Monday, September 25, 2017

Wachau Valley

After departing from Dürnstein, our ship cruised on the Danube through the Wachau Valley in Lower Austria. Known for its rolling hills, vineyards and fortresses, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dürnstein, Austria

Walking into Dürnstein, the Danube was on our left.

The vineyards of Domäne Wachau, one of Austria's most renowned wineries, were on our right.

Those are the ruins of the medieval Dürnstein Castle up there on that rocky cliff overlooking the vineyards and the town. It was built in the early 12th century and abandoned in 1679.

Everywhere we go, my daughter is always leading the way, mostly because I don't walk as fast as she does.

Dürnstein Abbey Church, built in the 1700's.

Lots of lovely items for sale in the many shops of the town.

One last look at the vineyards, before heading back to our ship and a cruise through the Wachau valley. You can see the Danube in the distance just beyond the vineyards.

After our busy day in Vienna, it was nice to spend a relaxing day strolling around Dürnstein in the morning and cruising on the Danube in the afternoon. Dürnstein is a small town on the Danube River and one of the most visited tourist spots in the Wachau region. It wasn't very crowded and offered some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Classical Viennese Concert

We ended our day in Vienna by attending a concert at Wiener Konzerthaus. This concert house opened in 1913.

Mozart was giving us a serious look at we passed by.

Our concert was held in Mozart Hall. There are two other concert halls in the building and concerts can be held simultaneously since each hall is soundproofed.

There were opera singers too and they were wonderful!

Taking a bow.

Returning for an encore!

The program.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens

Our morning in Vienna had been cloudy and rainy, but the clouds started to disappear and the sun came out as we arrived at the palace in the early afternoon.

Portrait of Maria Theresa.

Looking back at the south side of the palace from the gardens.

The Neptune Fountain with the Gloriette sitting behind it on Schönbrunn Hill.

The Schönbrunn Palace started out as a hunting lodge in the 17th century. It was later built and remodeled during the reign (1740-1780) of the Empress Maria Theresa and was used as her imperial summer residence. Following her death in 1780, the palace was not used again until the reign of Emperor Franz II in the early 19th century. At that time, it was renovated and refurbished to bring it up to date and given the appearance it still retains today. Franz Joseph, the longest reigning emperor of Austria, was born here in 1830 and spent much of his life at Schönbrunn. He died here at the age of 86 in 1916. Following the downfall of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918, the palace became the property of the Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The Vienna State Opera was opened by Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Josef I in May, 1869.

The arcades at the entrance to the opera house.

The Albertina Museum Palace.

Statue of Franz Josef I at the Albertina Museum.

I managed to get a quick photo of the Mozart Monument in the Vienna Burggarten as we drove by.

Another drive-by photo of the Austrian Parliament Building, built 1874-1883.

After leaving Bratislava, we sailed through the night and woke up the next morning in Vienna, Austria. It was cloudy and a little rainy for our morning tour of the city, so I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. It did clear up and the sun came out in the afternoon for our tour of Schönbrunn Palace and I will show those photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


St. Martin's Cathedral is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bratislava. It was consecrated in 1452 and sits on the edge of the city's historic Old Town district just below Bratislava Castle.

Bratislava Castle sits high on a rocky hill overlooking the Danube and next to Old Town,

At the end of this street is Michael's Gate, the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications of Bratislava. It was built around the year 1300.

A beautiful example of Slovakian crystal that I bought in one of the shops in Old Town. It's small, only about 3 inches tall. I couldn't resist!

Seen outside another shop in Old Town.

The Old Town Hall was built in the 14th century and is the oldest city hall in the country and one of the oldest stone buildings in Bratislava. The tower was built in 1370.

The Slovak National Theatre on Hviezdoslav Square built in 1885-1886.

One of the many cute little shops in the Old Town district.

The capital and largest city in Slovakia, Bratislava was the first stop on our Danube River cruise after leaving Budapest. We spent the afternoon walking around the Old Town district and also did a little shopping.

Linking to Tom's Tuesday's Treasures.