The temperature got down to 0 C our last night in Salzburg, which by any thermometer’s standards is freezing! And the next day was none too warm, with an expected high of less than 10 C. That’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and a drastic change from the 70 plus degree weather we got accustomed to in Italy.

This was a travel day, with Vienna our next objective. Travel days do not mean we don’t enjoy the sights along the way, and there are plenty of fascinating things to see and do as we transition from hotel to hotel.

Today we rode the bus to Melk, home of the most opulent abbey we’d seen on the entire trip, and that’s really saying something! Twenty-three carat gold leaf seemed to be covering every single thing inside the main chapel, as if it had been poured over the entire interior. It was glaringly extreme, especially considering the living conditions of the peasant populace at the time it was constructed.

After lunch, my first authentic wiener schnitzel, we boarded a riverboat for an approximate hour and a half cruise down the Danube River. That day the Danube was more murky green than blue, but that didn’t stop me from waltzing on the back deck as we leisurely motored passed many ancient castles and cathedrals.

The weather warmed as we traveled east, and by the time we re-boarded the bus in Krems, I was able to stuff my sweater back into my carry-on. The Senator Hotel in Vienna was right next to a small grocery, and for the first time on the entire trip, I was able to get a bottle of Pepsi Light instead of Coke Light. I know that sounds like a small thing, but my taste buds rejoiced!

One more day of vacation loomed ahead, and I was saddened by the thought of this amazing adventure coming to an end. Home was more than 6,000 miles away, and I was in no rush to return to reality. I vowed to spend the next day, as I had the others, “in the moment,” and celebrating every experience.