This little town of 886 residents, situated in the Wachau Valley, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dürnstein is known for its apricots, wine production https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wachau_wine , and for Burgruine (Durnstein) Castle, built around 1150 and demolished five centuries later near the end of the Thirty Years’ War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgruine_Dürnstein . The castle has been privately owned for centuries.
Our morning in Durnstein was filled with a bike ride from Durnstein to Krems, about 3 kilometers away, where we were treated to ice cream. Great fun traversing cobblestone streets on bike. No pictures, however.
Back to the boat for lunch, then a tour of the town this afternoon. This is the view of Durnstein one has approaching by boat.
Our guide this year, a retired history teacher, mentioned that tradition holding that Richard I of England was imprisoned there might not have been true http://www.travelsignposts.com/river-cruises/featured/durnstein-danube-river-cruise – Richard the Lion-Heart , but rather that he was imprisoned by house arrest elsewhere. Tradition holds that his minstrel, Blondel, happened upon King Richard while singing English ballads in his wandering along the river. Hearing this, Richard sang the next verse and was thus discovered. Blondel is memorialized by a hotel in town.
We had toured the Durnstein Abbey in 2013 – you may refer to barrett915.me for pictures of the interior – so we walked about its Haupstrasse – its only, thus main, street. We came upon a panoramic view at the end of the street, in front of a hotel.
Later, some of us climbed the mountain behind Durnstein to investigate the castle, and take more pictures. This was moderately taxing, as the path was made slippery by a rain shower and the footing was quite uneven, but the reward of a panoramic view made it all worth the effort.
On the way down, we visited the original town cemetery, but found rather recent grave markers.
We did grab a few shots of the family from castle hill, and, true to form, there is always a cutup.
These are Beth and Steve Welz, good friends who joined us on this trip.
We boarded our ship for a pre-supper cocktail cruise of the Wachau Valley on our way to Linz, Austria.
This evening was special for Amy and me. We wanted to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary – August 28th in fact – by renewing our vows in the company of our family and close friends. We had arranged with Tauck to have dinner together, and asked the Captain and staff to help in the ceremony. Imagine two people committed to each other for that long and promising to continue that commitment indefinitely. There were misty eyes, trembling voices, but we got through it, officiated by Jeremy, Tauck’s Tour Director, and the Captain of the Swiss Jewel. This first picture was taken by Bruce Ilgen.
I see now that I got everyone’s set of eyes, if not the whole face, but here is our company of witnesses.