Melk: How I discovered the sleeping beauty of a European village
As I arrived in Vienna totally unprepared with travel agenda or activities, I told myself, this will be the only chance to explore whether or not I planned to. The hostel clerk handed me some sight seeing brochures as I headed to feast on the breakfast spread. The hunger and previous night’s hangover took better of me and I feasted away matching up to the Caucasian appetite and dozed off on the same dining couch. So much for the new country I was set to explore.
Woke up in an hour, showered and started to read the sight seeing brochure when I was waiting for the rest of my group to get going. That’s when I spotted the Wachau valley, a half hour ride away from the main city of Vienna, very green and pristine. Happily announced to the group that Melk and Krems, the two towns that nested in Wachau valley would be the most suited for our day trip., and I was obliged. Train is the easiest way to get to Melk, though change of trains does call for at 2 junctions, the journey is pleasant through the country side with overlooking Alps.
|Austrian countryside on our train journey|
|picture perfect condos on the outskirts of Vienna|
The toy town
For the small town it is, Melk is easily traversable by foot and the walk through is good enough to put a smile on the tourist’s faces. I walked down the big road and the first thing to show up was the Abbey. This Abbey is the biggest structure in Melk and can be seen from all directions. Inside the Chapel are stained glass windows and mostly usual Church stuff. The entire village looked like a toy town, so perfect and clean.
The village has graveled roads and small shops that line alleys give a nice perspective to the small town’s self sufficiency. Typical European architecture!
As you walk through the town, a bridge crosses you to the other side of Danube’s arm. Rest of the walk to the real Danube is through an environment synonymous to a National Park. Well kept and gated community. There is one restaurant on the banks of Danube (Donau as it is called in the local language) and on the Saturday we visited, there were some senior citizens enjoying the sun and pizzas.
Donau, in mid May has just the right amount of sunlight to melt ice and get its swift flow all the way down from the Alps. Getting in the water was a strict no-no. The temperature was obviously that of Alps, icy cold.
A cruise shuttles between Melk and Vienna for tourists. Eurail pass that I used for free train travel would have also fetched me a discounted Cruise fare to cruise back to Vienna, if I had the time. I suggest this option to anyone who has ample time on hand.