The road out was confusing, along a busy industrial route and then retail parks. We finally turned off into corn and turnip fields, far more like playing Agricola. Then we got lost in a little village before a woman tending her huge back yard, dressed for the 1930's, shouted us to go down a track. It took us past more land and tractors before rejoining the tow-path.
My chain came off on the hill up to the tow path and as a result I cracked the new second skin I'd applied so painfully before setting out. It hurt.
Onwards to a levee and around another kraftwerk. The cycle path jiggled around and into carparks before finally spewing us out into Melk and its fabulous monastery. It's unattractively yellow, but impressive.
We went past an American tour party heading back to their Danube cruise boats, not moving out of anyones way. One bloke said "These high water marks aren't real are they?" Fool.
We pushed the bikes up the cobbled streets to the main square and chose a bike park. We locked up, I changed into Crocs so that my cleats wouldn't clatter, and we hung our damp washing off the bikes. Classy. I did up the bikini to fixing it on the handlebars so it wouldn't blow away. We walked to the tourist office and she told us where the pharmacy and the steps to Melk Abbey were.
At the pharmacy I quickly found second skin, but not antiseptic wipes. I looked up antiseptic in the dictionary and said it in my best German accent. The pharmacist looked puzzled then said "oh, you want antiseptic, yes of course, I have a spray", in a more credible English accent than my German one.
We sat at a cafe in the square where I asked for 'tomatensaft' - go me. They didn't have any, I settled for apple juice. We sat and drank and chatted and chose food, then we tried to get the waiter to take our order. He was incredibly skilled in avoiding eye-contact whilst striking handsome poses. I'm sure this was nice for him, but I was more hungry than horny and quickly got fed up. We ordered cheese toast, which turned out to be a grilled cheese sandwich American style, served with ketchup and without cutlery.