Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 3 of Cycling - Persenburg to Mitterarndorf

The rain was just steaming down as we lingered a little longer than usual over breakfast this morning. By the time we started out for our longest ride of the week, it had settled into a steady cold rain with the wind promised in last night's forecast.

One thing we noticed from our first day was the lack of traffic on the Danube. In two days we saw 1 kayak and two speed boats. We are concerned that the river cruise ships are not running. Maybe the river is still to high for the cruise ships. All the rain this week can't be helping the situation. Our cruise is scheduled to start on Sunday. Today we saw our first evidence of commercial traffic a barge and later a ferry.

The big touristy destination today was the Benedictine Abbey at Melk. By the time we arrived in Melk at noon the rain had slowed to a light drizzle with a heavy overcast. The Abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopold II gave a castle to Benedictine monks. The current magnificent Baroque structure was built between 1702 and 1736.

Melk was approximately at the halfway point of our ride. We decided to take the time to do tour of the abbey. It is huge. This picture from the town gives some indication of the size of the building. You can see how far the Abbey extends back.

Notice the frescos on the ceiling in this room.

This is a picture of the church inside the Abbey.

We saw more evidence of the flood as we travelled. Notice the water marks on these buildings in Melk.

I'd like to say a few words about Austrian food. Our tour includes a three course dinner in each hotel. Based on the evidence so far, Austrians feed their tourists just one kind of soup, one kind of salad, schnitzel and strudel. All four meals have been really good and different from the food back home. But tonight I realized that I had the same tasty beef broth with cut up spiced crepes four nights in a row and the same hearty salad for the last three nights. I've also consumed 3 schnitzels and 3 strudels. It's my own fault. It's what I order.

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