In journaling, no part of this day could be left out. Well, maybe the Linzer Tart but I kept it in because when in Linz one must try it.
A tour bus ride with a few walking spots showed us the magnificence of Linz, Austria. Our tour guide was extremely well educated in all things Linz. Wearing the traditional dirndl she was funny and pleasant to listen to. She was extremely proud of her city and her enthusiasm was infectious.
Largest cathedral in all of Austria is here. The New Cathedral (Cathedral of Immaculate Conception) has a capacity of 20,000.
Ever thought you would like a week of solitude? A small room at the top of the cathedral will play host if you care to put yourself on the eight month waiting list.
Tried the famous Linzer Tart. Not particularly my taste but others seemed to quite like it. So if you are ever here it is certainly worth a try.
The tour bus wound it's way up the hills on the other side of the Danube. The countryside is well groomed and inherently holds a sense of contentment.
When Austria joined the European Union the farmers in Austria, not capable of producing the volume of products to compete on the open market, needed to specialize. The farmer we were about to meet, instead, decided to invest in building a restaurant. His plan was to continue to produce a number of products as a traditional farm would. All that we were to try today was from this farm.
High in the hills, overlooking the countryside we first enjoyed three types of cider (apple, pear and a mix of both). Yummy. My favourite was the mixed one.
Served on a wooden board, we tried two cheeses, egg, two varieties of ham, horseradish, cucumber, pickle, yellow pepper, dumpling and potato salad. What a treat! Sampling all while enjoying the ambiance the countryside provided. The day’s weather was stupendous. Clear skies allowed us to see for miles. The glass walls of the restaurant allowed for unimpeded views.
Done lunch. We watched as the farmer called to and let his cows out of the barn. Odd to see the cows walk by our massive coach bus.
The farmer was so exuberant. Pleased as punch that his farm was able to support his and his sister's families. He was truly living his dream.
It is hard to adequately describe the time spent at the farm. Suffice it to say it was absolutely wonderful. :)
Dropped off at the city center I browsed the shops in town for a bit. The pedestrian only streets are great!
Our day in Linz was fabulous.
A private dinner arranged for our group was being held in the captain's dining room. The River Beatrice is extraordinary in its decadence. A fixed menu left us all pleasantly plump. We thoroughly enjoyed our after dinner glow.
Cards in the lounge and closing down the bar kept us busy until bedtime.
I was completely taken by the magnificent 30’ by 20’ ornate organ. The instrument’s range is stellar. From elation to condemnation the powerful tones move one’s emotions. Thrown back in time. I could imagine kings and queens entering the church for services. Sitting patiently while the music reverberated life into the vast space. The instrument complements the church well in it’s power to influence.
A most unexpected experience!!
With time running short in Vienna Sandy and I chose to go to Karlskirche – Church of Saint Charles Borromeo. The church was completed in 1739 and considered a masterpiece of European baroque.
Even on this overcast day, the scene of the large pool of water in front with the magnificent church as it’s backdrop was spectacular. True to it’s being on the Top 10 things to see and do in Vienna and we hadn’t yet entered the doors.
We were not to be disappointed. The entrance fee paled in comparison to the experience that lay ahead.
There was, what looked like scaffolding in the church. Upon closer inspection we realized that the erected structure housed an elevator. Eyeing the trajectory of the elevator I swear my jaw dropped when I realized that the elevator led straight up, heading towards the dome of the church.
I am not crazy about heights but knew that this was an opportunity I did not want to miss. Stepping into the glass elevator I rose 100 feet. The scaffolding continued. Climbing the additional 60 feet to the top had my heart racing and my legs less co-operative then they would have been had I stayed at ground level.
Seeing the frescos up close blew me away. Reaching out, I was within inches of touching them. 16 stories up, in the dome of an 18th century church, one of those, pinch me moments.
The painters’ attention to detail, the shear volume of artwork astounded me. How the walls were painted to appear as though parts of them were marble was extraordinary. Two dimensions becoming three through the skill of the artist.
My unsteady legs reluctantly took me one step at a time down. I took my time, not because of my fear but because I couldn’t get enough of the sights. I was experiencing a once in a lifetime and I knew it.