Durnstein – European River Cruise
It was yet another day of brilliant sunshine and after lunch, many of the passengers went onto the sundeck to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. Some took the opportunity to have an afternoon kip, but what a shame to miss the breathtaking scenery.
We’ve seen many great sights along the trip however the approach towards Dürnstein was one awesome moment. As we approached the town, a tall wedgewood blue church tower welcomes your arrival. The Stiftskirche has one of the finest baroque towers in all of Austria, and we all clicked away trying to capture the best shot of the tower.
The town itself is about 15 minutes walk from where the boat is moored and for those with mobility problems, a small train was provided to transport passengers into town. If you were fortunate to score a train ride in, you’ll travel through great stretches of vineyards. Since many centuries vineyards have been cultivated in the Wachau. The special climate, the ground and the careful work of the wine-growers let the grapes develop into excellent wines. Every year the vintners produce high-qualities of “Riesling” and “Grüner Veltliner” which are famous worldwide.
Dürnstein is known as the “Pearl of the Wachau” and achieved 12th-century notoriety for its imprisonment of Richard the Lion-Heart of England in 1192. Be aware that the actual castle is NOT the one at the top of the hill in Dürnstein, but the ruins a little lower down. The town still celebrates Richard the Lionheart’s faithful minstrel, Blondel, with the best hotel in town named after him.