Photo Essay of Durnstein, Austria – A Stop On Our Gate 1 Cruise.

By Posted in - cruise & Europe & Gate 1 River Cruise & Travel Blog on January 30th, 2013

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A cold wind cut through Durnstein as we walked along the Danube into the tight corridors of this petite Austrian town in the Wachau region.

In some ways Durnstein reminded me of the small villages that dot the central California coast–wine shops, little bars, and shops selling crafts and handmade goods. It is the kind of place I had hoped to find during our travels in Europe last year.

We had gotten some great information the night before about the village from our Gate 1 cruise directors, but there’s nothing quite like finally seeing a place for yourself. After an informative tour, we were left to explore the city, which by this point was looking downright moody.

Now known for its wine and schnapps (we can vouch for both), Durnstein’s first claim to fame came when Duke Leopold V of Austria imprisoned the King Richard Lionhert of England in the town’s hillside castle. The story plays out something like a Bravo reality show. Leopold took offense to Richard at the Battle of Acre, when he committed the grave error of “casting down Leopold’s standard from the walls” (not entirely sure what that means) during the Third Crusade. But wait, it gets worse. Leopold also suspected that Richard was the one who put a hit on his cousin, Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, this revenge tactic didn’t bode well for Leopold because Pope Celestine III excommunicated the Duke for capturing a fellow crusader.

Durnstein Castle is a bit more battered and bruised than it was during Richard’s day–it took on devastating damage from the Swedish Empire in 1645; however, visitors to the town are free to explore its stone remains. Because of the low clouds that blanketed the village, Beth and I chose to pass on the castle hike and explore the village instead before heading back to our ship, The Sound of Music, for a lunchtime cruise up the Danube.

So now that you know a little bit more about Durnstein, we’d like to invite you a little photo tour of the Austria’s most charming towns.






Do you like to visit small towns or big cities when you travel?

*While we were hosted by Gate 1 Travel, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!



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(17) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Will -

    January 30, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Hey Will,
    Great post and I love the pictures. What camera do you use?

  • Will -

    January 30, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Hey Randy,
    Great post and I love the pictures. What camera do you use?

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Hi Will,

      Actually I take the photos and I use a Nikon D300s. Great camera! Highly recommend if you are looking for a dSLR. 🙂

      • Will -

        February 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

        @Bethany, Yeah I’m looking to upgrade my normal point and shoot and the quality on these look great. Thanks for the tip!

  • Jason’s Travels -

    January 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Wow. Great shots! Even that one of Randy ain’t bad. 😛

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Hahaha… thanks jason. 🙂 Yeah he photographs pretty well so i keep him around. 🙂

  • M.C. -

    January 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Love the photos, as I do Austria. Btw, the standard thing is the flag…so I am guessing one person took down the others flag. I could be wrong. Keep up the adventures, so I can live vicariously. Thanks.

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks for commenting and leaving us your tip about the flag! 🙂

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    January 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I like to visit both small and big cities. These photos are magical!!!!

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Andi – I like the little towns too 🙂

  • Jennifer -

    January 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Stunning photos! I especially love the one with the blue church tower.

    After several years living in Europe now, the small towns have really become my favorite places to visit. They aren’t the places that everyone that comes to Europe sees and that makes them feel really special.

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      I totally agree Jennifer the – little towns in Europe are fantastic. 🙂

  • Audrey | That Backpacker -

    January 31, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Wowzahs! I absolutely love the first shot with the fog rolling in. The town looks so cute – it makes me want to visit Austria even more than I already do!

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Audrey – This was definitely the town that made me say “Wow, now this is Austria”. I definitely recommend it if you go. 🙂

  • Vera Marie Badertscher -

    January 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    You certainly made photographic lemonade out of the lemons the weather handed you. Love the way you made the colors pop against the gray day.

    • Bethany -

      February 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

      awww… Thank you so much! I think I’m the only one that likes to shoot on crummy days. It provides such great atmosphere. 🙂

  • Louise -

    September 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    have asked you before but didn’ get a reply , would love to paint some of your photographs,i’m a n amateur painter who loves your photos,I do show in small local exhibitions look forward to a reply .