Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friday, Vienna

We started off in the morning at our favorite bakery, Ankar, then hit the road again. Before hitting the road, we had to take another trip in the car elevator. It was a challenge and we were all in stitches laughing by the time it was all over. We stopped in the town of Melk to visit the Benedictine abbey there. We had a guided tour and were allowed to take pictures, just without using a flash. There were three rooms in the abbey that were really stunning: the Marble Hall, the Library and the Chapel. The Marble Hall was exactly that... floor to ceiling marble in every shade. It had carved columns and intricate detail, lots of gasps when we entered. The library was wonderful as well. Our tour guide said that they abbey owns over 1,000 books that are hand written. One monarch had all of the books rebound in the 18th century so they would all look uniform. Finally the chapel... I have never seen anything like this before in my life. I'm pretty sure every jaw drops at least an inch upon entry to the chapel. We got to the chapel about 5 minutes before noon. At noon the monks in the abbey practiced the midday blessings. So we sat though and followed along in our program. We did call and response and a couple of hyms... all in German. I think we did a respectable job. It was really a cool experience; one we'll not soon forget.

After our tour, we journeyed on to Germany and our last stop on our trip. Our hotel was in Freising, a north suburb of Munich. When I went to check in, they didn't have our reservation. I have to do a real song a dance to get us a room. It wasn't nearly as nice as the one in Vienna, but it had a pool! YEA! We settled into the room, then went for a stroll in the town to find some dinner. Again, we were impressed by the narrowness of the streets, and how quaint the town was. We had dinner at a Bier Garten. Back at the hotel, I went swimming while the other two travelers flaked out.

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