Melk and Krems, 2007

The alarm rang at 5.20am. Me: Get out of bed now or we'll be late. B: Why can't you go first? Me: Even if I went first, if you stay in bed, we'll still be late.

She was sore about this remark for the entire morning. All this, after boasting the night before about how she could always wake up for early meetings at work. We made the 6.18 train, and even managed to buy sandwiches at Anker - which had become our default sandwich shop in Vienna - before boarding.

Melk Abbey

It was raining quite heavily when we arrived at Melk. It looked like a lovely town. We went for a tour of the monastery at Melk Abbey with several groups of tourists. It wasn't our intention to join them. They just overwhelmed the place, one wave after another, wherever we happened to stop. We'd planned to catch the 11.30 ferry to Krems but finished our tour of the building only at eleven - with the gardens to go - so we decided to take the 13.50 instead. We nearly missed that as well, having been greedy for dessert after lunch.

On the ferry, we sat in the open-air area. As we passed each significant place along the Danube in this part of the Wachau, a recorded commentary would tell us, in German, English and Japanese, what we were seeing. Each time an announcement was made, many people, but most noticeably the Japanese tourists, would come out, snap a picture, and go back in to their seats.

Baroque architecture in Krems

Krems was rather dull, but perhaps it was because we didn't have a plan and didn't know where to go. There were vineyards around but we hadn't booked any trips in advance. We wouldn't have had time to visit them anyway.

The main pedestrian street was full of interesting shops that were closed. There was supposedly lots of Baroque architecture to admire but I didn't know what Baroque architecture looked like then, so I assumed that all the buildings I saw were Baroque.

We did stumble into Krems University, which had more modern architecture that I was rather fascinated by. I was at least able to tell that they weren't Baroque.

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