Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Durnstein, Austria - Day 3 - Mom's birthday

Just a quick update with some photos.  Today was Durnstein.  Beautiful little town with a castle ruin above (where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192...or thereabouts.)

Yesterday, sailing out of Vienna enjoying our view

Durnstein, castle ruin

Stift Durnstein - beautiful blue, matches the sky

Little Alleyways

One of the (many) nice things about river cruises is that even if there are multiple ships in a port there are still only 200 people in town, not 10,000!  Allows photos like this...

This picture doesn't do the church justice.  Also, there are two skeletons, dressed in beautiful period clothing (is it 'period clothing' if it is REALLY the true clothing of the times, not something re-created?) covered in jewelry.   The one on the left as you enter has the name Clementis and the one on the right has the name Favstini  (both have an S above the name and an M below - no idea what the significance of that is)

Go through an unmarked doorway in the church and down a hallway and suddenly you're on the church steeple, looking over the river.

We've been supremely lucky with our weather so far

Looking over the Wachau Valley

Ken and I 'found' a biergarten and conveniently the only other 4 people there were friends from the ship so Patsy took our picture

The Main Street in Durnstein (didn't write the street name down and don't have the map handy at the moment)

We did another climb, up the hill  towards the ruins (they may call it a mountain, but since we're only at 600ft above sea level here and we live near the Sierra,  it's a hill)

I stopped to do a quick 2 minute sketch (amazing what getting back into art does)

A vineyard with the castle wall in the background

Here's the sketch - I said it was quick

Back on the ship, Ken gets to enjoy his cigar and a beer

Scenic sailing down the Danube, castles dotting the shore - we're told this is nothing compared to our sail down the Rhine in a few days.

Stift Durnstein from the ship

Family time

Richard the Lionheart and his minstrel (again, don't have my notes handy - the guy who went up and down the area looking for King Richard and found him when they both sang the same song)

The scenery is like nothing I've seen in America.  Not saying one is better or worse than the other.  Just different.

Got me in a photo with the family now

This building has rabbits running along the middle roof line - Tamas told us a story about rabbit shit....you probably had to be there to find the humor!  ;-)

Everywhere we looked was something wonderful

The day was also very special because it was Mom's birthday.  It may be cheesy but we 6 wore the same shirt once we were back on the ship and to dinner.  Oh, and every day we meet someone who walks up to us (even without the shirts) and asks me if I'm Pam and Randy's daughter.

Dinner was the usual multi-course affair, but tonight we had many visitors to our table wishing Mom a happy birthday, and after our normal dessert, the crew brought out a wonderful chocolate mousse cake for Mom and some of the lovely friends we've mentioned came over and sang happy birthday, but it wasn't just the normal happy birthday song, nope, one of the friends, Susan, is an opera singer.  It was goose bump time during this particular happy birthday song!

Happy Birthday to Mom!!!  Love you!


  1. I found your blog on Cruise Critic, and I feel like I'm getting a little preview of our much-anticipated cruise this fall! We'll be on the River Ambassador from Vienna to Nuremburg, then a bus to Prague.. It seems like you like your beer—my husband is obsessed with beer culture, and we hope to find at least one bier garten in every city we visit. How's the beer on the ship? Do they have a decent local selection?

    1. Hi Liz, My husband is the beer fan. I'm along for the ride for this part - and have to say I'm enjoying learning about beers. Beer - on the River Princess they have Becks on tap and bottled beer is Gosser and Czech Budweiser. They did bring on a dark beer for a special lunch, and it hasn't run out yet, though I'm not sure what it is.