The city of Regensburg was definitely a lovely yet unexpected surprise. I could not believe that we covered quite a bit of terrain in just a few hours and once again I have to thank my adventurous travel companion Marian for deciding to skip the group tours (to be honest, we are not exactly a fans of them) and explore on our own!
On Day 4, we woke up to find out that we had arrived in the next town on our travel itinerary, Passau, Germany. The grey chilly weather was certainly not going to stop us from making the best out of the hours we had available to go around the Dreiflüssestadt.
Passau is surrounded by 3 rivers, Inn, Ilse and Danube. It was a well-known salt trading center in Bavaria and Europe due to its strategic position, close to the Austrian border and the Czech Republic and onwards.
Just like Regensburg, the city was part of the Holy Roman Empire and it was also a very important center where swords and blades were manufactured.
As soon as you step off the Long ship, you are once again transported to another period. It’s as if you go from traveling in comfort to traveling back in time in a few minutes! And frankly I just love that.
Little did we know that we were going to learn a lot about the city’s history, culture and nice surprises were waiting for us.
We decided to walk along the quay
before crossing the street to one of the main attractions:
Alt Rathaus (Old City Hall)
Completed in 1405 in Venetian style, the Old City Hall reminds you of Italian Tower clocks and this is due to the fact that Italian Baroque Masters were the planners and builders of many of Passau’s structures.
An interesting feature of the Alt Rathaus is the water scale painted on the wall which indicates the level of the water reached during the many floods the city suffered and the latest was back in 2013.
Being surrounded by water, it is not surprising but yet they have overcome time and time again!
After admiring the details, we continued onwards on Schrottgasse
until we turned to the right and came across Residenz Platz. Right before us was the stunning
Bischöfliche Residenz (Bishop’s Residence)
Was the residence of bishops in the 18th century. Today it is occupied by diocese administrators and is Domschatz and Diözesanmuseum, the Cathedral Treasury and Diocese Museum.
No visit to Passau is complete without seeing St Stephen’s cathedral.
Finished in 1688, this baroque church houses the largest cathedral organ in Europe…and the world.
To fully experience its power, concerts are offered daily at noon from May to October except for Sundays and during holidays.
It can get very crowded and I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this but I really try to avoid large crowds as I get dizzy and need some fresh air.
We saw that there were lots of groups waiting to go inside the cathedral, so we opted to go elsewhere and discover some more.
On the left, there is a long alley that takes you back to the Bishop’s residence. We heard music coming from there, so that’s where we went.
The cobble stones remind you of times past and at the very end, you find a lookout point where you can see the city below and also the countryside at a distance.
On our way down, we found this graffiti on the wall which left me speechless and it was a definite sign that let us know that we were in the right place and at the right time. I’ll let you be the judge of it 🙂
Now is that just awesome or what? It truly describes what we, world travelers, think and feel. It is a confirmation!
Lunch hour was fast approaching and we had worked out an appetite by walking on Grabengasse, one of the most popular commercial streets.
Then all of a sudden we turned on Große Klingergasse and found Selly’s Vegan bar!
Ah vegan homemade food. Since we embarked on our 8 day cruise we had not had real veggie, even less vegan meals.
Now I don’t know if I ever told you this but I was a vegetarian for about 4 years until I turned carnivore again after returning from Asia. Since Marian is a vegan, I thought why not join her for a healthy, nutritious meal in Germany Ja? 🙂
We took a look at the menu and everything on it sounded good. We both went for Selly’s Burger.
They claim that it is the best burger in town. It comes loaded with Tofu, peanuts, plantain, soy, sesame seeds, iceberg salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted potatoes and salad.
Did they deliver? Take a look. Yum-o or in german, sehr gut!
Now to accompany the meal, Marian opted for a local beer (and world-renowned) Löwenbrauerei Passau Lager
while I went old school and ordered my weakness, coke light which came in a glass bottle.
Hey the girl had to have her sugar fix!
The burger was warm, tasty, crunchy and oh so good for all the senses. The best part is that we sat outside and the grey skies parted to give way to sun rays and blue skies. I just looked up and said “Danke Gott or Thank you God” we couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.
After finishing lunch, we had to walk off the calories ingested, thus we continued wandering around until we came back full circle and well, decided to stop and rest before going back on board.
We found a brewery facing the Danube called Peschl Brauerei. We learned that it first opened in 1259, thus has been serving great and fresh beer for over 750 years!
You can sit indoors at the restaurant or out on the terrace and that’s precisely what we did. After all, we could see Viking Atla from where we were sitting (there sure was no way we could miss the boat, literally) and the day was still glorious. We sure had to enjoy every glorious minute 🙂
We opted for a glass of dunkel Aldersbach (dark) beer, and on the side, Marian ordered Obatzda which is a German cheese spread that comes with soft pretzels. Very creamy, smooth and delish!
What a great way to end our tour of Passau!
Sadly, all good things come to an end. As we finished our second beer, we saw a group of passengers that were returning from their own tour and going onboard. Thus it was a sign for us to finish our beers, thank the lovely and gracious server who had a good laugh with our English-German but she was so kind and happy to have served us. The only thing left to say was Vielen Dank and Auf Widersehen!
We crossed the road, embarked once again and sat on the sundeck of the Longship
and enjoyed the last views of Germany as we made our way to our next destination, and second country.
Stay tuned for Day 5: Melk, Austria.
Now I am turning it over to you!
When was last time you got lost on purpose and where was it?
Do you make stops to recover or rest your pretty feet before exploring some more?
Is it at a coffee shop, brewery, public fountain or else?
Please share your stories. Even better, show us! I can’t wait to read them.
Bis nächsten mal, until next time!
Tashi Delek, All the best.