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Pretty Pretty Passau

2nd & 3rd Day of Danube Cruise

semi-overcast 12 °C

After a sweet shore visit in Vilshofen , AmaLea headed smoothly 19 km SE to Passau, a very picturesque town with greater attraction points. The indulgent American in me can't help referring to Passau as the "Pittsburgh" of Germany. Two tributaries, the Ilz and Inn flow into the Danube here , thus creating a 3-river junction, similar to Monogahela-Allegheny-Ohio of Pitt-town. However it is own right, Passau impresses with its baroque style and yes, once again, blocks of bright multi-colored like buildings, like those adored in Prague and Regensburg.


Best snapshots of the cruise were taken here in this Bavarian town of about 50,000 people. The autumn Tuesday was sun-kissed — perfect for an hour's walk. City tour highlights included a stroll in Hollgasse Artist Alley , recognizable by its cobblestone alley with bright, colorful painted blocks and whimsical art displays. Good thing there was not much time and Euros for me to shop in the boutiques! So much glee was had by merely snapping away through the alley ways.

20181122_121609.jpg. 20181112_152546.jpg

After the charm of trekking the riverside path, I arrived at one of the most lauded religious sites in all of Germany— St. Stephan's Cathedral.
It was at first a quick visit inside, as service was underway but later, I was able to capture its conspicuous baroque intricacy and elegance inside. The grand interior feature is the largest pipe organ in Europe, built in 1733.

Passau was my swan song to Germany, as I was sailing on into the Danubian waters of Austria. Back on AmaLea I went to get a good night's sleep. Next stop on the itinerary, Day 3: Linz. This city was literally electrifying at first as I woke up to the neon blue and fuschia light of the Arstecnica buildings. The morning Linz city tour was fine, not as charming as the previous altstadt stroll in Passau and Regensburg. Perhaps it was the heavy mention of Linz being Hitler's fave that took the enamor of the place. Plus, it did not help that the weather and city exterior was more gray and stark. However, I won't "poo-poo" Linz too much. That Ars center would be a thing to not just marvel for its neon lights but for a proper visit. More time needed here, even just for a bike ride along the Danube and cafe visit to devour a truly authentic Linzer torte!

Posted by Marinarena 16:36 Archived in Germany Tagged art danube austria germany german bavaria linz passau danube_river passau_germany passau_art Comments (0)

Hallo AmaLea & My First Oktoberfest

First Day on the Danube cruise

semi-overcast 13 °C

This longest day by far in 2018 was on the 11th of November. Prague— as entertaining as it was— all but pooped me out and after a stroll in wedges in Regensburg , I was ready to call it a night. BUT- oh no, this was the official EMBARKATION DAY. It was time to check in, un-load, sort out all the garb and what-nots in my roll-on and backpack in the stateroom closet, freshen up and get ready and festive for Oktoberfest in the town of Vilshofen !



EMBARKATION... There she was waiting for me at just about sunset...the beautiful AmaLea. She had make her debut earlier in the year. What a vexing vessel — so sleek on the exterior and so comfy within! Her flair was subtle but elegantly artful with autumn leaf carpets and Gustav Klimt paintings adorning walls. Adorned in her interior Side note: 443 feet long and is 38 feet wide. Her sister is AmaKristina, a new charmer of the major European rivers who has been garnering much clamor along with Lea.

Check-in process was a breeze. Staff was prompt, super accommodating and smiley as one who expect for a top-notch luxury cruise liner. After a brief visit in my stateroom, off I went to the huge event tent set up for Oktoberfest. A local Vilshofen song and dance group all decked out in leiderhosen, bundhosen and all got all the cruisers who were not jet-lagged (and coach-lagged) in a jolly mood. Slowly but completely, I washed a whole stein of beer down and ate a stift brick in the form of a pretzel. I just can't call that thing a pretzel. Terrible- and no mustard to get it down., no warmness. That twisted brown thing could have sent me to the orthodontist office!

Otherwise, my short stay in Vilshofen was a delight. This town was colorful on its surface, just as Prague was but unlike the latter city, Vils was sleepy. No great noise or hoopla about this place— just peace and quiet along with quaint shops and an array of odd placed sculptures like the
"Book of Wisdom".



My take away: BIER ! (German Beer) I await for the next Germany visit to experience a good Bavarian pretzel.

Posted by Marinarena 16:11 Archived in Germany Tagged danube germany cruise german cruise_ship oktoberfest klimt vilshofen danube_cruise amalea ama_waterways Comments (0)

A fond stroll into the past : Remarkable Regensburg

2nd Pre-Danube Cruise Stop

After bussing it 3 hours from big town Prague— with a burger break at a Czech McDonalds— I arrived in Germany. My very first German town to explore was Regensburg, a well preserved medieval gem at the confluence of the Danube (Donau), Naab and Regen rivers. Though it may be in the shadow of big city Munich, Regensburg is a dearly lauded part of Bavaria. Here is where I met the Danube for the very first time.


From the old stone bridge to distinguished Dom of St Peter, a stroll in Regensburg enchants in Alstadt (old town). In between, I was snapshot crazy for the pastel colored wall surroundings— comparable to the one in many Prague neighborhoods. Call me a peculiar Californian too accustomed to blah-blah Spanish tan architecture everywhere. Hues of limey-green, lemony-yellow and peachy-orange throughout town enthrall me. No matter the cold weather, there is a warmness felt from the pastel wall surroundings. Back to the Dom— the only Gothic cathedral In Bavaria— what a striking edifice, a more muted beauty made of limestone. I peaked inside for about 5 minutes while a service was just commencing, then exited. A silvery human statue greeted me nearby. Maybe I should have drop a few Euros in this hat- or not.


What I adored the most in Regensburg- the feeling of Italian! I had just left Italy 3 days prior entering Germany. Regensburg was reminiscent of Rome and Florence with an emphasis on Greco-Roman architecture throughout the town.

It's no wonder why Regensburg has been deemed as the" northernmost extension of Italy".

Ultimately though, Regensburg is lovely in its own right.



My Take Away: Regensburg, an elegant dish of Donauwaller on a bed of beets— scrumptious.

Source: Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazine

Posted by Marinarena 14:37 Archived in Germany Tagged danube germany europe regensberg dom_of_st_peter Comments (0)

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