Esti was a little bit worse for wear this morning, especially as we had a wake up call of 8am as today we were heading west out of Vienna to a small town called Melk which was home to a spectacular Abbey where the film "The Name of The Rose" was filmed(how fitting ;) ). The journey there was spent sleeping or listening to Maria and Meg's delightful singing. We arrived and there were several fancy building to treat the eyes but the one we wanted to see turned out to be colossally more fancy than the others as it's "schonbrunn yellow" walls stetched for miles(well or so it seemed). The free part involved a walk through some gardens and into a courtyard and then the official tour started ( we actually missed the english tour but eventually did catch up with it at the end). It began with museums of artifacts from the earlier days of the abbey, favourites being the shin bone chalice and tiny travel prayer book, and then there were the grand rooms with illusions painted on to the ceiling and gold plated window sills. Between the library and another fancy room was a balcony which had a magnificent view of mountains to the left and small towns and villages sprawlling along to the right. The several photos of the same view shows what I thought of it. Following the balcony was the "piece de resistance" according to my Auntie and it was the library and it did live up to her expectations as it was very grand and massive in all forms. However the staircase the followed infactuated me more and then there was the church itself and those who know me know I am not a religious person and being in churches is bizarre for me. It still was but I appreciated the architechture at least even if I didn't see the light this time.
Esti couldn't skip through the gift shop at a faster speed as her bladder and stomach took the reigns. Unfortnately for her we were getting food in town. Melk looked much like the Austrian version of Stromness, that is designed for tourists but with roads not suitied for cars and sunshine. We found a nice little gasthaus which had a small courtyard which cancelled out the (limited) traffic outside and concentrated the heat of the midday sun. I chose the sunniest seat in the place in an attempt to recharge the vitamin D but this almost landed me with some sunstroke so the hoody had to stay on, oh the joys. However the food was brilliant, another how basic Austrian food is at the same level as 5 star british food! I have been craving that cream of pepper soup ever since I had it. After being suitible stuffed to the brim we headed back to the car. Again the trip home was accompanied by Meg and Maria's beautiful singing but it was interrupted my stops at more tourists towns enroute home. It was nice staying awake on the way back as he scenery was lovely and spotting the many castles on the hilltops was a great workout for the camera. Turns out I was the only one who could stay awake this time as Esti, Maria and Meg had all konked out, in a variety of positions which I found hilarious due to my sleep deprived state. Esti's constant battle with her elbow and her armrest as it kept slipping was definately side splitter.
Back in the apartment, the rest of the sleepy heads were up for a quiet night in whereas I had had a sudden burst of energy. As my name suggests, I am a bit like a plant and intially the sun drains me out but then gives me a burst of energy. I decided to wander around Schwedenplatz lookiing in all the touristy shops to get gifts and my all important hoody since the shops will soon be shut for Easter. I forgot that Vienna is quite a classy place and I forgot, unlike Orkney, that wandering around in a hoody and trackies isn't that normal. Well or so it seemed to me. Anyhoo I got over that soon enough and had another enjoyable wander around in the sun not really having a plan.
However epic monopoly had to be done in the evening, unfortunately Esti won.