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Friday, May 13, 2016

Day 13, April 3, River Cruising and Regensberg, Germany

Prunn castle,  5 miles from Kelheim, Germany
After a busy day of walking on lots of sloping cobblestone streets yesterday we were glad for an easy morning.  We sailed all night and arrived at Kelheim around 8 AM.  From this city an optional excursion to Munich was available.  We choose to stay on board, see if we could get on the internet and just chill.  Of course there were meals and snacks to be consumed.  I am not sure how the kitchen can stay caught up with the dishes.  Or how there are so many clean table cloths and napkins.

Peeking out from
our room wearing
his pj bottoms! Don't
take that, he said.
wood available for purchase
We enjoyed the views along the river.   Rob, the cruise director would give information via the speaker system so we could stay in our room and relax privately.

Wood cut and piled along the shore is ready to be purchased or picked up for use in heating according to Rob.  We saw lots of curling smoke from chimneys as well as plenty of solar panels!
The morning sailing was quite and relaxing.  A thin fog filled the air giving the beauty of the river canal a mystic feel.  Birds were singing and strutting again this morning. I saw a lifer in the Eurasain blue tit.  And some gaggles of Egyptian geese.

Even watching the progress through the locks continued to hold interest at this point.  Good thing as there are about 67 locks the ship will use during the course of the trip.  The bolt in the photos was about 10" in diameter.  The series of photos were taken from our stateroom sliding door as the boat was lowered in the lock.

 Overnight we had reached the peak height of 1332' above sea level. Remember we started below sea level in the Netherlands!  We have been traveling against the current. The water is now heading down toward the distant Black Sea so we are going with the current now.  We could follow the trip on the TV in our room, which was fun, too.
The Old Stone Bridge build in the 1200's under repairs in 2016.

About lunchtime we arrive at Regensburg.  We pass under The Stone Bridge first constructed in the 1200's.  In order to have clearance to float under the bridge the wheelhouse is dropped down inside the longboat.  The bridge, as so many buildings, is undergoing maintenance and restoration.

Food must be eaten as it has been prepared with care.  Around 2 we leave for the walking tour of the Old City.  I want to mention that many of the cities we toured so far had thriving, modern sections in addition to the old city parts of the towns.  But why look at something new like we see all the time when we can see 1000 year old buildings and 2000 year old walls......  The city, while bombed during WWII, received almost no damage to the Old City portion.  As a result it is an UNESCO site.

Around 2 the walk begins heading back toward the Stone Bridge.  There are two viking longboats docked together causing a human traffic jam!  It must be crazy in the peak of tourist season.  But we all eventually find the popsicle with our leisure group number.  Headsets are tested and we are off to see this unique little Old Town.

We are greeted with a Quack then on to the Wurstkuchl, a 500+ years old tavern serving charcoaled, homemade sausages and sauerkraut.  The same menu provided to the builders of the bridge!  We were still full so passed up the sausages.

a composite of the Bridge tower clock

Following the popsicle guide we check out the clock tower then turn into the Old City.  I could not even begin to tell you which streets we walked, but it was a bunch!  We passed The Old City Hall, multiple churches and a home occupied for a time by Schindler of Schindler's List fame.  He and his wife lived here after WWII.  He had lost his fortune by then.

There is the mural that has been maintained since medieval times depicting the David and Goliath story.  It was to remind those that might attack the town that might does not always win!

A hidden courtyard with beautiful wooden walls.  These were homes built for trade merchants families.  It helped avoid taxes.  Nothing new under the sun, I guess.

Narrow street after narrow street filled with cobble stone pavements and colorful houses.  Shop windows full of merchandise we can only yearn to touch.  It is Sunday and there is hardly an open store in sight.  Not the image of socialist European cities I normally envision.
And every turn or two there is a chapel, church or cathedral. 

Statues, spires, gargoyles and all manners of medieval icons were all over the place.


We reached the end of the tour in front of the main cathedral.  It, too, was in the midst of renovation.  Removing the black gunk that forms on all these old buildings.  We hung around to rest a bit before we headed back to the ship. We took a different route at my insistence.  Between the map and our two minds we made it fine.  And saw more lovely sights.
This was a delightful Old City.  Definitely worth the time to stroll through with my fav travel buddy on a Sunday afternoon in April!  Yeah, I'd go back again if I had the chance.  Let's do it during the week.  After all, we were not able to get any souvenirs!  And that is why Hubby is smiling, I did not spend any euros!

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