Monday morning we arrived at Melk, the site of a 1,000 + year old monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This monastery was the inspiration for Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose, which was made into a film starring Sean Connery a few years ago. After docking, we boarded the buses for the trip to the top of the mountain where the monastery is perched above the town (monks always get the best views!)
One of the more interesting vignettes we learned about in the monastery at Melk was the abbot who championed the innovative idea of the recyclable coffin. Deposit the body in the coffin, deposit the coffin in the grave, recite the appropriate prayers, flip the lever, and bring the coffin back out, sans body. Of course the abbot who championed this husbanding of precious coffin resources declined to participate upon his own demise, and shortly thereafter the practice disappeared – as did the recyclable coffins.
I wanted to include a photo of our traveling buddies on this trip, but some of our friends are squeamish about publishing their photos while traveling, for personal security reasons. Hopefully their shoes won’t give them away.