Monthly Archives: February 2016

Dürnstein, Austria – Tauck River Cruise

What better way to spend an afternoon once training has finished, we’re all up for some polished service while relaxing with local wines from the famous Wachau Valley.

Not far from docking now and looking forward to a visit of the UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Wachau Valley.

Deb Corbett our representative from Australia taking it easy while we chat about our itinerary.

From a short stretch, it looks almost fairy tale in its splendour. Gliding up towards these magnificent castles and abbeys is one of the best ways you can simply enjoy yourself, basking in the sunlight and marvel at the views.

Once docked at the pier on the Danube, it’s only a short walk up to some impressive sites.

Another scenic walk along the esplanade towards the small township which is filled with remarkably beautiful Baroque-style architecture of the 16th Century.

This wine growing region is part of  well-preserved medieval landscapes which have provided boutique white wines for centuries.

In the distance, Dürnstein is famous for the Künringerburg Fortress, where it was said that the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192.

Friedhof Dürnstein, Austrian cemeteries are quite interesting because they rent graves instead of buying them and must continue to pay or the remains are removed.

This monastery of the Augustinian Canons was dissolved in 1788 by Emperor Joseph II as part of a larger reform. It was first built on a rock cliff high above the Danube in 1410 and then modified and baroquized in the first half of the 18th Century.

Doors galore, just waiting to be seen, admired and photographed. Plenty to choose from …

It’s that time of the year colours here are changing as well readying itself for the winter.

Finishing off the day with a wine tasting at the Alte Klosterkeller, sampling some of the region’s best varieties. Prost!

Next stop Vienna …

Bratislava, Slovakia – Tauck River Cruise

Lovely to look out your window and be greeted by a swan who thinks you should’ve been up long ago admiring the view. And feeding them too …

Brrr … Not wrong, it’s an early start, but we’ve so much more ahead of us with some training at Tauck’s Academy and then an onshore visit to Bratislava.

On the Danube River there’s a total of 19 locks and only one is between Budapest and Bratislava of which we passed through earlier.

Interesting to see how we’re lined up, with MS Treasures the last to be guided through the massive metal gates then raise the boat up to the new water level.

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On our way again once the gates open.

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A short walk up from the pier where MS Treasures is moored,  the views are stunning along the Danube River, with clear skies over a small but exquisite city.

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A love for the famous composer, the city embraces a Mozart Festival each year as he’d visited here many times.

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A plethora of sites to visit …

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Bratislava Castle, the massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of the city.

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The location provides excellent views of Bratislava, Austria and in clearer weather apparently parts of Hungary.

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Many legends are connected with the history of this castle – shown here is ‘bronze statue of woman and magpies’.

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Moody view from the Castle on a previous visit in 2011.

Walking around the old town makes a welcome scene for a cuppa and cake.

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One of the most iconic bronze statues – and photographed. Čumil is either resting after cleaning the sewer or looking up women’s skirts.

After the statue had lost its head twice due to inattentive drivers, it was decided to place a unique road sign next to it.

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Memorial Statue, this one is much more serious.

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Slovakia joined NATO in March 2004. From 2006 the army transformed into a fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished.

Enjoying the leisurely pace of the city and just happy to walk around taking photos.

However, back on board MS Treasures, looks like the party’s about to start after finishing some more training.

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The brass Band entertained us after dinner and was hilarious. Best fun I’ve seen with a repertoire I’d love to see repeated.

Well it’s bye for now Bratislava and next day we’ll be in Dürnstein.