Avalon River Cruise – Durnstein & Melk

One thing that I am enjoying about river cruising is getting to meet the other passengers on- board. It is so different than ocean cruising. With only about 160 passengers, river cruising is a more intimate experience. You really get to know the other passengers.

Durnstein is a charming German town that is known for apricots and it’s Christmas market during the season. They have apricot EVERYTHING, my favorite was a specialty they make that is apricots soaked in a apricot brandy, it was sweet and refreshing. The town has one street that is lined with shops and cafes. After our short tour of the city we has some free time to look around.

After our short visit to Durnstein we made our way to Melk through the Wachau Valley. The Wachau Valley is beautiful and full of vineyards, our cruise director did an informative narration about the area as we sailed through it.

In Melk we had a guided tour of the Melk Abby, which is still an active Abby. The tour was about an hour and ended in the chapel. The must see here is first the library, it’s beautiful and houses about 85,000 printed books and 2,000 illuminated manuscripts. It was truly amazing, second the church, wow. It does come across over the top with all the gold but, it’s a sight to see. It’s beautiful in it’s own way, and third the gardens. There is a little cafe there, nice place to have a drink but, if you pass through the gardens to the back of the property the view of Melk is amazing. It has a nice path to take a walk.

We had the option to take the bus back to the boat or walk, I walked. It does take about 20 minutes. The town of Melk is small, really just one street with shops and cafes.

Tonight we had a wine tasting of the wines that come from the Wachau Valley. Mostly white wines, since that is what they produced. You had the opportunity to buy these wines. That is something else that is different about river cruising, if you are out and about in the towns and find a wine or drink you like you can bring it back on the ship and enjoy it while sailing.

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