IMG_2065 Harsha found us this place. Krems is a tiny village in Austria, with a population of 20 thousand people. Most of them older. Walking around the train station got us many many glances. We had teenage girls ask us “how do you say i love you in Indian?” and talk about Bollywood once we told them we are from India. I dont think this place gets a lot of tourists and lots of local were surprised we ended up here. But Harsha finds us the most awsome places and this place didn’t escape his radar. Krems is one of the villages along the Donau river and is a wine pocket. We stayed on a vineyard called Wein-Gut Hutter.

2014-09-13_0001 The vineyard is one the oldest family owned vineyards in this area. It is managed by the sweetest amazing hostess Edeltraud Thaler shown in the picture above and by Chef Patrick Friedrich. We celebrated our anniversary out here by dining chef’s curation of local food and sampling the house wines. This was also a much needed break from hostels, overnight train journeys and backpacking. I have been to Napa, which is absolutely beautiful but being in a rural country side made this experience different from the one in California. Both beautiful.

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The sunrises out here are spectacular. Who would have imagined ! I am an instagram addict. I see sun rise over the mountains, the lakes, the ice, over the pines,…. but seeing beams of warm sunlight through the grapes was something else.

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We rented bikes, picked up maps and set out to see the city. We used Nex Bikes for our rental. It is one amazing service which has a few bikes stationed outside each train station almost every city. You can pick up a bike any where and drop it off else where near a bike stand. They have an app that you can use to pay and obtain the lock code for the bike lock. I love how Europe is doing its bit in encouraging this citizens to bike. We had to support this business and were really impressed with it. These weren’t the bikes that we would have picked for long distance biking, given a choice. We both own cyclotron bikes in America and are rather spoilt by them. But they were really convenient and did the job for us.

2014-09-13_0004 Biking around town == biking along small mud paths along vineyards. And the old town was this cobble stoned streets with cute buildings from the past. We soon ended up at the ruins of Burgruine Dürnstein. The castle is known for being one of the places where Richard I of England was imprisoned after being captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, in 1192. Its now a skeleton of stones and steps. “All our pictures from this trip are us climbing up the stairs”, Harsha exclaimed. We ended up here after having spent some time in St. Gilgen and hiking up the alps. More stairs was something we dreaded but the views of the village from the top made it all worth it. And this was a day when i realize i married a younger guy with a lot of energy and i was struggling to keep up. Things you do for love !

krems ruins castle Above Left: Climbing. Never ends. And we readily seem to do more everywhere. Above Right: The ruins. Beautiful stone. Above Center: He is smiling in this picture for a photograph that he set up. Voluntarily. Thats extremely rare. There is me, tired and exhausted. And anxious about camera sitting on this rock by itself. Below: View from the top.

IMG_2199If i could go back to a place i have already been to, i would pick Krems. “We will always have Krems”.