Monday, May 04, 2020

Biking, Baking, and Sight Seeing

Last year, 2019, was a busy travel year for me. There was a three-week trip to Central Europe with Tim in the summer, and a trip to Spain with my students in early autumn. My last blog post about our summer trip was a tour of Clam Castle. Let's pick up there for a bit of escapism this morning. 

Our floating hotel of 130 passengers next stopped at Spitz, Austria. It's a delightful way to travel. I open the curtains and voila, the view has changed. After visiting the breakfast buffet (I do love the cold cuts, cheeses, and breads) Tim and I both chose to go on a bicycle tour. 

After strapping on helmets and trying out our bicycles, we followed our guide along the river path, through villages, along cobblestones (bumpty bump), and to the medieval village of Durnstein, home to a Franciscan Abbey, part of which is seen above.

What a fun day we had. Another highlight! There were many of them. Our guide was fantastic, very knowledgeable about the history and culture of the area. She pointed out the village where she lived, across the river. We cycled through terraced vineyards where grapes have been grown for centuries. 

In Durnstein we took a longer stop to explore the village. It was filled with tourists (like us), but very charming. I think we deserve some tea and cake after all that exercise, don't you? My that piece of custard cake is large. I would have been happy to share it with one or two of you. But I did manage to eat most of it on my own. Good thing there was more cycling to do.

In the castle above the town (mostly ruins), Richard the Lion-heart was once held captive. That man really traveled around. I wrote about Les Andelys, a fortress he constructed, when we were in France. 

Since we had to climb up from the river to the village, we have to descend to return to our bicycles, here through narrow, arched streets and steps. The modern touch of a garbage can bolted to the wall keeps things much cleaner than in medieval times. 

Our floating hotel cruised while we cycled, and we caught up with her in time for a late lunch. I'm always ready to try new tastes - like a cold pineapple soup that was both sweet and tart. Very delicious. 
We spent the afternoon on the boat: destination Vienna where we arrived as dusk fell. Our dock was near the international finance district, where modern architecture dominates. 
For dinner that night, my journal tells me that I ordered a pumpkin strudel with a creamy sauce that was also delicious. 

In the morning I signed up for the Vienna Insider's Tour while Tim went on a city cycling tour. My excursion began with a walk to the metro station, a metro ride to Schwedensplatz, and then a walk through the centre of town to a small cooking school - Andante. Old buildings and new mingle here in relative harmony. Vienna is vibrant, with much to observe.

The cooking class began with a glass of Prosecco. In the morning. The others thought it quite humorous that I declined, saying I couldn't drink alcohol without food. I would have been one dizzy mess. 

We learned how to shape a variety of breads - Mohnflesserl, Handsemmel, Salzstanger, and pretzels. After they baked, we enjoyed them with delicious butter, and then I did have a glass of Prosecco. We were a group of 12 and enjoyed sitting around the table chatting and snacking. 

You might remember that my three eldest "flat grandchildren" traveled along with me. They were very happy to play with the dough and were great about not flinging flour too wildly. They especially enjoyed the freshly baked bread, and were happy when the bakery packed up the rest of the baking to take back to the ship for lunch. 

Apricots and cherries. Soon that season will come around again. I'm glad we traveled last summer, for this year is looking very different. 

I hope you've enjoyed this look back with me. There's more to see and do in Vienna, and I hope to compose a post about that soon. Meanwhile, there are digital assignment to grade, and students to email/call. Outside, the pink rhododendron is in full bloom and we're expecting rain a bit later. How are things in your world today?


  1. How nice to reminisce about your trip. I did much the same yesterday looking through photos from last year. Looks like a great tour. Take care.

  2. Windy and chilly.

    Oh this was a lovely's why I spend way too much time with travel vloggers of late...anywhere but here!

    Now I am looking up a custard cake recipe...that looks so good,

  3. Thanks for sharing this part of your trip. I really enjoyed it!

  4. It's such a great time to get those photos out to enjoy! I love the flat grandchildren that went with you! What a cute idea! I baked breadsticks yesterday and they came out SO good! I guess I need to share another recipe! Take care!

  5. I enjoyed seeing your travel sight seeing posts today!
    It's going to be sometime before we will be at liberty to travel...
    we will have to escape via "armchair travel" and revisit places by looking at our snapshots!

  6. A most interesting post. I do have to say the last picture was the best, it made my mouth water as I could imagine those wonderful fruits.Yum!

  7. I have been daydreaming and reminiscing on past travel too, and wondering just when it might be safe to travel anywhere again. Not for a long, long time I fear.
    The apricots remind me that soon they will be back in the shops again and I can make some delicious French Apricot Conserve - what a treat to anticipate.

  8. Thanks for the armchair travel! I visited Vienna for a few days in 2008, but all I remember is visiting St. Stephen's Cathedral.

  9. So good to look back and see the enjoyments of traveling from an easier time. How fun to have a cooking experience on your tour. Love that. We just planted an Apricot tree and I do hope we will get a good yield in years to come. Happy May to you!

  10. What a lovely look back on a beautiful summer. How lovely to bike ride through those pleasant places. And what fun to do some baking and sampling of the baked good with Processo.

    I loved your post....thanks for inviting us to join you today. A perfect little getaway.

    Wishing you a pleasant evening, Lorrie. The golden sun is peeking into my study as I type. There's such a peaceful presence and ambiance tonight. Your post just added to it.

    Brenda xox

  11. It's so nice to have pleasant memories to share. Biking is a great idea for the Danube cruise. I'm thinking that when we can travel, I'd like to do another walking tour. Enjoy the evening.

  12. Eski günler geri gelsin ve yine tatile gidebilelim.

  13. Thank you for posting a look at the World being the World.
    Custard cake sounds like a feast.

  14. A bit cooler here today, but still sunshiny! Thankful for that sunshine!

    I love seeing your trip. I wonder if we will ever be as comfortable traveling around the world as we were before this virus. I still hope to travel to England, and would love to see Italy and France.

  15. Dear Lorrie,
    Your post brings back wonderful memories. We stayed at Schloss Durnstein where my husband crashed a wedding party and came back with two glasses of champagne. We continued watching the party from our windowsill.
    Please share more of your travels.

  16. We had a very cloudy day here. We traveled a lot last year, too, with the countries of Georgia and Bulgaria being the highlights. I never properly blogged about them. Maybe I will one of these days. Your bike and walking tours and the baking all sounds so lovely. This year is definitely not what any of us planned for. :/ Take care.

  17. Sadly, travel is never going to be quite the same henceforward. How lovely to wander into Austria with you, one of my favourite countries, visited so many times. (I may cry if you write about Vienna!)

  18. Thank you for taking me along. I have never been to europe! You look so lovely and put together always!
    New here: I am hoping our new porch rug arrives tomorrow to pull the porch all together !

    Bought some new leather cleaner and the sofas look like new!

    Also new: Im getting 2 virtual parties together. One for my husband's birthday tomorrow, and One for my daughters graduation from grad school in Oklahoma, from Oklahoma University

  19. Lorrie - I was out biking with a group of ladies today - easy to maintain distance - but I still welcome this wonderful escape to Europe. God only knows when we might be able to travel again … The architecture is so compelling, and the notion of stopping in a café for cake and coffee is almost more than I can bear! Enjoy the rest of your week!

  20. I loved reading this post, like a breath of fresh air in this curious world of ours. The trip sounds fabulous and I like the idea of cycling and the boat catching up with you later. Perfect. B x

  21. Lorrie, thank you for the mini vacation--I really needed that! Love the photos, especially of you with your bikes.

  22. How is the remote teaching going? Our schools have decided to remain closed for the summer. I loved you story of your trip. Weather is cloudy and cooler. Life continues slowly but we're managing alright. You take care. Kit

  23. Ohh Lorrie, I certainly did enjoy my trip with you. I would’ve been right there with you in taking that baking class. I would’ve had to decline the Prosecco first thing, too, without food! How fun that your flat grandchildren “attended” too. I know that you’re happy that you went last summer. How different our world is now.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  24. What a lovely post this is.
    Fabulous photographs and a great look back.

    All the best Jan

  25. Thanks for taking us along, Lorrie, looks like a wonderful trip. We had two trips booked to Europe, one in May and one in June, both cancelled. And even though many of our restrictions are already being lifted, it doesn't look like there will be any travelling anytime soon. As long as everyone is healthy around me, I don't even mind. Stay safe.

  26. That was a great travelogue - so many beautiful pictures, and yummy food that did not put any pounds on me! But, it did make me hungry... I better go to bed before I start raiding the fridge!


Thank you for commenting. Each comment is a connection between us. I read each one and will usually visit your blog in return. If you are a no-reply blogger, then I will not be able to respond to you directly. If you have a Google+ blog, I am unable to comment there.

Snippets from the Mountains

  On the first Sunday of September, we locked the door and drove to the ferry, towing our travel trailer behind us. Once across the Strait, ...