As the Viking Spirit cruised upstream, we passed several picturesque villages with steepled churches reaching for the sky, including Krems, Split, and Willendorf.
The most famous Wauchau Valley village is Durnstein, home of the castle where Richard the Lionhearted was kept prisoner in 1193. The ruins of the castle remain high on a bluff overlooking the Danube. We passed Durnstein while eating breakfast, and I had to make a mad dash and retrieve my camera from the cabin. Fortunately, on the Viking Spirit, everywhere is nearby, so I didn't miss the photo opportunity.
Shortly before arriving in Melk, we passed the Schonbuhel Castle, which is often called the "Watchman of the Wachau". Schonbuhel has stood on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Danube for 1100 years. The castle was owned by the Bishops of Passau and was rebuilt in the 19th century.
We arrived in Melk in mid-morning.