Austria
Spitz

Here you’ll find travel reports about Spitz. Discover travel destinations in Austria of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day232

    Day 233: Wachau Cultural Landscape

    October 5, 2017 in Austria

    Day trip time! Just to the west of Vienna is a world heritage site known as the Wachau Cultural Landscape which runs along a long narrow valley of the Danube. Without a car the only way to visit was a long day-trip, so off we went (without poor Schnitzel who spent the day at home on his own).

    Up to the Westbahnhof where we bought our tickets and hopped on a train to St Polten about an hour west of Vienna, then another train northwest to the small town of Melk. Here is a huge monastery, one of the largest in central Europe, known as Melk Abbey. It sits on a tall hill above the town, very imposing, so we walked over and checked it out. Nice museum exhibition here where I wasn't allowed to film of course, followed by a church where I also wasn't allowed to film. I still don't know why they don't allow it in all these places!

    Wandered around the gardens for a little while then headed back into the town and grabbed some lunch at a restaurant. Decent food though a little overpriced for what it was - tourist town fare I guess. Next up we walked over to the wharf on the Danube where hundreds of grey-haired people were waiting for river cruises. We elbowed our way to a separate wharf and boarded, managing to snag a nice spot on the upper deck in the sun. Lucky for us they had table service too so we could enjoy a couple of drinks watching the river roll by!

    This stretch of the river is characterised by vineyards up steep hills, a couple of ruined castles, and some nice little old hamlets as well, though our boat didn't stop at any of them, just cruised past. We were on board for probably about 90 minutes and quite enjoyed it, though I'm generally not a big fan of wine-growing world heritage sites. I find them a bit same-y and not even that unique I guess? Wine is grown in a lot of areas.

    Finally arrived in Krems by around 3:30pm, a much larger town this time. After a quick skim of the literature we decided to just film a little bit and then head off, as nothing in town seemed that appealing. It was OK, just a bit bland I guess!

    Hustled to the station where we just made it in time for a train to St Polten where we caught the next train back to Vienna, arriving back around 5:30pm. Given that we'd left around 8:30am, it had been a long day! Microwaved dinners again as neither of us felt like heading out!
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  • Day17

    The Wachau Valley and Spitz, Austria

    October 1, 2017 in Austria

    This morning we woke up and it seemed really hard to get out of bed, even after a solid 8 hours of sleep. It is going to be really hard getting back to regular life after this. Anyways, we had a lazy breakfast with mimosas and eggs benedict. Then it was time to get ready for the morning tour.

    Our boat docked in Spitz, Austria around 9:00. We were ready to offload the ship around 9:30 and met with our tour guide, Verena.

    All 6 of us did the same tour together. It was a tour of a shipping museum mixed with an opportunity to taste different apricot food and drink. They split the group into two sections and Brooke and I went to the apricot tasting first.

    Spitz is located in the Wachau Walley which is very abundant in apricots and they had six different items for us to taste. The reason for apricots being an important product has something to do with an insect that infected the vineyards in the 19th century. The apricots saved the farmers from financial ruin and remain an important product even today. First up was an apricot schnapps which was slightly better than a regular straight vodka (at around 10:00 AM). Next up was an apricot liqueur which was like drinking liquid gold, to die for. Afterwards we had an apricot jam which was very delicious. Then there was a chocolate coated apricot kernel. The kernel of the apricot is a little seed that is inside the pit (looks like a nut). It normally has traces of cyanide in it and is normally poisonous, but by roasting them it makes it safe to eat. Verena proved this by eating one herself before offering them to us. These were actually quite tasty. Next was an apricot chutney that was similar to a BBQ sauce (which Brooke loved). And last was more apricot kernels that were roasted and lightly salted. All of these were delicious and quite a treat!

    After we finished with the tasting, we switched guides and went through the shipping museum. This was all about how they used to transport goods up and down the Danube centuries ago before they had steam engine boats. There were some nifty miniature models of boats throughout. The models were made by a man who is now 95 years old and the most intricate one took 12 years to build. The museum tour was ok, but not extremely interesting. I don't think I would go on my own and I'm sure they get everyone to go because of the apricot tastings.

    Next we went back to the ship where our tour guide held a wine tasting for us. We sampled four wines from the Wachau Valley, all from the same grape variety, gruner veltliner. They were quite generous pours for just tastes and by the end of it, I was definitely starting to feel the wine and it was only noon. Lunch was next and we all needed some solid food. For some reason I had two desserts again.....uh oh said the waistline....oh well :)

    After lunch we were all signed up for a hike (which was well needed) through the wine country hillsides. We walked up through a forested area and made it to the top of the hills beside the river where all of the vines are planted. Much of the wine is grown on terraces and it creates a picturesque landscape of wine country mixed with the Austrian villages, beautiful! We stopped for a moment to enjoy the scenery and take some pictures. Brett, Rae, and I clambered up to the top of a stone archway and Brooke got some great shots.

    We got back to the boat around 2:30 and the boat departed shortly thereafter. We spent part of it up on the top deck enjoying the view of the hillsides as we cruised by. It gets quite breezy up on the top when the boat is moving so we have to be dressed warmly. Brooke finished her book this afternoon, The Woman in Berlin, and will try to start her next one soon. We also had some time to grab a nap and then some Zelda (Brooke suggested it).

    We got changed for dinner and I managed to do another load of laundry! Now I have clean socks for the rest of the trip. This evening, lots of the boat passengers got off to go to a private concert in Vienna. We elected not to go since we went to a concert in Prague and we knew that it would be something similar with only 8 or 9 musicians. And we would be able to enjoy the boat with far less people. They ended serving dinner quite early and it was a buffet service. We chose to eat later to avoid the rush of people which was a smart idea.

    For dinner we ate with a couple we had met from Halifax, Bill and Jill. It was lovely to eat together and share in the conversation with some fellow Canadians (everyone had a mutual distaste for Air Canada Rouge). Dinner was classic Austrian food and the highlight was the wiener schnitzel, which I had to have a double portion of. Overall I ate way way way too much food and felt incredibly uncomfortable after dinner. So much so that I think I might have to put myself on a self-imposed diet tomorrow.

    After dinner we went and enjoyed the quiet lounge without the entire boat on board. It was quite nice actually. We took a picture with our favorite bartender, Lazlo, who is switching to a different boat tomorrow.

    Once the rest of the boat got back from the private concert the lounge got much more busy. They had actually served a late lunch (must be at a wedding) of Austrian food. We grabbed a road pretzel for tomorrow and decided to call it an early night.

    Tomorrow we explore Vienna!

    Tyler and Brooke
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Spitz, Шпиц, Spitz an der Donau, 施皮茨

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