Monday, August 20, 2007

Entering Vienna (Wien)

I wonder who built this temple on the outskirts of Vienna. I wonder what is it's story.

Looks like many of the windmills we have seen...

but a city appears behind it.

Vienna is one of four cities in the world to have a United Nations headquarters (New York, Geneva, Nairobi). There are several UN buildings on this north bank of the Danube.

Looking upriver.

Looking downriver.

The Hilton is very lovely and peaceful here on the south bank of the river, but you might want to stay closer to the city center.


The Locks near Korneuburg, Austria

We have another set of locks to go through to get to Vienna. These are near the city of Korneuburg.

When the doors close, the water starts rising. Once again I'll spare you the meter by meter filling.

Now we are near Vienna.

Kuenringer Castle

A fortified village at the foot of a ridge in the rocky Wachau region of the Danube river. It sits on the north shore of the Danube, at a bend in the river. Terraced vineyards line a ridge above the town, and produce the fine Heuriger wine for which the Wachau is famous. The town's main street, or "hauptstrasse," runs through the town end-to-end, bounded on the south by a fortified gate. Inside, the Church of the Poor Clares tends to the villagers.
A castle of the same name lies about a 45-minute walk up a twisting path from the village below. Dilapidated Roman walls form the skeleton of the fortress, another stronghold of the Babenberg family.
When the Duke of Austria captured and imprisoned King Richard the Lionhearted of England during the Third Crusade, he imprisoned the monarch here at Dürnstein (during Richard's stay, until 1193, the king had an illustrious affair with the beautiful musician Blondel). Eventually Richard was transferred to the Imperial Castle of Trifels in Germany and ransomed back to England.
Great story!!!

Stuff Seen on the Danube

From Bratislava to Vienna (Wien) we have Austria on both sides of the boat. There are lots more little summer houses/dacha/camps/fishing houses-whatever. Some are really quite "green" with their solar panels and composting toilets. Their buildup suggests that the river might just flood here.

Some are working on the river...

some are jet propelled...

or otherwise flying...

some seem to be lounging...

others tugging...

some make us think of family.


Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is the capitol and largest city of Slovakia. It used to be the administrative seat of Hungary. It is the first stop on our ride. Other hydrofoils are docked. Our seatmates are joining family here. Passengers are met at the dock by customs officals.

It looks like a great city and a great castle to explore.