On the ship we have settled into a nice routine. The food and service are always excellent, and we have interesting and tasty food choices. We’ve enjoyed getting to know some fellow passengers, even some from Salem Alliance that we hadn’t met or didn’t know well before. I really enjoy sitting at a meal and watching the river banks go by. It’s less fun when we’re in a lock (there are lots of them) and have only a view of a concrete wall 4 inches away. Tables are unassigned, so we are getting to meet new people each day at meals.

There is a pianist who plays 50’s – 70’s American pop music (not my favorite genre) in the lounge and our tour director gives a talk each night. There is also late-night entertainment but I don’t think it’s my style.

The weather has been mostly rainy, so I haven’t spent a lot of time on the upper deck. But we’ve had brief interludes of sunshine. Really, it’s just like home.

On Monday we cruised up the Danube from Vienna to Krems. It was a beautiful day. It’s a lot of fun to sit and watch the river banks roll by. The Danube is not famous for its castles, like the Rhine, but there are lots of interesting things to see.

The ruined shell of Dürnstein castle sits on top of the hill, and on the river shore you can see the Dürnstein Abbey. Dürnstein is famous for being the location of the imprisonment of Richard the Lionheart back in the middle ages, about the time of the 3rd Crusade.

Near Durnstein, on the north bank of the Danube, is this little statue of Richard the Lionheart and an angel who was presumably helping him in some way.

This park (which we passed on the river) appears to be equipped with a nose. Either that, or a giant has been buried in the earth and he stuck his nose out of the ground to catch his breath.

On the way up the hill to the abbey we saw several small chapels. In the old days people would do pilgrimages to the abbey and stop in these chapels to pray.

When we arrived at the abbey we were given a small glass of apricot nectar (good stuff!) and we saw a little slide show that welcomed us to the abbey, told us about their apricot products, and their history.