Romance on the Danube // Day 10

After a week plus in Europe, I'd like to announce that I'm a newfound fan of ear plugs. I've used them in nearly every hotel so far (so that's 7 "hotels") and it's kind of life changing. When I get back to good ole America, I'm going to get myself a large Dunkin Donuts iced tea and a box of ear plugs. Hello peaceful nights.

Either way, after bidding K a fond farewell into a cab this morning, I spent the day with family in the Wachau Valley. It was not that long of a day either. We got picked up at 9 am ... and dropped off just before 6pm. I also snuck in a good bus nap - so that was a win. After running a muck around Vienna yesterday, a day outside the city felt like a good stretch of nature. Plus, apparently this region is declared a UNESCO world heritage site so another good reason. Although, it feels like everything we have visited in the last week has that designation so maybe it's not that cool?

A Day on the Danube
So the general breakdown here was one of my favorite bus / boat / bus combos. It's for those special ones that I break out the Dramamine. Of all the modes of transportation, it's buses that do me in the most. That being said, this bus was pretty great. It had wifi, reclining seats, two levels, and big windows. It did not have extra personal space. 

Here's the itinerary:
- bus to another bus to a 1.5 hr bus ride
- boat ride from Spitz to Melk
- lunch in Melk
- tour of the Melk Abbey
- ride home

The boat ride was one of those things you can you did - but would really have benefited from a little bit more narration. I did nearly jump out of my chair when I saw a "Viking River Cruise" coast on by. I practically have their commercials memorized from watching Downton Abbey. The Danube is a pretty impressive river. It is the 2nd longest European river and touches 9 countries.
By the time we got to Melk, we had formally adopted a woman named Suzanne who was traveling alone. Bless her heart for spending the ENTIRE day with us. I even caught her explaining things to Grampy when he couldn't hear them on the Abbey tour.

The Melk Abbey was pretty amazing as well. In our two hours, we clearly barely touched the surface... in part because they wouldn't let us run through all 500 rooms.  We only got to see like 6 - and didn't see any monks. But the views were just completely insane. I'm not a real museum person but I could have spent a few hours here just walking around the grounds and learning more about their day to day. Also, it doesn't appear that this palace has seen any damage since it was founded in 1089. Everywhere else we've been appears to have some incredibly pictures of aerial bomb damage.
 Nighttime in Vienna
It's both a little embarrassing and completely satisfying to eat pizza in Vienna. After 10 days of spaetzle, sausage, pancake soup, etc... pizza just sounded amazing. So, after the tour got back we parked ourselves in the middle of a plaza and ate some delicious pizza at Pizzeria Venezia.

In the spirit of crushing some good walking mileage each day, Dad and I took a evening city walk. He's only here for one more day so I showed him a few things I had seen earlier - specifically the Anchor Clock. My dad is a total clock man. 
Tomorrow? Wrapping up the sights in Vienna. I'm potentially planning a day trip to Halstatt on my way back to Munich later this week.

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