Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

October 2007 : Melk

The little town of Melk nestles in the Danube Valley, about an hour and a quarter's train journey from Vienna's Westbahnhof. The town is dominated by the impressive bulk of the Benedictine abbey that sits above the centre and appears to grow out of it. It remains a working monastery, if that's the right word, where the monks supplement their income and generate the funds needed for the abbey's preservation and maintenance by encouraging tourism. It is indeed a hugely impressive complex, encompassing an exhibition, an amazing library and a church that must surely be one of the most gloriously ornate in Christendom, in addition to extensive grounds and out-buildings. There's also a very cool spiral staircase - see third last photo!

The rain poured down throughout all but a small part of my time in Melk, yet the visit was a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable experience. During summer months, the train trip can be combined with a Danube cruise and a shorter rail journey back to Vienna, on one ticket, to form an even more interesting circular tour.