Pass the Melk

Melk Travel Blog

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Many memorials at Mauthausen Concentration Camp
Our bike trip continues, and although the Austrian countryside is very nice, it's been pretty slow going. Yesterday we biked from Linz to the town of Grein. When we set off, it was raining, but we pulled on our raincoats and forged ahead. Along the route, we took a diversion a few kilometres up a hill to visit the site of the old Mauthausen concentration camp. The camp was up a steep hill (so steep we just hid our bikes at the side of the road and walked up) in a great spot, with a wonderful view of the surrounding area.

We took a tour of the camp, which still contains many of the buildings. When we entered the 'showers' or the furnace rooms, I felt quite sick and just wanted to get out of there. It was a very disturbing place to visit, but I'm glad we did it.
The concentration camp is in a beautiful spot
The thing that struck me the most is the number of memorials they had there. It seemed like every country in the world which its citizens interned there had its own memorial. On top of that, many spots contained personal memorials, with pictures, stories, cards, and flowers.

After spending a few hours at the camp, we hopped back on our bikes (not stolen!) and began down the path again. We again arrived in the next town a bit late because of this diversion, but our spirits were lifted when we met the old lady who ran our guesthouse. She only spoke German, but we could tell by her smile that she enjoyed our presence there. Her grandson served as the translator, even though I probably could have managed.

Today we biked to Melk, a town famous for its golden abbey. Unfortunately, I had some troubles with my tire today when we stopped for lunch. I thought it looked a bit flat so I pulled out my hand pump and tried to inflate it. This only made it worse and soon my tire was so flat it was unrideable. We spent an hour or so trying to find somewhere with a real pump and luckily we were directed to a gas station where we pumped the tire up in less than a second. Because of this, we arrived late and didn't get to take a look at the abbey before it closed. We did wander the city and the gardens which surround the abbey a bit. Those were very nice, and we'll try to visit the abbey tomorrow.
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Many memorials at Mauthausen Conce…
Many memorials at Mauthausen Conc…
The concentration camp is in a bea…
The concentration camp is in a be…
Crossing the Danube
Crossing the Danube
Old lady bike path
Old lady bike path
Melk Abbey at night
Melk Abbey at night
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal