Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Student and the Frog: Melk

Greetings, friends!

Do not be alarmed, we shall return to your regularly scheduled program in the next post, but first allow me to introduce myself: I am Splintered Thoughts, more casually known as Splinter, the eldest of the young Darwins. 

For the Spring Semester I am studying abroad in Austria, and I have taken a good friend with me.


This is Reginald. He is an excellent frog, an all-around decent fellow, and shall be accompanying me throughout Europe. 

Reginald recuperates in an airport chair after the overseas flight 

During my Austria semester home base is Kartause, an old Carthusian monastery which now serves as a hotel and as the European campus for Franciscan University. The whole building has a beautiful echo, which would be splendid for singing were it not for quiet hours starting at the extremely reasonable hours of ten and eleven. 

My favorite place for singing in the whole Kartause; the third floor

However we the students were not given much time to explore the building before our first expedition. The next morning we students were packed on a bus and sent off on an hour-long bus ride to Melk Abbey, the relaxing destination of emperors and empresses.

The round tower visible from the entrance courtyard of Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey was stunningly beautiful. Our group was taken on a tour of the guest wing of the Abbey, as well as the dining room, church, and library (which I would have liked to stay in a bit longer). We were led through a room of mirrors which housed a collection of chalices and monstrances that had been donated by families who had sent their sons to the abbey to become priests, a room that displayed bones from the catacombs under Rome, which were believed to belong to early Christians, and a host of other fascinating and beautiful objects (including my favorite, the reusable coffin that drops the dead body inside into the waiting grave at the pull of a pin. Convenient!).
However, tour groups are not allowed to take photographs inside of the Abbey, so all mine show the outside of the building.

My attempt at replicating a photo that Darwin took during his college semester in Austria

Reginald looks out over Melk

Entering into the Abbey

After ending the tour with the gift shop, we had an absolutely phenomenal lunch that everyone, including Reginald, enjoyed. 

Lunch, followed by an excellent hat

It's just his color

Thus ended the day at Melk, and just in time for me, as I was jet-lagged, slap-happy, and needed a nap. Reginald did not display the normal symptoms of crossing six hours into the future and continued to roam the Kartause all on his own, discovering several tea kitchens and the pool table. 

Reginald admires the view from the tea kitchen

After recovering from the time difference, I also made some interesting discoveries, including, but not limited to, a small craft shop in Gaming and the fact that kiwis can, and should, be eaten with the skin intact. 

Our next trip is on Saturday, where I shall be engaging on excursions in Salzburg that may or may not include a dragon, but will definitely feature Reginald.


Jocelyn said...

No!NO! Please don't eat kiwis with the skin on. Agricultural sprays adhere to the bristles.

Take my word for it; I'm a Kiwi.

Ladyhobbit said...

Our younger son spent a semester in Gaming some years ago, so I really enjoyed seeing these photos and hearing about your experience. Also, that is a charming frog!

Agnes said...

I've never heard of eating kiwis with the skin intact.. unless you mean your own skin? that hopefully remains intact! I'd continue skinning them if Iwere you.
Lovely account of your experiences. I envy you Melk, it is definitely on my list to be visited. Cheers!

SAC said...

Right! Kiwis, the fruit! Excellent, excellent. My sister's husband and eight children, all of whom are citizens of a certain southern-hemispherical country, are SAFE. (Along with all of their fellow-citizens, one of whom I momentarily assumed you had encountered on your journey.)

Sometimes one's brain is in a certain place and it takes half a second before it jumps to the other place...