This morning we disembarked from the SS Maria Theresa and were transferred to Munich Airport for our various flights home. My holiday has been wonderful meeting new people, having some excellent cultural experiences and travelling through four countries.
Monday, May 22, 2023
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Passau is a city in Lower Bavaria, Germany, near the border with Austria which is also known as the "City of Three Rivers" as the river Danube is joined by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north. We were taken to a number of viewpoints of the three rivers.
The pilgrimage church Mariahilf in Passau with its baroque monastery rises on a hill above the city. The 17th century monastery was of great significance as a place of pilgrimage to Saint Mary.
We then went on a walking tour of the attractive little lanes and squares of Passau's Old Town.
Friday, May 19, 2023
After visiting the cathedral we went to a coffee house to try some Linzer Torte. The recipe for Linzer Torte is considered the oldest known cake recipe in the world. Personally, I found this cake rather dry and was glad of the coffee and water served with it. We then spent the rest of the morning walking around the Old Town of Linz.
We then left the city to visit a family owned cider farm where we were given a substantial lunch of organic cold cuts and bread produced on the farm. This was washed down with the farm's own apple juice, cider and perry. Finally we tasted two of the farm's schnapps varieties before returning to Linz.
The day started with a tour of the Nikolaihof Winery in Dürnstein which is the oldest winery in Austria. With almost 2,000 years of history, Nikolaihof is one of the first in the world to have begun working by biodynamic principles according to the regulations of the Demeter Association. No herbicides, fertilisers, pesticides, or synthetic sprays are used in the vineyards.
The small vineyard plots in the steep terraces along the Danube river are cultivated by vintner families through intensive manual work.
Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley. I decided to walk into Melk and photo Melk Abbey from the old part of the town where I did a little shopping.
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Our first stop in Vienna was the Vienna Art History Museum. Sadly this visit was very short so we only had a chance to see paintings from the Netherlands. The following two paintings are by Breughel and Vermeer.