Category: ‘Moi’

Donau Walzer: Vien

April 23, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Actual date: April 3, 2014.

Our ship arrived in Vienna at 6 AM. The tour bus was to drive around the Ringstrasse. The first sight was the Saint Francis of Assisi Church. We came upon a giant pillar [two photos], behind which was the giant ferris wheel. When I was 10 years old, my family came here to visit my dad’s mother. Vienna was my dad’s birthplace. We rode on the giant wheel in 1967.

A man rides a vespa in the city. A Honda dealership does well here. A view down the Danube Canal. Looking the other direction at the canal.

There are several buildings that I do not remember the names of, but I photographed them, so they must be important! LOL!

The Vienna State Opera House is seen from two side views.

The Natural History Museum in three passing shots.

The Austrian Parliament Building was so long, I had to capture it in many shots. Some locals in the EU countries bemoaned the fact that their governments’ decisions were made in other places because of the EU organization.

St. Stephens Cathedral is where my father was confirmed. Since it was bombed so badly in WWII, the stained glass windows were never restored back to their orignal condtion and the inside is only a shadow of its former glory. So, I took no photos of the interior.

In the afternoon, we took a cab to the farmers’ market.  Here are some photos of the goods on sale there.

The Intercontinental Hotel is where we stayed in 1967. It was across the street from the Stadtpark, where the Danube Canal runs. Last time I was here, I asked my father if there was ever ice on the Danube. He replied that yes, there was and that once he saw a deer stranded on the ice, floating down the Danube. I asked my mom on this trip if she thought he was just making it up to amuse us children and she said she thought he was. But I don’t know. I have seen deer swim the river back home, so I don’t know how far fetched it would really be for a deer to be up on the ice in the river.

Anyhow, we walked to the Joann Strauss Monument in the park. A short walk away was the fancy restaurant that we ate at when we were there in 1967. Note the ad for the Strauss and Mozart Concert that we were to attend that evening.

After dinner, those who wished were taken to the Mozart and Strauss concert performed by the Vienna Residence Orchestra at the Palais Auersperg. Photographs were not allowed during the show. The eight piece orchestra was sometimes joined by two singers and for some pieces two dancers. The lead vionlinst played a Stradivarius violin and I, a neophyte in the world of music, was able to appreciate a significant difference in the sound of this violin. It sounded soulful and vulnerable to me. Its voice had a depth of quality and resonance that was fuller of body than the other violins, yet it could be winnowed to a fineness that was remarkable. It was really something to experience to hear it played. The Mozart part of the concert was extremely entertaining and I was sort of not looking forward to the Strauss, thinking it would be boring. But I was wrong. Not only did the dancers entertain, but I was moved because it struck me how much my father would have loved hearing these waltzes in his hometown, many of which he had ice skated to during his lifetime. It brought me to tears to think of this.

Donau Walzer: Dürnstein

April 21, 2014 Posted by suefairview

After the ship was docked, we all walked up to tour the story-book town of Dürnstein, population 900. It doesn’t get any cuter or quainter than this little Austrian town. We walked up to the family cemetery, which was all in bloom with spring flowers and is famous for its ossuary.

Back in the town, folks were drinking at an open air tavern. The charming main street was clogged with tourists. Little side streets had stone steps to accomodate the rise in elevation. Another shot of Main St. Dürnstien is in a microclimate that allows for apricots to be grown. Thus, shops sell apricot products of all kinds: candles, soaps and liquors. This shop had all of the apricot boozes one could want. They even had free apricot schnapps and liqueur for tasting. I, who never drink because of the medication I am on, actually tasted a shot of each. Man did I get wasted! LOL! My mom did the same, so we wove our way through the rest of the town. Here is a shot of a look out from one of the many high-points of the town. Here is the entry to the abbey and the abbey’s square. One had to pay an exorbitant amount to enter; so we didn’t.

We ran into this beautiful and obedient German Shepherd dog and I couldn’t help but take his photo.

I also saw a sculler and took many shots with my motordrive camera so that one can see a full stroke.

Next stop: Vienna!

Donau Walzer: Wachau tal und Dürnstein

April 20, 2014 Posted by suefairview

We had only spent only a half day at Melk, so in the afternoon, we cast off for Dürnstein. We cruised up the Wachau valley, which is dotted on both sides by ancient castles and churches. I live on a river myself and am fascinated by life on a river. So, the next ten photos are of those things. Note the small children on the beach and the fisherman as well. On the 11th photo we can see the blue tower of the Baroque Dürnstein Abbey. The medieval castle, Burgruine Dürnstein, is actually visable in the 10th photo. This is where King Richard I Lionheart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria after their dispute during the Third Crusade. There are around 8 photos of the Abbey tower and town.

This was the first chance I had to see the crew mooring the ship and took some photos and I realize that this part will only be of interest to the boat afficiandos out there. The captain looks on as a mate brings the ship in to the docking space. A closeup of the controls. A crew member waits to toss the line. The ashore crew waits to retrieve the line. The line is tossed! The ashore crew heads to pick up the line. He’s got it! He clears a branch out of the way. The line is pulled up onto shore, and landed. Same thing. The line is pulled over to the halburk. Another crewmember takes a second line to the other halburk. The boat is secure! Most of the operational crew on the ship, are from Hungary.

Next time, we explore the tiny town of Dürnstein!

Donau Walzer: Melk 2

April 19, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Actual date: April 2, 2014

Continuing our tour of Melk Abbey, apparently the Abbey has the longest hallway in the world. Here is a photo of a porcelain oven used to heat the rooms in the abbey. These are fed from the back. The marble hall is immense and imposing. There was no artificial light, yet it was bright with the daylight only, which entered the long side windows as well as the clearstory windows. Marble was in gray, red and yellow, decorated with gold leaf. Our tour guide is in the second photo. The third photo shows the amazing fresco on the ceiling of the marble room. Our tour group mills around the large room. The room was heated through this beautiful grill in the floor. Clearstory windows that join the room with the rest of the building opened up like butterfly wings. Two views from the balcony of the abbey are shown. Two views of the abbey from outside on the balcony. Two more views from the balcony of the abbey, one of which looks toward the Danube.

Now we are in the Melk Abbey church. Enough gold leaf for everyone???? The St. Michael altar (painting by Johann Michael Rottmayr, 1723). Note how the ballisters of the railing are the same as the Vatican and other churches build in the 1600′s. A closeup of the sarcophagus in the St. Michael altar. The chancel is ornate and covered in gold leaf. The organ at the rear of the church. A closeup of the main altar. The Coloman altar in the transept. A closeup of the ballisters in the railing. The St. John the Baptist altar (painting by J.M. Rottmayr, 1727). A closeup of the sarcophagus of the St. John altar. A closeup of the detail gold leaf work below the clearstory windows in the church.

We also toured the famous library, but photos were not allowed. More photos of Melk abbey can be seen here and they include the library.

Back outside, we decided to walk back down to the ship through the cute little town of Melk. Of course the abbey can be seen from everywhere in the town. We might have stopped at a café like this one, but the streets and sidewalks were completely torn up with construction, so much so, that it was even difficult to walk. As you can see, the abbey towers above the town. Construction even filtered down towards the canal. This little “Ferryman” tavern was right near where our ship was docked. The Viking Legend at mooring in Melk.

Next we sail for Dürnstein!

Donau Walzer: Melk

April 18, 2014 Posted by suefairview

We moored in Melk in order to tour Melk Abbey. The Abbey is built on a hill overlooking the town and can be seen from miles away. Our tour bus took us up the hill, saving us the walk. The first few photos are of the walk down to the Abbey and into it. The person holding up the number “4A” is our tour guide. She was a student and very knowledgable. The inside of the Abbey houses a museum crammed with treasures and paintings. Unfortunately, the lighting is horrible for photographs and no flash is allowed! Each room was lit a different color and the rooms were so dark! My photos are terribly out of focus and I apologize. Other photographers were having the same difficulties. But, there you are. I hope you can enjoy the photos anyhow.

The next post will have photos of the church and library.