Monday, May 16, 2011


Ten years ago, John and I were in Austria. Most of our time was spent in Vienna, but we did drive west to Salzburg for a couple of days. Along the way, we discovered Durnstein. On our way to Salzburg on this trip, we decided to also stop and see it.

Technically, it was the Austrians who discovered Durnstein. And it's been around long enough that Richard the Lionheart spent some time here in 1192. Having hacked off Duke Leopold V during the Third Crusade, Richard was held hostage here until a ransom could be paid. You have heard of this if you have any familiarity with the Robin Hood stories; it's why Richard couldn't get home and nasty King John was ruling.

The castle is now a ruin, but the views from up there are breathtaking. It is situated on a hill above a curve in the Danube. There is a sweeping view of the curve, of hundreds of acres of vineyards and peach orchards and the beautiful mountain highlands in the area.

But first, you have to make the climb...It's not for the faint of heart or the weak of knees. Janet wasn't able to join us, and, sometimes, we even doubted our ability to carry on. But we did. And it was worth it.

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