The first excursion that the school took us on was a visit to the Melk Monastery which was about an hour from campus. It was the day after we arrived on campus and we left at 8:30 in the morning. When we arrived, we stopped and took a few pictures before we headed into the church. My camera battery died after five pictures, but it was kind of nice because it made me realize that I wanted to experience the places I would be at instead of viewing them from behind the lens of my camera. We had Mass in the Melk Abbey and in his homily, father told us that we should view the places we visit through the eyes of faith rather than through the eyes of a tourist because we are blest have the gift of faith as we’re visiting these shrines and churches and we’re not the typical tourist who is only seeing them for their architecture.
After Mass, we stood around in this courtyard with a water fountain for about an hour until our tour guides showed up. Our group had this really funny lady who had a sharp accent. On our tour, we were able to see rooms where royalty stayed, the dining room where they ate which had a ceiling that had optical illusions on it depending on where you stood in the room, a library where there were thousands of old books…so old you couldn’t take pictures in the library.
Following our tour, we had lunch in the upstairs banquet rooms of the restaurant on the Monastery grounds. We had salad which had two different kinds of coleslaw and a slice of tomato on top of a few lettuce leaves which were part of the salad, not a garnish. The main course was a potato dumpling and meat that had so much fat in it I couldn’t even eat it. The dessert was this interesting concoction that was similar to cheese cake with a rice pudding consistency that had been warmed up with a vanilla cream sauce on top. It was delicious in an odd way.
After lunch, we decided to walk around and see what else was on the Monastery grounds. We came across this self-serve café and took pictures inside because it was so quaint. Then we walked around on these paths that lead us to the edge of a wall overlooking the nearby village. We ran into some other nursing friends and a nun and we took pictures with them. It was way too much fun.
On the bus ride back, I slept most of the way because I was still suffering badly from jet lag. But I was awake to see this monument of a little girl holding hands with an American soldier and another soldier at the end of World War II.