Durnstein and Krems Town Tour is for those who love to loiter without an itinerary. And that’s partly why we had so wanted the Austrian holiday…..just to loiter in its countrysides.
Tour of Durnstein, Austria
The first stop of the Danube (Wachau) Valley tour is Durnstein. By the Danube, in a very very picturesque setting is this little town, flanked on both sides by wine growing hills. You notice it while still very far on the cruise, thanks to its tall church tower which is blue in colour. The photo clicking frenzy that starts upon the first sighting doesn’t stop until much after you have left the town. For, it is very very beautiful…every little turn, stairs, walls filled with ivy, narrow streets lined with decked up shops selling Austrian memorabilia, many tiny charming restaurants and of course homes, lined with pretty flowers and grape vines. Yes, grape vines. I squealed upon seeing them. Absolutely love these charming houses that have vines growing on their walls…and think to myself how exciting it must when the grapes come. Imagine standing by the window and plucking grapes and gazing down as the world went by……:-)
With such sights and thoughts, we made our way towards the KuenringeCastle, more popularly known as the Durnstein Castle. While you can see the ruins of the castle from the river and from almost every part of the town, it is a steep climb of about 15-20 minutes to the top. Not a difficult climb at all, on our way up, we took the path in the woods with the river and the town on our left. Once at the top, you are bound to be zapped by the sight down below – the quiet Danube cutting through acres and acres of its green basin, enclosed by its green hills and the lovely red rooftops and church spires here and there. We lingered there for quite a while and made our way down for some coffee and ice-cream. This time round, we took the paved road back and made it back to the town in no time at all.
We gave the Durnstein Abbey a miss for two reasons – one, we had taken an exhaustive tour of the Melk Abbey in the morning. Durnstein, too, like Melk, has a baroque church. The second, and the real reason, was the fact that it was a lovely bright day, and we didn’t want to spend it holed up in another abbey. After all, good weather in Europe is a luxury!
Coffee, ice creams and some more loitering later we bid beautiful Durnstein goodbye. The boat for Krems had arrived….
Tour of Krems, Austria
Now, no one told us not to go to Krems on a Saturday evening. The town apparently shuts down by then. By the time we had arrived at Krems, it must have been past 5pm. No wonder then, streets we deserted, shops’ shutters down, everything closed. We walked past the old town hoping to see some hustle and bustle, but no…Krems was already on the weekend mode.
And so, we walked up and down the old town, and then decided to take the train back to our Bed and Breakfast in Vienna (Read: Pension Vitis in Vienna). A long walk to the stations and two trains later, we were back at pension Vitis, ready to call it a day, for, the next day, we had to wake up early for Salzburg.
P.S: For a complete Austria itinerary and tour details, read — A Perfect Summer Holiday in Austria