Got Melk

No, it’s not a misprint. I borrowed from the popular U.S. Dairy Association slogan, “Got Milk”, to introduce this entry concerning my day trip yesterday to the absolutely gorgeous baroque town of Melk, Austria. At the strong urging of dear friends (and thanks for that) I took the short train ride (80 minutes) from Vienna. I was a bit disappointed that the day started out dreary and grey. As I arrived in Melk, things started to clear off and by the end of my visit to the incredible burg, I’d seen stunning blue skies and enjoyed a very crisp Fall chill that was in the air.

Often times, one goes on a sightseeing trip and then ends up being a little disappointed in the sights because either things weren’t what your mind’s eye thought they might be or because some external impulse dilutes the effect of what should be a nice excursion (i.e., commercialism, gift shops, lack of access to what you truly want to see). This was not the case in the least yesterday. The tour through the gorgeous Benedictine Abbey and Church was not only eye-boggling but also moving, inspirational, and truly beyond words. The Abbey is over 900 years old and continues to carry out its daily duties in the modern world. The artifacts that fill the complex astound the viewer--I could sit and stare at the ceilings alone for hours upon end. What’s more, in the church, you felt as if you were in the presence of great devotion and worship. The work of the builders and artisans to bring their best in order to lead another’s eye and thoughts towards God was overwhelming. I’m sure that many pilgrims and visitors these past many centuries have been as moved as I was yesterday. Due to the care and quality of the craftsmen’s skills, this edifice will be around for many more generations as well.

After spending time in the church and museum, it was nice to let my eye behold beauty of another kind. I took a nice walk in the abbey’s gardens and feasted on the colors of God’s pallet. The rolling hills are sliced by the beautiful Donau (Danube) River. The spectacular colors of Fall added to the sight with brilliant effect. I was so blessed to be able to have this day to enjoy a true Melk bath. I look forward to hopefully bringing the entire family back here some day in the not too distant future.

Tonight is the second performance of “Salome” here in Vienna. There are only two in this short run and so I’m looking forward to wrapping things upon on a high note. Tomorrow I’m scheduled to head to The Netherlands via Warsaw, Poland (I’ve never been to Poland and look forward to my short stopover there). If all goes well, my next posts will be from another of my favorite cities, Amsterdam.