The Baroque Fantasy Melk Abbey

from the followsummer archives

We had a leisurely chat with our host, Martin, this morning over breakfast

and discovered that he is quite an accomplished young man. We don’t have to be in Austria before 6 pm, so we linger and head out around noon. Our B&B hosts in Vienna, Kristian and Alex, have told us that we should stop and visit the Melk Abbey, an hour or so outside of Vienna.

A Buoyant Drive to Melk

The morning is clear and sunny as we head to Vienna. We are both tired of the driving, a day here, a day there, the life we have been leading. I secretly think we anticipate being on vacation away from our vacation in Croatia in 48 hours. Still, our drive is buoyant and fun, and we arrive in Melk around 3 p.m. and find an incredible baroque fantasy famous for its library, which is mentioned in Umberto Ecco’s “Name of the Rose”. There has been an abbey and library on this site since the 12th century, one of the most important in the Holy Roman Empire. Situated on the Danube, a huge building dominates the picturesque town of Melk below. We enter and are immediately directed to the Abbey’s extremely interesting, modern and interactive museum. We make our way through the rest of the abbey – staterooms, library, and church – and wander over to town to do some banking and look around before heading back up to the Abbey and having a rest stop in its garden.

Vienna Beckons

Vienna beckons and she is just down the road with great directions; we arrive at about 6:15, finding parking easily. However easy a day it has been, we are both tired. Our hosts are heading out of town for the weekend and it turns out we will have the flat to ourselves for our time here. John runs to the corner store, buys some wine, and we all drink together; we unpack for the night and head out to their recommended local restaurant for dinner and an early evening. I have risotto with gorgonzola, and John has a wonderful dish of breaded and sautéed kohlrabi with a pesto sauce.

The meal is surprisingly good for the price so we wander back to our flat and enjoy the penthouse patio view as a welcoming full moon rises over Vienna.

Onboard the M/S Vesteråle: Delivering the Mail on Norway’s Coast
Into Trendy Balmain: Dinner and Drag Queens
Half-Timbered Rouen: Jeanne d’Arc’s Garden

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