Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dürnstein-May 7/19

What a gorgeous quaint little town. Probably my favourite! No guide, just me walking through it!

The castle where Richard the Lion-hearted was kept imprisoned

Path up into the vineyards

The path to the castle

Inside courtyard… cars parked behind those doors

The view near the end of the road inside the town. Below is a highway that goes right under the town

Me outside the lovely town of Dürnstein

The “gate” at the entrance… that’s a road!

The view of the Danube coming down out of the village… on my way back to the boat.

Just leaving Dürnstein but all along this waterway, I have never seen so many swans. This spot had close to a dozen…. together
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Melk and it’s Benedictine Monastery-May 7/19

Melk Abbey was finished in 1739 although there has been a fortress of some sort at this location for 2000 years. It is a Benedictine monastery with 29 monks & 900 secondary day students that pay 90€/month to go here. (By the way, it seems all over Germany and later Slovakia, that all students only go until lunchtime or 1pm. I don’t know what time they start though).

Pink is a typical colour of baroque so inside staircase was painted pink. Main corridor is 643 feet long. It was like a hotel. Guests came with 250 people in tow. Ceramic heaters… chimneys in walls …very large …moulded white. It had been a fortress but in 980AD was donated to the monks. Crucifix 800yrs old. Marble room isn’t really marble but painted stucco… formerly the dining room. Library is 12 rooms. This one … oh my!!! All handwritten! Incidentally, no picture taking is allowed of the inside…..sorry! So no pictures of the inside. It’s a pity!

The grounds leading to the Abbey

Note the “pink” of the stairwell typical of Baroque

An old wooden clock

Later I walk down through the old town, dropping my phone (which was being used as my source of pictures). You should see the lens!!!! But it continues to work.

The start of my walk down into “Old Town”

Where I dropped my phone. Those darn cobble stones aren’t very forgiving.

Old town Melk

Lovely old narrow walkways with the similar bracing between buildings to prevent them from collapsing into each other.

The Abbey as seen from below

On my walk back to the boat

After leaving Melk, our cruise director told us a bit of the history of this area during the last war. In a concentration camp near here, 10,000 perished in the gas chambers plus 4,000 that died trying to escape or in the building of the tunnels. There is no visible evidence.

On the gorge of Wachau…..the 12th century Schonbuhel castle …. with an onion tower.

Schönbühel Castle

The terrain is now more steep.

The next 32 kms there is no bridges…..use ferries, the first is a cable ferry.

Aggstein Castle …900’ above the river……. so very high!

Next stop Dürnstein….

Linz-also May 6/19

We didn’t have a tour here. We were waiting for the people that went into Salzburg for the day to return so just wandered the streets. Here are some pictures.

The Amabella following us closely in this beautiful windy section of the Danube. The lock now are wide enough to hold our two boat together.

Linz city centre plaza

Love this bike in front of a store in Linz

Electric street cars …..Linz

Beautiful door!!!

This one and the following showing products for sale…love them!

The “new” cathedral……holds 20,000

More doors

This one is gorgeous!

The New Cathedral started in 1862 finished 1924, holds 20,000 worshippers. Like all cathedrals and many buildings all along this river corridor, they are continuously under reconstruction.

Inside a building

Just look at the size of that door …….compared to Jeanette

How’d you’d like to live on a street with that name???

Passau-May 6/19

50,000 population +30,000 students plus 2,000,000 tourists a year. Out of the 50,000 people that live here, 5000 are employed with BMW.

The water level of the Danube today is 4.84m. As read on posted sign later, we see the heights of floods over time….. huge! The highest in 500 years was 12.85m. in 2013. The highest was actually in 1501.

Passau old city

The left bank of the Danube

Start of our walking tour of Passau

High flood marks over the centuries

The postal lady delivering on her bicycle

These were put in place so as to not damage the corners of the buildings from skids, wagon, you name it

As buildings started to collapse into each other they would place these arches so to prevent any further mpvement.

Passau was first inhabited 2500 yrs ago

Romans were here until 500 AD, then came 200 years of the Dark Ages when there was no documentation telling of the time. Then Catholics came about 739AD….. ruled by Prince Bishops.

Vesta Oberhaus (a fortress/castle and residence of the prince bishop)on the hill between the Danube and the Ilz Rivers is the size of 10 soccer fields

For a period it was used as prison. One such prisoner was Charles de Gaul.

When the rivers are flooding the buildings down by the river have bulkheads that they put up to prevent the water from coming in. They are only so high…. maybe 2.5 feet. If the flooding is higher, they have to remove them to allow water into the houses or the force of the water would destroy the houses completely. They have to allow the water pressure to equalize.

Wild man river.. symbol is half naked man

After many riots the prince bishop permitted a place to be built where the citizens could socialize…. the dance hall.

The ScharfrichterHaus is the executioners house.

The prince bishop had a birds eye view from his castle on the hill …….of the executioner & the dance hall.

Ratskeller or city council’s drinking place

The executioner’s house

The bishops fortress, Veste Oberhaus begun


in 1220 but the date when this section was complex shows 1499 (1, then half infinity or an eight means 4 plus 9 & 9)….strange!

the bishops residence

That postal lady is following us.

There were 8 fires that destroyed the city. After the 1662 fire, the house were all rebuilt in the baroque style.

1803 Napoleon kicked out prince bishop and made it a free city of Bavaria.

St. Stephens Cathedral was not totally destroyed in the fire of 1662 hence one side is built in the late gothic style. The other side is built in the baroque style. It really is not a beautiful cathedral from the outside but inside…..absolutely magnificent! It seems like each subsequent cathedral we see is better than the last. The organ in it, is considered the worlds largest pipe organ.

Residence

Example of the Gothic side of St. Stephens Cathedral

The narrow alley to the front of the cathedral

The very plain exterior in Baroque of St. Stephens

The magnificent interior

Beautiful!

The worlds largest pipe organ…in St. Stephens

Cute little cafe on one of the streets

Ceiling of St. Stephens

And Through this street/tunnel at probably 60 km/hr cars came barreling through

The riverside tower defensive building, the Veste Niederhaus……..from the 14 th century….Passau

The Ilz River joining up with the Danube, fortress above and 14th century defensive building below

The blue Inn River joins the not so blue Danube at Passau

Regensburg-May5/19

The city has been inhabited for 2 thousand years.

BMW and Siemens are main employers here.

The “Old Stone Bridge” with 16 arches, is 900 years old… finished in 1135. . They just completed a restoration in 2018 that took 8 years at a cost of 2 Million €. The originally took only 11 years.

The walk from boat into the city

The “Old Stone Bridge” of Regensburg

The current between these pillars would suck you under

“Castra Regina” original name of the city from Romans in 179AD hense the name….Regensburg

Wall painting on facade of David and Goliath… is on a medieval building….

Window on the building of the best place in town to get sausage….the first “fast foot restaurant”

Parts of the old Castra Regina from Roman time still exist

David and Goliath is not for the biblical characters but named after the marching monks called “goliads…I think that was the name!

Looking down the narrow street you can barely see the cathedral poking through.

Pink building ….Tuscan residential tower. … upper floors above the next building are only used for storage.

“To advise” means ratskelker or council member

Medieval jurisdiction (a torture chamber) in the basement of the city hall.

Common measuring system came with Napoleon. Before that, each city had their own hence you will find the distance from one town would be different than the return trip.

The cathedral is only one not owned by the church but the state. It is made with green and white sandstone

It takes a million€ per year to maintain. Pope Benedict the 2nd from here. He is the only one that has abdicated before death. The cathedral was started in 1273 but took 600 years to complete. The outside turns black from pollution. The tall spires are only 150 years.

We were so happy to meet up with a lovely young girl Helena, that we met previously while on our safari tour of South Africa. She lives elsewhere in Germany but is studying at the university here in Regensburg.

The Cathedral of St. Peter at Regensburg

Helena, myself and Jeanette in from of the cathedral in Regensburg

Rhine-Main-Danube Lock at Scheitelhaltung-May 5/19

Shortly before arriving at this lock, the canal passed over a road in much the same way as a highway passes over top another. Only thing different I would think is the weight difference. Can you imagine the reinforcements necessary for the weight of the water, the ship and the 200 plus people on the boat never mind the weight of the lock itself? I’d say a major engineering feat!

From here it is at the high point on the whole system. From here we go down instead of bucking the current. This lock is huge….81 ft deep (1332 feet above sea level). I tried to included 2 videos. One of the boat rising in the lock and one of the wheelhouse being lowered…..but it won’t upload. Sorry!)

Passing under a bridge……close huh and there is a wheel house and sun deck up there although all railings and the house have been lowered
The side of the lock

This is where there are 3 reservoirs. I mistakenly said that each lock has this set up but it just this one where the water flow changes.

3000€ is the cost for this ship to pass through ”canal” part and only from one end to other. River part is no charge.