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11 travelers at this place

  • Day16

    Biking from Germany to Austria

    September 30, 2017 in Austria ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    The main event today was our long anticipated bike ride from Passau, Germany to Engelhatszell, Austria. All six of us have been planning to do this for months. We started with another hearty breakfast (porridge for extra fuel). The whole idea with the bike ride is that we bike while the boat cruises. Pretty cool to think that we nearly kept up with the boat for a total of 28 km! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

    We got set up with our bikes (Tyler ended up with a helmet that had maple leaves on it). The first few minutes of the ride were through the town to get to the bike path along the river. Definitely easier to bike through the city when you have a near 7 ft tall German man named Lars holding traffic for the group. We had three guides: Ilse, Lars, and Jeanette. We even passed the spot where I had my small fall yesterday and all was good! This part was a little stressful with the cobblestones and slight hills but everyone made it and then we were on a path by the river.

    It was a brisk but beautiful morning. The whole bike ride was quite a lovely experience. It was overall quite even terrain, occasionally small incline up or down. I mostly stayed near the middle of the pack and was very comfortable with that (Tyler liked to be near the lead but frequently checked in with me to give me water and make sure I was ok). I think Tyler was hoping to get up to a faster speed than we did. It just wasn't that type of bike ride.

    For me, looking around at the beautiful autumnal leaves was a highlight. The scenery was quite breathtaking. We took a brief pause at the German/Austrian border (no passports just a sign on the side of the road). The guides had mentioned at the start that we would be taking two ferries later in the ride. We got to the point where the first ferry was supposed to pick us up and after a few minutes, the guides realized that they'd already changed to the winter schedule and no ferry would be coming. Ilse described it as a "curious situation." What this meant was walking through a couple felled cornfields and carrying our bikes up and down 45 stairs when we got to the bridge by the lock. It did mean we got to see our boat as it had entered the lock and was still in the process of going through. We can now say we caught up to the boat! After the lock, it was just a short bike ride to our beer stop in Engelhartszell. I had a radler (beer and lemonade) and we all had pretzels. It was probably the most well earned drink of the trip so far since we had biked all morning... excluding Brett's drink after the marathon of course.

    The last bit of the bike ride flew by. We did get to take the short ferry ride across the river to the area near where our ship was docked. What a beautiful way to spend the morning!!!

    We returned to the ship and it set sail just about immediately. We had lunch and then had a very relaxing afternoon. Sitting on the top deck reading was beautiful although a bit windy. I did have a short nap and then there was tea served in the lounge. It was a refreshing snack and peppermint tea. I went back to the room and iced my bug bite (of course I got a bug bite when Tyler and I were hiking in Passau). I've also got some great bruises from biking on my other leg... I'm overall a bit battered and bruised but that's kinda par for the course for me.

    Tonight we were invited to an exclusive gala dinner because of the type of room that Kelly and Celeste booked. This dinner was served in the Captain's Club area. The highlights of the meal were the cheese ravioli that was much like a perogy, the yummy pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto and especially the pastry chef surprise dessert. It was a white chocolate dome that was hiding a macaron and whipped cream inside. Tyler's favorite dessert of the trip!!! We also had a cake for Celeste's birthday and sang Happy Birthday. I had asked for a cheese plate as well and they brought a huge cheese plate. Way more than we needed and everyone (except Tyler) just had a few bites.

    Right after supper, we all got changed for a stroll into Grein, the town where we had docked for the night. We were just docked there until around 3:30 am actually as it was intended as just as much time as the captains needed to rest after the long day.

    Grein looks to be a very tiny place. We meandered around for a while and found a fountain to take some photos with. Then we headed back to the boat after a photo with the Auf Vedersen sign as homage to The Sound of Music. In the boat, they had a concert of Austrian musicians playing Dixieland music. We caught the last couple songs which were very enjoyable. We finished the evening in the lounge. Looking forward to exploring Spitz, Austria tomorrow!!

    Brooke & Tyler
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  • Day7

    Donaustrand und Zille

    July 18, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Heute verbringen wir den halben Tag am hotel UND genießen nochmal den schönen Garten mit Seilbahn, Schwimmteich und Streichelzoo. Nachmittags geht es los auf eine Piraten Bootstour auf der Donau. Wir fahren mit ein paar Leuten auf einer Zille und jeder darf Mal ans Steuer! Danach gibt es eine "Schatzsuche" und die Kinder dürfen am Donaustrand spielen. Steine ins Wasser werfen ist sooo toll😊
    Abends wird im Garten gegrillt- ein schöner Abschluss für diesen Urlaub. Wir könnten locker nochmal eine Woche dranhängen! Besonders Elli ist traurig, weil sie zwei "Freundinnen" gefunden hat!
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  • Day16


    June 25, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We docked at Engelhartzell for about an hour. Earlier some of the guests went for a bike tour along the Danube and this was the stop that we picked them up.

    Rather than stay on the boat we went for a walk, this town only has a few residents but they have the creepiest church I have ever seen. The outside is very pretty and even the painted frescos on the ceiling are beautiful. Then you take in more of the detail at it is just creepy. There are 6 glass coffins with the skeletons dressed in luxurious robes and jewels . The weird statues of Jesus adorn the walls and floor space.

    The original abbey was founded in 1293 by a Bishop of Passau, as a Cistercian monastery. It was settled in 1295 by monks from Wilhering Abbey. It suffered a considerable decline, both spiritual and financial, in the period of the Protestant Reformation, and for a time passed into private ownership. From 1618 onwards the intervention and support of Wilhering Abbey gradually restored it.
    On Easter Sunday 1699, a disastrous fire plunged the abbey once again into financial difficulties and from 1720 its management was in the hands of administrators. In 1746, the last of Engelszell's abbots of the Common Observance, was appointed and soon rebuilt the financials. Between 1754 and 1764 the Abbey was rebuilt as the present-day abbey church.

    In 1925, Engelhartszell was occupied and re-founded as a Trappist monastery by refugee German monks expelled after World War I. (Trappist monks are a branch of the Cistercian order of monks founded in 1664 and noted for an austere rule that includes remaining silent for much of the time.)

    On 2 December 1939, the abbey was confiscated by the Gestapo and the 73 community members were evicted. Four monks were sent to Dachau Concentration Camp, while others were imprisoned elsewhere or drafted into the Wehrmacht.

    At the end of the war in 1945, only about a third of the previous community returned.

    As at 2012, the number of monks in the community was 7.

    We left the Abbey feeling like we had been in a horror movie, certainly not a church that you would like to sit and reflect.
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