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Magnificent Melk Abbey, Austria.

Magnificent Melk Abbey, Austria.

After a wonderful morning spent exploring the magnificent Melk Abbey D.B. and I had walked down from the hill overlooking the little township and then back towards the river through the little shopping precinct. We had stopped to browse and buy a couple of souvenirs along the way.

Melk Abbey sits on a rocky outcrop in Austria.

Melk Abbey sits on a rocky outcrop in Austria.

Soon back on board our longship, the Viking Tor,  we set sail towards Vienna in the early afternoon. We were now passing through the emerald green landscape of the UNESCO protected Wachau Valley.

Emerald Green Wachau Valley, Austria.

Emerald Green Wachau Valley, Austria.

The valley itself is famous for its rolling hills, old monasteries, castle ruins and fertile grape growing soils. We spent much of the early afternoon just relaxing  on the lovely glassed-in aquavit terrace of our riverboat, enjoying the scenery of this wonderful picturesque countryside as we sampled a glass or two of the local produce.

Viking Tor tied up at Krems, Austria.

Viking Tor tied up at Krems, Austria.

By about mid-afternoon we’d tied up in a little riverside township called Krems (population about 23,000).

Krems, Austria.

Krems, Austria.

Dearly beloved D.B. and I decided we’d like to do a little bit of exploring on our own this time rather than joining the optional winery tour group.

Spotting a smart little red and green sightseeing train, we thought we might be able to get some bearings on this little place by boarding it for a short tour around the small township.  Unfortunately it was already 4.00 p.m. and the train was in fact returning from its final run for the day. D.B. decided to have a bit of a chat to the rather friendly local train driver while I encouraged them both to pose for the camera. D.B. being in a teaching frame of mind, decided to give the friendly local train driver some good old Aussie lessons on how to signal a thumbs up! It made for a fun photo anyway.

Red and Green Sightseeing Train, Krems, Austria.

Red and Green Sightseeing Train, Krems, Austria.

D.B. and I then continued on our way, exploring the beautiful old cobblestone streets in pretty little Krems on foot.

As we wandered around we saw;

The cobblestoned streets of the old town area.

Cobble Stone Streets, Krems, Austria.

Some long avenues of flowering horse chestnut trees.

Horse Chestnut Flowers, Krems, Austria.

A most beautiful rambling wisteria.

Rambling Westeria, Krems, Austria.

More of the Rambling Wisteria in Krems, Austria.

The Pfarrkirche or Parish Church of St Vitus.

The Exterior of the Parish  Church of St Vitus, Krems, Austria.

Old Brass Plate on the Parish Church of St Vitus, Krems, Austria.

Stained Glass in the St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

More Stained Glass in St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

Station inside St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

The Organ, St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

The Dreifaltigkeitssaule or Holy Trinity Column dating from 1738.

Dreifaltigkeitssaule, Krems, Austria.

A delightful old vine-covered building.

Vine covered building, Krems, Austria.

Nicely renovated little frontages to very old homes with showy little flower boxes to attract attention.

Flower Box, Krems, Austria.

And lastly some beautiful purple bearded iris.

Purple Iris.

After about an hour or two spent just wandering we ambled back to the comfort of our ever comfortable floating hotel for yet another sumptuous dinner.  Life on board was so relaxed and carefree. Not even a bed to make come morning. D.B. and I just wish we had someone to spoil us like this all the time!

Dining Room onboard Viking Tor.

Dining Room onboard Viking Tor.

Here are some video links to see more of the beautiful Golden Wachau Valley and Krems:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1qJDBTxFj8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4sD6IjgH4k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1yGmvcDZk

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