What do you know about Mistletoe?
Before I leave Melk, I would like to show you what happens when the riverboat docks. First of all the sign was saying goodbye, not welcome. And there was a truck waiting for our ship at the top of the ramp.
The good news is that they were waiting for us with supplies for the evening meal.
This is a popular spot along the Danube so there are many docks for the riverboats. At the height of the tourist season the Abby could be a very busy place with a riverboat tied up to each dock and about 200 people per boat. That works out to about five busloads per boat and possibly five or more boats.
The upstream end of the dock is shaped like a ship’s bow. This reduces the force of the constantly flowing river which tries to push the dock onto the shore.
After we are tied up to the dock the kitchen staff start carrying the fresh local produce down the ramp and into the kitchens.
The waiters and bar staff have to make sure we have enough of the local beer.
I think somebody might be coming to visit daddy while he is in port. It is a steep ramp for a short legs.
Now I will tell you about the mistletoe. It is a parasite that grows in the host trees. Even in December its tiny leaves are green. If you search the Internet for pictures of mistletoe you will find pictures of Holly with it. Both are associated with Christmas but they are different in many ways. Holly is its own plant and does not depend on another plant to sustain it. holly leaves are rigid dark green with spiny points whereas mistletoe leaves are small delicate and light green. The holly usually has red berries and the mistletoe berries are white.
I think both Holly and mistletoe are associated with Christmas because they are green at this time of year. The pictures above do not show this very well because they are silhouetted against the bright sky. When the sun reflects off of them the light green shows up against the dark bare branches. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe originated in England and the custom says that one of the white berries should be picked off before the kiss. When all the berries are gone, no more kissing.
So as I kiss the Melk Abby goodbye, and blow a kiss to its neighbour’s dock, Emmersdorf, I will remind you that the Melk Abby has a website that shows many pictures of its library and gallery. I have saved some of my pictures from the gallery for another time.
Where do you want to go today?
May I suggest http://www.stiftmelk.at/englisch/