During our cruise after Bratislava and Vienna, we went on to the direction of Passau on the board of Amadeus Royal to visit one of the Danube’s most beautiful stretches, the Wachau-valley; and to finish our journey with the concert of the organist Gergely Rákász after our sightseeing in Linz.
The journey’s most beautiful morning was at the gate of Wachau, when I was watching the steam clouds swimming in front of the surrounding mountains, and the awakening towns with the silent music of the restaurant in the background, and while we docked at the medieval town of Dürnstein, I could feel the incomparable, unique ambience of shipping.
The Danube’s prettiest stretch starts here; the Wachau-cove is under the protection of UNESCO World Heritage. Wachau is famous from the apricot grown here, and it’s also a renowned vine-producing region. During our stroll in Dürnstein we wandered around the tiny town, then got on a bus and visited the famous Winzer Krems winery for some wine tasting.
Thanks to the delicious wines, we returned to our ship anchoring in Dürnstein in a great mood, to continue our way to the direction of Melk on the same day. Just like the whole Wachau region, Dürnstein’s most famous sight – the unique, blue and white parish church of the Augustus order – can be best admired from the Danube.
There’s no better setting for an after-lunch relaxation than the grape and peach plantations on the romantic hillsides of the Danube’s winding valley. We arrived at Melk in the afternoon, and met our Hungarian guide to see the abbey’s wing that served as Maria Theresia’s home, the terrace, and the library too, then excursed to the botanic garden, from where it’s an excellent view on the Danube’s valley.
In the evening, we returned to Amadeus Royal, and started our way to Linz, leaving the wonderful Wachau region behind.
Our day at Linz started with dingy weather, but by our sightseeing later in the morning it was already a summer heat. We tasted the famous cake of Linz…
After lunch, it was time for informal programs, which I wanted to spend actively, so I utilized the rent-a-bike possibility of the ship and biked back to Linz’s center to buy souvenirs, and explore the city on my own.
Organ concert on board
I did not have too much time, so I quickly changed clothes upon arrival and headed out to the promenade deck, where – as the highlight of our trip – the organist Gergely Rákász gave a special concert.
Only passengers of “Water music” can be part of such a wonderful and unique experience, to listen to these fascinating melodies, basking in the glistening light of sunset, while we float up the river accompanied by envious looks from the river bank and ships coming from the opposite direction. After the concert, we said goodbye to the staff, and spent the rest of the evening with music programs too, maintained by the musicians of the ship.
In the morning, we arrived at our last destination, Passau in Germany, where we said farewell to the beloved Amadeus Royal after breakfast, and departed with bus to explore the rainy, fog coated city. Rivers Inn and Ilz fall into the Danube here; the colors of the two rivers’ water is different, due to the different characters of their basins, and in case of sunshiny weather, you can admire it too from the mirador.
At the cathedral of Passau, every noon a 30-minute concert is given on the world’s biggest organ, which we listened to as the finish of our journey; then started our way home with nice experiences in our hearts and classical melodies in our ears.
“Water music – Magic of classics on the water” guarantees an unforgettable experience for all travelers, so I advise anyone who gets a chance to take part in a river cruise organized by them, not to miss it, as instead of the usual mainland trips, travelling on the river- and followed by classical music – we can get to know Europe’s wonders from a new perspective.
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