Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

PICTURESQUE TOWNS OF AUSTRIA PART 1: ENGELHARTSZELL (AND A GIVEAWAY!)



This is a multi-part series about our Danube River cruise.





Engelhartszell is one of many picturesque towns in Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell



River Cruise Day 5: Engelhartszell, Austria

Today is the first morning we wake up on the ship. I slept like a baby.  Could it be that not sleeping on terra firma is the answer to my insomnia problems? Perhaps we should invest in a water bed when we get home, although, truth be told, I can't even tell when this ship is moving.

I am pumped for the next few days! We will visit several small towns in Austria, including Salzburg, the city made famous by The Sound Of Music movie. I'm already humming My Favorite Things, but I'm getting ahead of myself........that's tomorrow's sojourn. Today's destination is the small town of Engelhartszell in upper Austria. 

We enjoy a leisurely breakfast while cruising down the Danube........call me crazy, but I swear oatmeal tastes better when eaten while gazing at the Austrian countryside.

Our river ship docks in Engelhartszell promptly at 9:00am.  It is a glorious day........clear blue skies and unseasonably warm at about 80°. We are split up into small groups to visit homes of local residents, an unusual, but highly anticipated excursion. It is barely a 10 minute stroll from the ship to the bright yellow house surrounded by tulips, which would be pure sunshine even on the dreariest of days. 

Engelhartszell, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


Our host (I'll call her Liesl, as I've forgotten her name), shows us around the inside of her lovely home and then takes us out to the backyard, where a patio table is laden with a delectable looking spread. The food will have to wait, however, as an orchestra of bleating goats demands our attention. They come running down the hill, knowing that Liesl will feed them. With The Sound Of Music soundtrack still in my head, I'm wondering if high on that hill, there's a lonely goatherd.

Engelhartszell, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell

Engelhartszell, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


What an incredible backyard view! The scene before us, of the the goats and the picturesque church atop the rolling green hill, makes me think for a second that Heidi will soon appear with her grandpa, toting some fresh goat cheese. Wrong country, I know, but darn, if this isn't the way I envisioned the scenery when I read that book as a young girl! To this day, I credit Heidi for jump-starting my appetite for travel. I decide right at this moment that Switzerland will be our next European vacation.

Engelhartszell, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


Once the goats are fed, we sit down to a small feast of bread that Liesl's mother baked, marmalades her sister made, and brandies her boyfriend brewed. All that's missing is the tea to drink with jam and bread!
 
It's all delicious, but what surprisingly steals the show is the water! It comes from the Alps and is the clearest, best-tasting water any of us have ever had. Our host must think we are crazy to make such a fuss over a pitcher of H20. 

Pictureesque towns of Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


Liesl gives us an idea of what it is like to live in this small town of 1,000 residents. I wonder what she is paid to welcome strangers to her home. How fun would that be? Unfortunately, there's not much of a market for that in the suburbs of New Jersey!   After many thanks for her warm hospitality, we bid our host auf Weidersehen, (good bye!).  

Our guide leads us through the neighborhood to Engelszell Abbey. We pass some typical Austrian-style homes........ Wait.......is that edelweiss??? Nah, I don't think so. It is small and white, clean and bright..........but it doesn't look happy to greet me. (If you don't know the lyrics to Edelweiss, right about now you're thinking I'm off my Austrian rocker).

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes  #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell zell

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes  #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


Engelszell Abbey was founded in 1293, and witnessed many hardships over the years. The present Rococo-style church was built in the mid 1700s.  A group of Trappist monks who were made homeless after World War I acquired the abbey in 1925. More struggles ensued through the second world war, but in recent years they began producing liqueurs and beer to support themselves (I think our guide says only 5 or 6 monks currently live there). We do get to sample the liqueur.......those monks could get us drunk!

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes  #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell


The interior of the church is drop-dead gorgeous, and apparently some have done exactly that, as there are several glass coffins with skeletal remains that I wish I could un-see. Fortunately, my eyes are quickly drawn to the magnificent pastel-colored mural on the ceiling, which was painted in the 1950s. 

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes  #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes  #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell

Engelszell Abbey, Austria | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell #durnstein



It's a short stay in Engelhartszell, and our ship departs at 2:00pm. By early evening, we are in Linz, Austria, where we will dock for the night. On board tonight, we dress up for a welcome reception with the Captain and his officers. Following the Chef's Signature dinner, we are treated to a classical performance by a trio of local string musicians. Then it's off to bed, with dreams of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, in anticipation of tomorrow. 

I've got some souvenirs from a picturesque town in Austria
that I'd like to send to one of my readers.
It's just a little something, 
but if you'd like to enter my giveaway,
you'll need to read the next two posts about Austrian towns.
Details to follow! 
Yes, I'm being a tease! 😉



This is a multi-part series about our Danube River cruise. 

Read 10 Things To Know About River Cruising here.  
Read Our First Day In Prague here.
Read Day 2 In Prague here.
Read Day 3 In Prague here
Read A Day in Medieval Regensburg, Germany here.

Coming soon:
Picturesque Towns Of Austria Part 2: Salzburg
PIcturesque Towns Of Austria Part 3: Durnstein
Scenery of the Wachau Valley
Vienna: Exploring The Old Town
Bratislava: Slovakia's Charming Capital
Budapest: The Pearl of the Danube River





Austria has the most picturesque towns!  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #austria #danuberivercruise #engelhartszell  #salzburg #durnsteinell #salzburg #durnstein


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