On Wednesday we awoke at Dürnstein for a day when we would visit Dürnstein and Melk and travel through the Wachau Valley. This post is just about our time in Dürnstein.Dürnstein is best know as the place where Richard the Lionheart (King of England at the time of the third crusade) was held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria.
Hence climbing up to the castle ruins high above the town was what my daughter and I were most interested in. And since I love walking and nature even more than interesting cities, it was something of a highlight of the trip.
We had been given a map and instructions on how to reach the castle but we didn’t really start thinking about such things till we were wandering along and realised we were at a bit of a loss. We did find this little gift shop however where I bought my son a T-shirt.
There were lot of tourist/child interesting displays about Richard the Lionheart along the way which I didn’t bother to photograph.
But I did photograph the other notable thing in the town which is the blue tower of Dürnstein Abbey. Remember this blue tower you will be seeing it again.
Eventually we found steps up to the castle. I say steps but as you will see they were very uneven and non-existant in places so we clambered as well as climbed.
With my daughter striding ahead and other people on the steps there wasn’t much opportunity for looking behind or ahead and taking photographs.
However, after a while, my heart was pounding so hard, I stopped and took my pulse and when I got to twelve before I got to five seconds, I decided that a short rest might be in order.
This allowed me time to take a few photographs.
Back down to the town. Looking up to the castle. and out to the valley beyond the river. My daughter was happy to rest for a bit too but eventually we started again and reached the castle. You can see my shadow and hers in this photograph.
I took her picture against the ruins. and another view to show how high we now were.As we left the castle and looked for the alternative route back, I photographed this arch and this plaque of the three leopards of England. among other things.
We decided to return by the path we were told was the way up to the castle.(The steps being the way down). [Personally I was much happier climbing up those steps than I would have been trying to go down them!]
This was a much easier walk but not so picturesque and exciting as being among the trees.
The last photgraph I took before returning to the ship. You can see the vines and an old cart for transporting the grapes that had been decorated as a garden ornament.
Next Thursday I will be showing you a little more about the river, the locks and the Wachau Valley.