On Sunday, most of the Gaming campus traveled down to Melk Abbey, a Benedictine Abbey that also served as a palace for the traveling Imperial Austrian family. It’s bright yellow walls help it stand out on the cliffs overlooking the Danube River.
Once at the Abbey, we were given a tour of the Abbey. We spent just as much time looking up at the exquisite ceilings as we did looking around at the many treasures on display in the museum. My only disappointment was not being able to take pictures in the library, an ornate room where books are stacked from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.
Then we climbed back onboard the buses, and drove along the Wachau River Valley to Dürnstein, the ruins of a castle built on the cliffs overlooking the vineyards, valley, and river below.
We had been told to wear comfortable clothing, but I’m not sure many of us were prepared to hike up (what seemed to be) hundreds of old and crumbling steps to the top of the cliffs. But once at the top, the trek paid off. The view from the top was amazing, and the old ruins made history in that region seem a little more real.
Despite the overcast weather, most of the students made it to the top of the cliffs, sitting on the edges of walls to take photos, and clambering up even higher on the stones to get a better view.
Gruß Gott! My name is Marianna Schmiesing, and I am a junior English major at Franciscan. I was born and raised in Steubenville, Ohio, just a few blocks from the University, and it has always felt like home to me. This semester, I am living, working, eating, sleeping, praying, studying, and traveling all across Europe, making base camp in Gaming, Austria, at the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu, the center of Franciscan’s study abroad program.
In addition to reading and writing, I am a member of Daughters of Zion household and love playing ultimate frisbee. After graduation, I plan to continue writing creatively, hopefully finishing a book or two (or ten), and winning the Pulitzer Prize.