This morning we tossed the children, Clayton Theodore, and the picnic basket with provisions into “our” car and headed west for the first of several day trips we are taking during the children’s weeklong Fall Break from school. Although our real car has finally arrived in Vienna, the Foreign Ministry has yet to sign off on the diplomatic registration so we have rented an awesome Opel Astra station wagon (can you sense the sarcasm?) for our holiday. The car is a boring silver color, and third gear vibrates, no doubt the result of being rented to people who haven’t driven a manual in some time.  Cie la vie. Soon enough I’ll be driving stylish in my shiny black Volvo wagon.

The weather forecasters called for the fog to burn off by midday, and temperatures to reach 65 °F. They lied. Never the mind, though, for Melk Abbey was still impressive under gray skies and 50 °F temperatures.

So, too, was the town of Melk.

We took the remainder of the day to drive the scenic route from Melk to Krems and then home along the Danube, stopping to take photos whenever I could convince Tony to stop. “It just doesn’t matter if there’s a car behind.  They’ll go around you.”
Castles and ruins were abundant, and the fog shrouding the hills added to the beauty of our adventure.  

In certain areas the fog had lifted enough to let the autumn colors stream into my camera. 

On occasion we left Clayton Theodore in the car when we stopped to take photos. He was not amused. We didn’t tell him that tomorrow when he hops into the car he’s going to the veternarian for his annual exam.