Monday, April 14, 2014

Donau Walzer: Passau 2

During a fabulous dinner aboard the Viking Legend, the ship was moved from dock 14, which was midpoint on Passau’s isthmus to dock 2. It was very exciting to be on the ship when it was moved! I enjoyed a terrific night’s sleep [with help of Ambien; better life through chemistry] and felt comletely ready to meet the walking tour the next day.

The walking tour took the same path that I had walked the previous day. However, the tour guide talked about how flooding was a huge problem in Passau. She remarked that the flood in 2013 was the biggest ever, and the town was still drying out from it. She pointed out the coat of arms of Passau on a building constructed in 1687. The old wall I had blithely walked past, was originally constructed in 1250! In many places this old wall has flowering plants growing out of it. The Schaiblingstrum is mated to the old wall by a covered bridge made of stone. An azalea grows out of the stone wall; note the magnolia in full bloom above it. A sign post in front of the old wall. A tower from St. Stephan’s looms over everything in town. Many cafés have blankets or in this case, sheepskins for patrons to sit on. St. Paul church is peach colored with a green topped spire [two photos]. A well worn painting is below the flood line. In these next two photos, you can see the Atelier Café is closed and still airing out after last year’s flood. It is apparent that the stone is still damp. Another flood marking on a building left no room for last year’s record flood. The tour guide explained that the new Passau is reworked, but has kept touches of the past, for example, this gargoyle head decorating the corner of a building. This blue house is built in the old style with a slanted roof and small windows. The pansies and primroses are planted by a garden committee that decorates the entire town with the knoweldge that tourism is an important commercial income source for the town. Most citizens rise very early to commute to work at the BMW plant outside of town. I think this is the Bishop’s residence. The Gymnasium is a boy’s school. This is either a Tattoo parlor, or a shop called “Tattoo”. This beautiful bas relief is covered with netting to deter pidgeons. Religious corner decorations on the Hotel Wilderman. A bas relief of Elizabeth of Austria. The Wilden Mann in the Hotel Wilderman. We then walked to the Rathaus and went inside. We were only allowed to take photos of the stained glass windows [two photos], even though the assembly area we were in was filled with beautiful frescos.

Next, our tour guide takes us to St. Stephen’s.

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