted into the Wachau Valley, Austria's wine country and the most gorgeous stretch of the Danube journey. Quite imprinted in my memory : that spectacular sparkle, a dusted golden sparkle from the almond trees and apricot fields throughout the region.
See video of trees- https://www.instagram.com/p/BqkQXz3jB45/

Inside AmaLea

Danube River

Wachau is the heart of wine country. Mostly whites were-a flowing during on-board wine presentations by Dr. Frank Winery, featuring Fred Frank and at tastings conducted at outside venues. I got very familiar with Grüner Veltliner, a regional staple and my go to white variety, Riesling was my go to, that good ol' reliable one who always cheers me up.

Such a pretty place to visit no matter your religion or lack there of The rocky-top Benedictine abbey is the standout Wachau landmark. I snapped snapped away at this gorgeous golden edifice for lovers of Baroque and Gothic and Neo Gothic style. Pity I could only snap snap on the exterior grounds. Thanks to the stupidity of people using and abusing flash , shooting indoors is banned - so, too bad for me- I can't have nice indoor photo things for my Danube Diary scrapbooks.

My Melk Abbey Collage on Instagram

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This "Pearl of Wachau" is a storybook kind of Austria town. It was a splendid time in this popular wine-making and apricot growing town. For an alternative to the basic walking tour, I went on a kiddie-like "train ride" through vineyards and leisurely strolled through altstadt. Guiding me and the "slow poke" gentle walker group was a rather bright-eyed, bubbly local ( named Christine?) who seemed inebriated by apricot liquer , Riesling or some other feelgood stuff but she was good natured and spoke of fascinating folk tales.

Lovely Krems is just outside the Wachau area. Here is where I ventured off for an afternoon jaunt with my spirited Irish cruise companion, Brigid. We built up a little sweat strolling up hilly Krems old town (alstadt) and got lost making the way down and around- happily lost though! Day turned dark quickly here. Sadly, my camera and phone were low in battery , so I couldn't snap, snap away. However, I stumbled upon joyful rotund lady and man statues in front of Karikaturmuseum. See photos pf museum and statutes here https://hiveminer.com/Tags/deix Photos by deix.

After the splendid journey through Wachau came grand Vienna, 81 km west. By far, this is the premier capital of Central Europe. My Viennese visit was too short . Blame it on the pit-stop nature of river cruising. However, I made the most out of the regal paradise with a city tour by Ama Waterways. The tour was marvelously escorted by a blond, quintessentially tall Austrian woman. She truly gave keen city insider tips , ones I can't wait to try next time in the city. The main city landmark I hit was St, Stephen's Cathedral in the center of Stephanplatz (the 2nd worship place of Steve hit on the Danube cruise) and Spanish Riding School, just a few pristine blocks away. It would have been the icing on the cake to see the acclaimed horse show at the school. However, I experienced the next best thing: an up-close tour of the stables to see the doe-eyed muscled equines. No petting of horseys was allowed- but I was content.

Also worth mentioning- I ate Sacher Torte! OMG- this decadent cake lives up to the hype! Do save room this Viennese dessert delight and enjoy it slowly. Let the roof of your mouth savor each moist chunk. Also quite enjoyable--- my latte and visit at the best McDonalds ever It was a 2-story locale featuring a magnificent McCafe of locally crafted pastries, strudel and all. Why is it that McDos does its restaurants substantially fancier outside of America ? 'Tis a mystery. Now, don't judge me wrong. I should have experienced one the signature, elegant cafe houses in Vienna, the Euro cafe capital outside of McCafe. Regrettably, there was just not enough time! That being said, I did enjoy a traditional apple strudel and remarkably fast and gracious service at the Riding School. Cafe interior was rather ordinary and cramped but otherwise, i was satisfied.

My Viennese experience was capped with a visit to Christmas market (Christkindlemarkt). Finally, after much bated breath anticipation , I experienced my first Euro Christmas market. It was staged near Spanish Riding School This was more of a shopping experience than stuffing my mouth occasion (after all, I had plenty of food on cruise. Ultimately, I settled on buying small, fragrant seabreeze and lavender balls at a booth.

Sadly my original digital Vienna pics were destroyed after my cell was crushed to demise. However, some live on on Instagram.
My Vienna pics on Insta

My Take Away: A giant slice of luscious Sacher Torte with a side of apricot liquer that Christine did not drink.


Posted by Marinarena 22:40 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna austria wine unesco krems melk wine_tasting dürnstein wachau_valley wachau riesling melk_abbey

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Well done! We had similar excellent experiences while in Vienna...

by Vic_IV

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