“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Budapest” (Day 8)

The events on this page took place almost two months ago.  Proving once again that the most time-consuming aspect of any vacation is the subsequent reporting thereof.  Today is June 19 – the Minneapolis StarTribune travel section contained a long story on cruising the Rhine River with Viking.  We got away just in time . . .

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[We are cruising from Vienna to Melk.  While we do so, let’s visit our boat, the Embla.  This is the view from the 3rd deck atrium, sitting at the common computers.  Our room was in the basement, two decks below this.]

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[Looking down on deck two – the lobby.]

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[This is the Super, sitting in . . . the lobby.  Probably posting on FB.]

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[The other side of the third deck atrium from where I’m sitting at the computers.  This is the library – loaded with all kinds of info about Europe and places on our trip.  The Super put this place to good use.]

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[I’m looking down passageways (on both the left and right) toward the front of the ship (or in naval parlance: the front of the ship) where we spent most of our shipboard time – in either the indoor lounge or the outdoor lounge.  You could say we did a lot of “lounging.”]

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[There’s the painting of Embla again.  As I recall, she was either a Norwegian queen or a krumkake princess?]

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[Now our program director, Violeta, has advised to be on the lookout for castles.  They will appear everywhere there is an area high point.  This is the Wachau Valley, from here to Melk. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, “an outstanding example of riverine landscape.”]

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[Pretty day for a cruise and passing by small towns along the way.]

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[Looking aft (a nautical term) at where we’ve been and checking on our “driver.”]

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[And progressives that we are – looking forward again.]

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[Ahoy, castle ahead!]

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[Still a chilly day.  So, when the spirit moved, we’d go outside for a photo op.  If the spirit didn’t move, we’d just shoot through glass.]

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[The Super demonstrates the art of river cruising. Wake early, while still a chill in the air, shoot some castle photos and then hunker down to watch the world go by. Occasionally look back to see where you’ve been and to make sure someone is still at the helm.]

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[As we steam through, it appears likely this was my one and only boat ride through Durnstein, Austria.]

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[Aaahh, this is nice.]

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[The Embla bell . . . oh, you can see that.]

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[Vertical vineyards]

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[Blondel singing to Richard the Lionhearted . . . it may have been”Shelter from the Storm”?]

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[More vertical vineyards]

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[A fellow cruiser]

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[You may occasionally run across a giant nose in someone’s yard, or, if you are an IU alum, run across at town named after a famous Hoosier swimmer.]

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[Past Spitz . . . ]

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[Trending toward Melk . . . ]

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[Shooting from the outdoor lounge to the indoor lounge with folks on the roof.]

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[Dr. Kiehne preferring the views from the inside.]

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[Rescue practice – two guys could not make any progress trying to paddle against the current.]

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[House on a rock?  Is this Wisconsin?]

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[Our first sighting of the Benedictine Abbey at Melk . . . ]

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[Melk, we are here!]

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I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented…. I forgot where I was going with this.  ~  Anon

Up Next:  Part II in Melk

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