A Travellerspoint blog

Day 20 - Regensburg Germany

overcast 18 °C

After an overnight trip from Passau and after dinner music by Ivan (story for another day) which we slept through, arrived into Bach which is just outside the larger town of Regensburg. We joined the walking tour of the city and this was another very pretty town. Lots of roman ruins from previous tenants. Engineers would appreciate this archway which has no mortar or other means to hold the rock work together.

Stone archway

Stone archway

Lots of cobbled streets and old houses. Great shops and relatively cheap for handbags (just what I need to go with my Austrian outfits).

Not many house gardens in this place.

Not many house gardens in this place.

Another town square but the same goddess

Another town square but the same goddess

Downtown Regensburg

Downtown Regensburg

Part of the day walking tour was a voucher to get....wait for it a Wurstkuchl. This is the one and only, world famous Wurstkuchl too. It was served up to me in the equally famous fried sausage kitchen and it came with sauerkraut and homemade mustard. Just devine its famous for me anyway.

World famous hotdog now really tasty

World famous hotdog now really tasty

Back onboard for another creation left on the bed by our steward. Heavens knows how they do this let alone how long it must take. One towel, extraordinary from my uncreative perspective.
What they can do with a towel amazes me; I struggle to dry myself.

What they can do with a towel amazes me; I struggle to dry myself.

hind legs and everything; drying my legs included.

hind legs and everything; drying my legs included.

Sailed from Regensburg and must say we could have stayed longer. What a liveable place, in fact my timing all day had been perfect. Found a laundromat close to the boat, missed the cuckoo-clock presentation at the Drubba store and missed the tour director Han's end of day port talk. Life doesn't get better.

Tonight we get to watch some entertainment with Hans O'Marusch in the lounge. Saw this dude come onboard late this afternoon and wasn't quick enough to get a photo. I shit you not, he had a moustache that even Teddy would be jealous of, dressed in my favourite outfit including the Austrian hat. Can't wait to see what this dude does, and with a name O'Marusch. His relatives must have been German/Irish. Will get you a photo for tomorrow, him and the normal nightly entertainment with Ivan is going to be great. Maybe better than the male Madonna impersonator.

Posted by mandt0413 09:46 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

The Austrian Alps and Chevy Chase European Vacation

rain 17 °C

Pulled into Linz which is in the lower half of Austria first thing in the morning and started a tour through the Alps of Austria. We rejoined the vessel (still not a ship) late in the afternoon in Passau which is in Germany.

Unfortunately Mandy and I had joined two other couples the night before for wine tasting and dinner. I'm sure that us (more me) not feeling so good had a lot to do with the doner kebab at midnight. As if, the wine has really been something and it's quality. So off on the bus ride and in between stops we had a nap. Unfortunately the guide was close enough to us that she commented something along the lines of "those of you who have been awake.....may have noticed......" Tough luck, we're on hols.

Anyway the good news was it rained and was cooler. First bus stop was another castle. What is it with these tour guides and castles, abbeys and churches...

Whilst the lakes n alps were beautiful it was a little clouded in.

Whilst the lakes n alps were beautiful it was a little clouded in.

The area reminded me of the south parts of NZ and whilst I have been to the Swiss Alps before, this was slightly different.

Just like Milford Sound in NZ

Just like Milford Sound in NZ

Heidi in the Alps

Heidi in the Alps

The water in the lake was very clean and still receiving from the melting snow. Temperature of the water was surprisingly warm around 18 degrees and its amazing to see so many holiday homes which this area supports. The average snow falls are in the region of 30 metres and it was -30 degrees only 2 months ago. Makes Perisher look like a beach resort in comparison.

Had the local fare for lunch as has been my inclination to do since we left. Today it was Schnitzel and Austrian potatoes from Tasmania.....Mandy had my other favourite of pickled pigs knee (sorry Dean hope it wasn't one of your pets)

Check out the bird sitting above Mandy at lunch

Check out the bird sitting above Mandy at lunch

The restaurant was full of stuffed wild life (or ex wild life anyway) and a little crass in this day and age. The other noticable thing about Austria is that for real they all dress just like Chevy Chase in European Vacation. I want to get an outfit with hat to wear to work but Mandy won't let me spend the money. They are displayed in most shops and it's quite unbelievable and expensive . I think that I would look great at a Shoalhaven Water Committee meeting.

Austrian Village - Somewherehauf

Austrian Village - Somewherehauf

Had a real ball in one of the village squares. It was the equivalent of the tour guide state of origin. Here we were politely listening to the guide explaining to us about the house where Mozart and his sister lived (close family apparently) and all of a sudden she gets into a barney with the opposing guide. Almost a fist fight in the first half (let me tell you I wouldn't want to be opposing this frauline) when the guide (Japanese) wanted to line up his players (all Japanese) against the village square for a group photo. This apparently is an ongoing problem as they push people out of the way and very loudly ignoring everyone else. What a hoot, more entertaining that Mozart's love shack.

Austrian Frauline V's Japanese Sirloin (or whatever the male equivalent is called)

Austrian Frauline V's Japanese Sirloin (or whatever the male equivalent is called)

Anyway onto more villages and alps. Readers probably aren't appreciating that we really did enjoy ourselves and just how fantastic the scenery was.

More Alps

More Alps

Out of the Alps to rejoin the cruise in Passau in Germany. This is the place where they make BMW cars and more importantly Fischer Skis. Great Skis which Mandy and I both use. The cars are ok too but we have to settle for a Kluger. (Carmel can you and I talk about this when I get back. If they get rid of the tea trolley we might be able to get BMW's)

Very interesting the size of the wind turbines, they are everywhere but what is truly amazing is the fields and fields of solar panels. The Government has paid the farmers to install them and power into the grid. It's supposed to be more profitable than traditional farming.

Getting back onboard we decided on an early night, negative dinner and positive sleep......Tomorrow Regensburg Germany. Nite Nite.

Posted by mandt0413 08:15 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Wachau Region of Austria

Two port calls today.

sunny 23 °C

We sailed from Vienna late last night and transited to the Wachau region of Austria arriving in the first of the 2 port calls today. Duernstein is located right on the Danube and is mainly a wine growing area. We docked at 8 in the morning and avoided the masses going on another Abbey tour. We decided to hike to the top of the mountain behind the town on top of which originally contained a fortress . But I get ahead of myself.

Had a pleasant evening leaving Vienna. Whilst the masses went to the Opera (not surprised about this given the age of passengers - it was advertised as a tour with no walking.......) Mandy and I consoled ourselves with an after dinner wine and a quiet sit down at the bow. No interruptions or music with Ivan who is a big hit with the oldies. Mandy or I weren't even born when they were hits......

Great weather, wonderful company and an excellent venue

Great weather, wonderful company and an excellent venue

Then I started to regale Mandy with all my stories of the sea, it was the setting you see and the salt air (oh that's right the Danube is freshwater) Anyway I was starting to get somewhere with the youngest passenger.

settle down Mandy its not appropriate at sea......not in front of the troops please.

settle down Mandy its not appropriate at sea......not in front of the troops please.

Then typical foot and mouth me; my comment sent things "pear shaped" and out came the finger again. What is it with this woman and that finger.

Well I thought I was being entertaining.

Well I thought I was being entertaining.

The first of the day visits was to Durnstein which is a quaint little town right on the river. It has an Abbey (don't they all) and so because we're all Abbeyed out, we decided to climb up to the ruins of the Kuenringerburg castle (stay with me here). It was built in 1150 but it is better known as being the prison for Richard 1 (Richard the Lionheart). Big Dick as he was known to his subjects got himself caught on returning from the crusade to the Holy City and this is where he spent his time until a ransom was paid for his release. It was about this time that I again began to bore Mandy. You see Mandy isn't as interested in history. Anyway, made it to the top and the views were spectacular so no doubt Rick would have been relaxing on days like this during his 2 year sabattical to Duernstein.

Hike to the ruins overlooking Duernstein

Hike to the ruins overlooking Duernstein

From the top looking back over the Danube

From the top looking back over the Danube

Duernstein is only a small town of Austria with probably less than 200. All of them very small.

Not much room for tall people

Not much room for tall people

Main industry is wine making which they manage on rocky hillsides and tourism which stems from the passing river cruise vessels (note - still not calling them ships).
Cobbled stone streets and everything built on and around rocks

Cobbled stone streets and everything built on and around rocks


Wine and tourism...this is the local style but wouldn't pass Council inspection.

Wine and tourism...this is the local style but wouldn't pass Council inspection.

Back onboard for the 4 hour cruise and quick visit to Melk which is in Lower Austria and another small town. The vessel is very classy and the crew exceptional. Little touches like this happen everyday and is always different.

Lot's of Pom passengers onboard & if they are like their Royal Navy crew, this towel will never get used...

Lot's of Pom passengers onboard & if they are like their Royal Navy crew, this towel will never get used...

The trip up river was on a bright clear Sunday and one of the local's favourite past times on such days is clearly to picnic on the river and sun themselves naked. Everywhere naked bodies.

Danube to Melk

Danube to Melk

More Danube

More Danube

Enjoyed half and hour in the gym before reaching Melk. Not much to do here and couldn't understand why the visit. We suspect it was to visit another freakin Abbey. Melk was virtually closed but in fairness it was Sunday afternoon. We found a nice little pub where we were the only customers. Had a local beer and it was very malty.

Melk Sunday afternoon

Melk Sunday afternoon

The goddess at leisure

The goddess at leisure

Can't imagine what the population does here except maybe rural. Can't be much for the kids to do, they had a set up and a MALE Madonna impersonator practicing for tonights performance. Glad we won't be here to see it but apparently it is going to be a hoot.

The town square and it was really pumping.

The town square and it was really pumping.

We've seen a lot of these stands and you know how much I love my hotdogs. Going to have one of these babies before we leave. They smell great.

Wurstel Dogs with onion, cheese and saurkraut

Wurstel Dogs with onion, cheese and saurkraut

Posted by mandt0413 09:33 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Visit to Vienna (or V2V as the locals say)

Our second stop with the first one being to change trains on our way to Budapest 5 days ago

all seasons in one day 19 °C

Arrived into Vienna after an overnight sail from Slovakia. Docked at the berthing spot for all the river cruises which is about 3kms outside the city proper. We located upstream of the Austrian Navy, literally - this is the only vessel they own.

Austrian Navy Ship the titanic

Austrian Navy Ship the titanic

Joined the days local bus tour to visit the city sights and to again give us some idea about the layout before walking the streets. The weather was dramatically cooler than at anytime in the last 2 weeks with this morning only about 17 degrees and wet. We had a few cups of coffee to warm us up and Mandy really needed to go badly.

A girl can only drink so much before needing to go...especially this cold.

A girl can only drink so much before needing to go...especially this cold.

I'm such a good photographer.

Found this place interesting and it's what I've always said about myself.

Nice touch Austrian's know quality

Nice touch Austrian's know quality

It is such a clean city and unlike much of the other places visited so far, fairly clear of graffiti. Except for this place.

this area is a hub for teenagers after dark.

this area is a hub for teenagers after dark.

It has bars and imported sand to encourage the younger crowd at night. The pool party must be a hoot, especially in winter when it tops -20C, makes perisher seem like a summer resort.

pool Parties Vienna Style - And I complain about the gum trees and ducks around ours...

pool Parties Vienna Style - And I complain about the gum trees and ducks around ours...

Vienna is renowned (as I'm told) for classical music, schnitzel, frankfurters and Hitler. But it is also the strudel capital of the world. I needed a strudel, more to the point I needed a photo of me and Mr Strudel. So we journeyed to find a good one.

The holy grail of deserts....

The holy grail of deserts....

This was the place and we ordered the studel and coffee. Less hassle than poached eggs let me tell you. We're into day 14 and I could fill the blog on Mandy's efforts in getting a decent poached egg. Let me tell you Pam and Jeff you have the best eggs in the world.

I digress....back to the strudel.

What the .......

What the .......

Well f.....me it tastes like an apple pie.

So did I mention how many tree's there are in this place. Couldn't believe that we found a wattle tree.

Very structured avenue....very much like East Nowra

Very structured avenue....very much like East Nowra

As I mentioned in the Bratislava blog, Mandy is big on the finger gesture's. Vienna didn't hold her back when I suggested that we were heading back to the vessel (note I still can't bring myself to call it a ship), Mandy settle down.

Mandy it's a pedestrian crossing for f.....sake settle down.

Mandy it's a pedestrian crossing for f.....sake settle down.

No need to give me the finger

No need to give me the finger

Stuff it, I'm not waiting for Amsterdam let's go get something stronger than freakin coffee. Found the best place just one block back from the ship.

Grow your own, just like at home.

Grow your own, just like at home.

Early night now and play with our new purchases. Forget the wine we'll try this instead.

Vienna was great, Durnstein could be better tomorrow.

Posted by mandt0413 11:50 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Overnight to Bratislava - MV Avalon Panaroma

sunny 24 °C

Sailed from Budapest at around 8pm for an overnight trip to Bratislava. There are 32 locks to be navigated to Amsterdam from this point and the first was tonight. That makes Panama, Suez and now Danube for me. The upstream transit of the Danube is certainly interesting. There is still significant flows downstream.

Bratislava

Bratislava

Arrived Bratislava first thing in the morning, certainly the Avalon Panorama is a very smooth vessel as I didn't feel a thing after the few glasses of red wine the night before. Bratislava is the largest city in Slovakia with about 300,000 population. Very clean and the people are friendly. We did a city tour in the morning to get our bearings.

Bratislava city tour

Bratislava city tour

P6220093

P6220093

Tony, always looking at new water bubblers

Tony, always looking at new water bubblers

The central square had some interesting markets and we saw a few weddings happening. They use the Mayors office - how romantic. Lot's of weddings, wonder how the divorce rate compares.

Market square Bratislava

Market square Bratislava

And then it was off to find that most elusive of establishments - but one that Mandy craves. The laundromat. Researched and found the Flipper Wash.

The Flipper Wash - Bratislava

The Flipper Wash - Bratislava

We caught a taxi to the place with no idea where it was other than a print out that we gave to the driver. Not a word of English understood and risk of returning to the same place real. Tried to explain to the driver that if he returned in 90 minutes to take us back I would double the fare. My hand speech skills suck.

Working out the machine wash was also a challenge (change, washers for pets only, soap and type of cycle were all issues). Luckily a young student saw our problem and wanted some language practice. He translated both with the laundry attendant and taxi driver when he re-appeared in 15 minutes. Nice guys who studied in Canada and wants to live in OZ.

Mandy trying to work out the dry cycle without shrinkage....never been a problem for me.

Mandy trying to work out the dry cycle without shrinkage....never been a problem for me.

Anyway, mission accomplished and successful return to the vessel. Total cost $25 euro for the taxi, $5 euro for the machines. Compares well to the $5 euro to have it done onboard.....hang on, we enjoy the challenge.

Dinner consisted of some of the local fare (unfortunately the pickled knee was all taken). The red wine was really nice and compares well to Margaret River.

We decided to sit in the night air and watch the sunset over the Brats hills (we locals refer to it as Brats).

Brats by night - well sundown anyway

Brats by night - well sundown anyway

And then the stars came out and it was so romantic.

Look they're out....and if you tell me it's name this finger will go where the sun don't shine buddy!

Look they're out....and if you tell me it's name this finger will go where the sun don't shine buddy!

"Well dear you know thats the Ursa Major constellation and its name comes from the Greek word Arktos meaning Great Bear....." and then the day finished with me having an extra finger.

Posted by mandt0413 07:36 Archived in Slovakia Comments (0)

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