Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


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 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........ 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. 

To be continued......... 

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

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

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  1. Heidi had the same effect on me! lol

    That ceiling is stunning and it’s hard to believe it was painted in the 1950’s. I thought the only stunning thing to come out of that decade was us ;).

  2. Ok, now I am totally humming all those songs! I love the Sound of Music and can not wait to see your next installment of photos. Sure looks like you had another wonderful day and those preserves looks amazing.

  3. You've outdone yourself with this post, Amy! Really, countries you visit should pay you to write copy for their travel brochures. Your happiness shines through in this and maybe that is a result of the good sleep you had but I think it's mostly because you're just a little bit in love with Engelhartszell--did I spell that right?--and I think I am in love with it too. And I think it would be fascinating to be a hostess to river cruises. And you would be the hostess with the mostess if you signed up for in it NJ.

    The other Austrian cities you feature will have to be something pretty special to top this one but I have a feeling you will pull it off.

    Amy, I would guess that you just might have been the favorite guest at "Liesl's" party!

  4. How fun to go into an authentic home and see how they live. The pictures and narrative are wonderful. It all looks like a fairytale kind of place to be. You would make a great tour guide for all the trips you feature here. You could be a travelers' personal trip advisor!

  5. Wonderful post.
    Interesting to read the detail and see your amazing photographs.

    All the best Jan

  6. how beautiful! When I head to the Alps I always find the the hills are alive with the sound of music! We are headed to Switzerland for our next vacation later this year... been there before, but it's so pretty there's no place I'd rather go! Also, I love virtual vacations with you!

  7. How beautiful and what fun to visit an authentic home. Looks like an incredible place! I had to laugh because I am literally eating my oatmeal as I read your post! Maybe it would taste better on a cruise! Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away this month!

  8. I love traveling with you, thanks a lot for taking the time to share!


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