Durnstein as seen from the opposite bank of the Danube
Thursday's ride was a loop from Durnstein to Melk and back. The main route was 47 miles, but there was a 54-mile option with some steep hills. Since it was our last full day on the bikes, I was seriously tempted to go for it. But Wednesday's ride had been a little taxing and our guides told us that we could do two of these three options: 1) ride the 54-mile loop, 2) stop for lunch in Melk, 3) visit Melk Abbey, the monastery that dominated the town. They warned us that it was nearly impossible to do all three and get back to Durnstein in time for dinner. Having ridden 41 miles and a major hill the day before, I opted for lunch and the abbey. After all, I was on vacation!
Your humble correspondent
The abbey was worth the visit, as the photos will attest.
The entrance to Melk Abbey
The Baroque design of the church in particular was a prelude of all the churches I would see in Vienna.
We missed a turn on the way back to Durnstein and nearly rode onto what might have been an army base. I wasn't sure we were going the wrong way until I heard gunfire from what I assumed was a firing range. I try to avoid machine gun fire on my vacations, so we turned around and found the correct bike path.
Another castle on the Danube
When I returned to the hotel, I bid a fond farewall to the bike and parked my trusty steed in the "I'm hiking on Friday" area. My bike tour was over, but I wasn't done with my vacation or Durnstein yet.