Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Tuesday, June 07, 2022 08:32:45
Bodensee & Danube by boat to Budapest 2022: 4 - Deggendorf Germany to Vienna, Austria
Monday, June 6, 2022
My son has done an overhaul of my travel website, and I did a complete update of my mailing list, so between becoming familiar with how the website now works and updating the mailing list many days have gone by. Here is a brief summary to bring you up to date. After leaving Deggendorf last Friday we travelled down the Danube to Passau, This is a beautiful ancient city founded more than 2,000 years ago on the convergence of three rivers. This strategic position made it an important and prosperous city since Roman times. After walking around the city we took a taxi across the river to a hilltop fortress built in 1219. It looked down on the city and we were able to sit with a cold beer and enjoy the scene. Another taxi got us back across the river to St. Stephen's Cathedral, the largest baroque cathedral north of the Alps. A church has been on this site since 730. It has an unbelievable 18,000 pipe organ, started in 1733 and gradually added to since, with different places within the cathedral for sets of pipes. Only a master organist can play it A 30 minute concert was held, and the sounds which you could feel as well as hear sent shivers up and down my spine - a truly amazing experience. The following morning we woke up in Linz, Austria, docked only one block from the main street. Marilynn & I walked all over town, and on the way back stopped in a gourmet restaurant for an amazing lunch.
Sunday found us in Durnstein, Austria, famous for its baroque Abby. It is a one street town that doesn't take long to see. It was shoulder to shoulder with tourists. The whole town has a population of only 90 people, likely shop owners living about their shops, as the old city shops have nothing except items that may appeal to a tourist. Apricot brandy was high on the list, but we wanted to buy a tube of toothpaste and that was not available. The locals live in a town nearby.
A stop was scheduled at YBBS, Austria, but only people with bus tours to a couple of different locations were allowed off the boat. This morning we awoke in Vienna, tied up to another river cruiser, which meant climbing stairs to the top of our boat, crossing to the other boat, and then climbing back down the other side to reach land - a process my buggered up knees and ankle protested vigorously. Marilynn and I had purchased tickets to watch a training session of the Lipizzaner horses at the famous Spanish Riding School so taxied into the city. This is the only institution anywhere that has practised continually for over 450 years. It was worth seeing, as the horses practised walking and trotting. One horse was being taught to stand on his hind feet by his trainer who stood beside him for this exercise. The seats were sold out.
We then boarded a hop on, hop off bus - we have found this is the best way to see important sites in a large city. We walked the grounds of the huge Schönbrunn Palace, but were not impressed. As the place is massive and there were thousands of people we didn't go in - there would be miles of walking inside the huge structure, which I could not have done. When speaking to others who went there on a tour it was not considered up to other famous palaces. We boarded another bus to finish the route, and through good luck rather than planning it stopped right in front of the boat ours was tied to. (There are so many tour boats on the river that there is insufficient dock space, so they tie up one outside the other, which then requires passengers on all but the inside boat to cross the other boats to get to shore. These river cruises have zero provisions for the handicapped.) In the evening we were picked up by bus to attend and classical music concert in downtown Vienna. It was a marvellous performance featuring the classic orchestra and two opera singers. They added comedy to the classics, coming up with an enormously entertaining mix. The received two standing ovations, and everyone left it high spirits.