May 23 – Passau
What a nice relaxing day, pottering about, roaming and exploring, getting some jobs done and no hurry at all.
But, first things first…the rain stopped! The day started grey and then…and then…it turned blue. BLUE! The sky can actually turn that colour again. Amazing! It turned into a beautiful warm day with the blue sky dazzling and just great for roaming around this lovely little city. After getting the necessaries completed at the laundrette, we took to the streets and roamed and wandered along the cobbles, up and down the stone steps, around the narrow laneways and along the river. Passau is another of those cities that doesn’t feel like a city. It has an unhurried pace and even with lots of tourists, it didn’t feel crowded.
Passau is the “Three Rivers City” because three rivers meet here, the Danube, Inn and Ilz. We planned to walk out to Conjunction Point, which is the natural meeting point of the three rivers. This is where the Old Town is and a park that has the three rivers wrapping around it. The plan didn’t go to plan though because we discovered the flood waters were still very much in place, with that area of the city still under water. There were still buildings with sandbags at their entrance and I saw one building pumping water out of its basement. When we walked along the street we rode in on yesterday, the water level had risen and where we had ridden was now under water, with the river having risen up and over the levy. I really felt for the businesses along there because the street was lined with tourist buses but those businesses, restaurants and pubs were closed because you couldn’t get to them.
We changed plan and sat on a bench overlooking the river for elevenses. Some of the locals were having a good time in the rising water though and we were joined by a couple of them, who gave us the “please share” stare down and so I shared.
We roamed up to St Stephen’s Cathedral because the frescos inside were supposed to be quite something. The cathedral itself was almost completely destroyed in the town fire of 1662 and was rebuilt, at which time the stucco works and frescos were added. It also has the world’s largest cathedral organ. The inside certainly was quite magnificent, although these places do always make me frown somewhat. They are so elaborate and so much expense has gone into the trappings, that it seems at odds with everything. I’m sure, even in the 17th century, that money could have been a whole lot better spent on the people who needed it, rather than the gold trimmings, elaborate sculptures and paintings. It was beautiful but really quite extravagant in its beauty.
After weaving our way around the streets again, it was time for lunch and we sat at an outside table in the SUN! Fancy, sitting outside and not wearing four layers and a red rain coat. Bliss! Steve enjoyed a grilled vegetable salad and I had a very delicious curry bowl with salad, veggies, rice, quinoa and nuts and it fuelled us splendidly.
On we strolled and took in more of the sites. “I really like Passau,” came Steve’s decisive evaluation. Yep, I agreed, it is a lovely city and we thanked it for turning on the sun for us too. Also, what’s not to like about a city that has a Dachshund Museum. Yes, it has a museum entirely dedicated to that little dog. You’ve gotta love a place that does that!
We rounded out the day by going out for dinner at a vegan Italian restaurant and I had the most delicious broccoli penne and a salad and Steve enjoyed an enormous Hawaiian pizza. We strolled back to the hotel and the evening was still warm and mild, with people enjoying outdoor dining or strolling in the square. “I like Passau,” Steve said again. It has been a really nice stop over and a lovely day of roaming in the sun.
Tomorrow we ride the river again and we’re supposed to have fine weather for it. That would be lovely. However the day may dawn though, we’re having a jolly old time! On we go, on pedal and wheel, tootling along and living the dream.
Distance ridden: 0 km
Distance roamed: 14.4 km
Weather: sunshine, mild, 19C – no rain!