Friday, May 24, 2013

Viking's Grand European River Cruise: Passau, Germany

Viking River Cruise, Day 10:  Passau, Germany (Facebook collage)
(click any collage to enlarge)

For some reason, I always think Passau is in Austria, but when you consider it's less than 10 miles away, no wonder, right?  But the main thing is that it is known as the "city of three rivers," which I'll get to shortly.  And we were there all morning and afternoon.

Arriving in each city and preparing to disembark was half the fun of every day.
Even though it was still very cold (think WINTER), many dare devils still wore shorts on board.

Astrid and I quickly opted out of the planned tour when our guide was moving slower than molasses
and we needed to stay warm by clipping along.  So we headed out on our own...

...and started taking in the iconic buildings that dot the city landscape.
This is St. Paul's, Passau's oldest parish church, from 1050, right near where we docked.
It wasn't open, so we couldn't see inside.  Too bad!

As we walked towards city center, the city hall kept peeking through.
I'm sure the guide explained the painted coblestones that led there, the Höll Lane.

Later in the post I'll explain how and from where I got the from-on-high shots.
That's the Danube river, of course, on which we were sailing when we stopped for our visit.

The big attraction of the city, church-wise, is St. Stephan's Cathedral, from 1688, which was open.
See how it lines up on the cityscape with the city hall!

St. Stephan's organ is the world's second largest pipe organ with 17,974 pipes.
(The largest is in the Macy's store in Philadelphia, with 28,482 pipes!)

It so happens this was the Monday following Palm Sunday...
and the confessional line was steady...and with all men.
Hmmmm.  I got my education!

The remainder of the morning we walked around and "collected."

You know me by now.  I love to collect!

How can you not love this kind of art, right?!

Did I mention it was really cold?

 Impressions.  Impressions.  Impressions.


And ditto again.
Don't you love how some of the buildings seem to be holding hands!

Then it was time for lunch back at the ship and getting our second wind for the afternoon's hike up to the fortress!

Yes, you heard me:  the Veste Oberhaus fortress, founded in 1219, is on the other side of the river.
That weird number on the side of it is 1499, from a newer addition.
Who knew that was a '4!'

So we walked downstream to the bridge that took us to the other side of the Danube.
Btw, this is the Luitpoldbrücke, 208-meter-long hanging bridge from 1910.

And when we climbed the steps and wound around the hairpin turns of the path,
this is what we found at the top.

 And yes, it really was cold enough for icycles!

Now, remember all those images above looking down on the city?
Talk about a vantage point!

We even saw way off in the distance, across the river from the fortress, the Mariahilf cloister.
I would have loved to visit it, too!

And since we're still up on top, here's a video Astrid took of the cityscape:

The bells you hear are from St. Stephan's Cathedral!

Did you notice at the beginning of the video the little peninsula point?  And remember how I mentioned at the top of this post that Passau is the City of Three Rivers.  There at that point the 3 rivers converge to become the one river, Danube.  The other 2 lesser rivers are the Ilz and Inn rivers, all 3 with different colors.  And of course, we had to go see it for ourselves.

So back down the hill and across the bridge, we turned left and walked to the point.

Along the way we passed Emerenz Meier, one of Bavaria's most important folk poets, born in 1874.
What a sweet face!

And then we walked back to our boat along the Inn River side of the peninsula.
After cutting through the city center, there she was, our Viking Idun home.
And there Jerry and Carol were sitting (from Rothenburg, remember?), welcoming us back.

Wat een dag!  What a day!


  1. Wow ... what a trip ... so much to see and photograph. I loved St Stephans ... beautiful! However the stand out photo by far was the shot through the window of the boat of the houses. I love that picture!

    1. You are such a sweetheart to comment here, Geoff. Thank you. Actually, that's one of my favorite images, too. I LOVED our window out on the world as it passed by at water level. :)

  2. This was probably the most cold day for us. we needed to keep walking to stay warm. I know the guide did try her best, the standing still and listening were too much.
    What a delightful town, the St. Stephens Cathedral was beautiful, every time I see the pictures, I more and more realize that we had an incredible journey. The things we saw, the people we met, just wonderful.
    We were rewarded, after that steep walk UP the mountain, with an amazing view. That was worth the whole trip UP, and of course the castle too. What a view.
    Another fabulous day.....

    1. I couldn't have said it more perfectly! The trip just gets better and better, doesn't it! Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA.

  3. Brrrr the icicles really get the point across!! I can totally understand wanting to keep moving and not dilly-dally with a guide. I agree that the photo of houses through the boat window is wonderful. Then the views around the city are just great. Do you know, my hips hurt a little from that hike up to the fortress? :)

    1. I just had to show the icycles, Ruth, to prove how cold it was. HA! You mention your hips....for me it's my knees. I wasn't sure I could do it but I was bound and determined to make it to the top. The several levels of steps at the beginning almost did me in, but once we were on the path, winding around, I was just fine. And of course I had Astrid on whom I leaned the entire time. What a sport!

  4. Does Wat een dag mean Whew!? I would never be able to keep up! But what a collection you must have now!

    1. Wat een dag means What a day, Susan :) As I go through each of these days, I realize just exactly how much we did and saw. We'll never forget it, especially now that we can look back on these images! Thank you.

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    1. That's very kind of you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!