Linz

Guten Tag

   We left Deggendorf on June 26th and today is the first day we’ve had wifi since then.  We are in Linz, Austria.  After leaving Deggendorf we spent the night in Heining and from there took the bus for an afternoon in Passau, our last stop in Germany.  Passau is a huge destination for cruise ships and the town seemed to be full of people speaking "American" English.  Passau is quite charming and we totally enjoyed our time there.  Our stop after Heining was in Schlogen in Austria, a lovely resort area where Rick, Mary and I hiked up the mountain behind the yacht club for an “aerial”  view of the river.  Today we came to Linz, a large city where we could buy Austrian sim cards for internet access. 

   This email is Passau part 1 as well as one last photo of Deggendorf.

Ru

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Early morning fog in Deggendorf : we got out while the getting was, if not good, at least possible. It certainly wasn’t going to improve any the next few days.    There were places on the river where we just squeaked by, and places along the way where we had to pass barges going up river and there was just enough water depth for both boats in the narrow channel.  Then the channel deepened and we were home free.

Our overnight spot was Heining at a the Yacht Club.  From there we caught a bus to Passau where we ate lunch and then explored for several hours.  Americans had invaded by way of all the huge cruise ships that lined the public dock.  Funny enough, as we’ve been in Germany so long, I felt like a “local” looking at all the “tourists.”

Passau is charming with lots of light and shadows which I tried to capture. 

“The setting of the Old Town” has picturesque squares, soaring towers, romantic lanes and enchanting promenades.”  Passau Tourist Map

On the German side of the border, Passau (km 2227 on the Danube) is a solid old bishopric that has always enjoyed the good life, celebrating its religious festivities with plenty of music, beer for the men and hot chocolate for the ladies.  Historically prospering from trade in wine, wheat and salt,  it is an inviting city, from the bulbous onion domes and graceful arches of its baroque monuments to the rounded promontories separating the waterways.”  JPM Guides  The Danube 

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An “arts and crafts” area surrounded the Dom plaza.

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The map calls this area “art alley” for all the shops selling local crafts.

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Steep alleys led down to the river

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A mime got my coin because you just don’t see many women street performers.

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Some young men who sounded pretty good

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A young girl balancing on a modern “thinker.” 

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A statue of poet and writer Emerenze Meier whose work was published in Passau.  For economic reasons she emigrated to Chicago with her parents.  Her life was not happy…

If Goethe had to prepare supper, salt the dumplings;

If Schiller had had to wash the clothes,

If Heine had had to mend what he had torn, to clean the rooms, kill the bugs-

Oh, the menfolk, none of them would have become great poets.

Emerenz Meier

http://www..born-in-schiefweg.de/en/emerenz-meier.html  is the website for the Emerenze Meier Society and Museum. 

St Steven’s Cathedral and Church Organ

To the south, the town’s core stands on the ridge of land between the Danube and Inn Rivers.  Towering over it is the cathedral of St Stephan, with its onion domes, the flamboyant gothic chancel and baroque interior.”  JPM Guides The Danube.

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We went in to see the organ…

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According to the Passau Tourist map info, St. Stephan’s Organ is the largest cathedral organ in the world with 17,974 pipes, 233 stops, and 4 carillons.  We certainly didn’t see anywhere near that many pipes.

“Until the 1990’s, the Passau Domorgan was the largest church organ in the world. Presently it is "only" the largest Domorgan (and third largest church organ) of the World.” http://mypipeorganhobby.blogspot.co.at/  where you can hear the organ being played.

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Asher and Sharon, you know I had to see this for you!

St Paul’s Church was a contrast of white walls and dark decorative sculptures.  It is supposedly the oldest parish church in Passau with dates of 1050 and 1678 connected to it. Actually it looked and smelled as if it had just been repainted.

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Art along the “shopping street.”

The shop on the left had beautiful hand-made paper and journals. 

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7:49 am

Danube River on the way to Passau

To paraphrase …”DoraMac has left the dock!!” 

Email might be iffy after this as it’s the final day of our dongle sim card.  We’ll have to depend on what we can find along the way. 

Passau is our final stop in Germany and then we’ll enter Austria.

Ru

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NMYC Yacht Club, Deggendorf

Day 52 of 90..

Guten Tag,

   It has been especially good today as we finally GOT SOME RAIN !!!!  The river levels are forecasted to rise so hopefully we’ll be on our way tomorrow to Passau which is our final stop in Germany.  Our next country will be Austria, also a Schengen country so we won’t linger as long as we might have. But less Vienna pastries might be a good thing.    Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia aren’t Schengen so we can spend more time in those countries if we choose.

We’d bought dongles and sim cards for internet access along the way.  It was for 30 days of usage which will be up tomorrow.  Here we’ve had free wifi so haven’t needed them.  Not sure what we’ll find in Passau or Austria.  So my email might become quite sporadic.  Check www.mydoramac.com periodically to see if I’ve been able to send at least to our webmaster.  But I’ll do my best to keep in touch. 

    Most of the charity shop books I bought in England have been read, shared, and passed along.  So in preparation for the rest of our trip I’ve been going crazy searching for titles to download onto my Kindle.  Given the war Amazon is having with publishers, I’m probably missing quite a few options.  Please send some suggestions if you’ve read anything great lately.  Most book stores, new or used, in Germany carry no, or very few English titles.  But then Roanoke bookshops don’t carry any German language books either, or so I ever noticed.   So I’m really glad I do have my Kindle.    I need to check my library ebook choices too!

These are the titles I just downloaded.

Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story by Elissa Altman

http://www.poormansfeast.com/ is her blog about her foodie interest and her relationship with partner Susan Turner.  It was a fun book to read with some interesting recipes.  I don’t like to cook but like to read foodie books by women.

New Life No Instructions: A Memoir by Gail Caldwell

I loved her previous book,   Let’s Take the Long Way Home; but this new book could have been a long magazine article and conveyed everything she really needed to say.  I’ve pretty much read it in two sittings with just a bit still to read.

Bread Salt & Plum Brandy by Lisa Fisher Cazacu who was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Romania

http://breadsaltandplumbrandy..com/

Because we’ll go to Romania

These books, all fiction, just appealed

Guidebook to Murder (A Tourist Trap Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon  because it was $.99 and the bit I read seemed well written.

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel by Charlie Lovett

The Golem and the Jinni   by Helene Wecker

An Available Man: A Novel  by Hilma Wolitzer

One Day in Budapest: A Thriller by J F Penn

Because we’ll go to Budapest

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I’m always at home in a library no matter where we’ve traveled.  The languages aren’t as much of a barrier as you might think, (Malaysia actually had many titles in English as well as Singapore;) many countries use the Dewey Decimal System.  However, when I went searching for art books in the Stadtbibliothek, I found out that wasn’t the case in Germany. At least not in Deggendorf.  This library used a letter system, but it’s not the LC system from home.  Many German libraries use the Regensburg Classification System but when I looked it up online, that didn’t seem to match the Deggendorf Library. Luckily I know the German word for art so could find that the art books were located upstairs in the R stacks.  I just wandered around until I found them.  Of course they were all in German, but I’ve looked at enough watercolor instruction books to know what is being written.  And I found an interesting book about August Macke whom I read about when we visited Tunisia.  I spent a really nice hour in this lovely library and would have stayed longer except I “had a lunch date” with Randal. 

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NMYC Yacht Club, Deggendorf

Guten Abend,

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Deggendorf

http://www.deggendorf.de official town brochure.

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Roses are blooming everywhere.  And in the town center this flower map of Europe. 

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“The Old Town Hall with its gothic tower was erected in 1535, and is one of the emblems of Deggendorf.  The flagstones bearing the Bavarian crest on the stepped gable are noteworthy, as is the town crest dating from the town’s founding, as well as the window ledges with their fascinating mythical animals and gargoyles.  The two stone balls connected with chains (medieval torture devices) and hanging from the southern façade are also steeped in history.  The historic tower warden’s lodgings can be viewed during a guided tour.”  (None in Englisn)   Deggendorf Tourist Map

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The information office where I got the map and town brochure is housed in the Old Town Hall

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Window ledges with the gargoyles  was hard to find until I stood directly underneath.

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The stone balls were definitely disappointing and I’m not sure these are they except there were no other choices.  The other one is on the other side of the building but no chain joined them.

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The original sundial was from 1535 when the southern and representative part of the Town Hall was erected.   A new sundial replaced that one in 1926 and was renovated in 1956. 

The Sundial inscription offers this advice: “Do it like the sundial, just count the hours of sunshine. 

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I walked all around the Old Town Hall not finding either the stone balls or the gargoyles.  Across the way was a book shop with post cards.  I thought I’d ask if there was a post card of the stone balls so I’d match it up to the building and know where to look for them.  The book seller had no postcards of the gruesome objects, but was really nice and came with me to look for the stone balls.  We both agreed they were the round things on the side of the building up near the clock.  She said she was a native but hadn’t really looked for either the stone balls or the gargoyles. 

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The helpful book seller helped me more than the woman in the Information Office.  I did buy some postcards and the weekend International Edition of the NYT.

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Sunday we’d eaten lunch at one of the restaurants  now  housed in part of the Old Town Hall.  This billed itself as camembert but I think it was fried mozzarella covered with bread crumbs.  It came with salad, cranberry sauce and white toast.  I ate it all except for the white toast. 

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The temptation of ice cream is everywhere in Germany. 

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Want to trade?  Me either.  Randal had a banana ice cream cone which didn’t tempt me to ask for a taste at all.  I took the photos while they all ate ice cream.  I’m trying to make my cholesterol go down, not up. Thankfully ice cream isn’t a real temptation.

Neighborhoods just off the main square.

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The Merchant Shipping Master’s House just a 5 minute walk from DoraMac

“….. a listed building and one of Deggendorf’s oldest residential buildings.  Its foundation date back to the Middle Ages.  Its present appearance dates back to the 18th century.  A variety of exhibitions on the topic of water, health, the environment, and energy takes place here.  It also provides a rest area for cyclists.”  Deggendorf Town tourist map

Shipmaster‘s house

www.schiffmeisterhaus.de

Much of the focus in the exhibits is about the past flooding of the Danube.  It is flooding further along in Serbia and Bulgaria but here it’s lower than normal.

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Teaching school children about the flooding and responses.

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2002 floods

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1924 floods

And not to dwell on, but not to ignore….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deggendorf  talks about the sad Jewish history of Deggendorf which is not mentioned in the official town brochure.  The Hi Grabkirche had a large plaque in German  telling the tale of the massacre and decrying the falsehoods spread about the Jews. 

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Guten Morgen….

   Our definition of a good morning has totally changed.  Once upon a time “good” was bright sun and no rain in the forecast.  Now it’s just the opposite.  We need several days of rain to raise the water level of the Danube or we’ll have to race through the rest of the Schengen countries so as not to outstay our 90 days.  Thankfully Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia aren’t part of Schengen, at least they weren’t the last time I looked at the US State Department list.  So when we finally get there we can spend as much time as we want.  But my  goal is to get to Turkey, get the boat in ship shape, and get it sold, so being forced to stay put when we want to be moving down river is rather depressing.  Far worse things are happening to far too many people around the world so whining about having to stay too long here in Deggendorf seems rather self-indulgent.  Shows what an easy life I have! 

   I’ve been catching up on my reading and have downloaded several books to my Kindle because we do have great FREE wifi here so I can search around Amazon for books to read.  And I do have Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek to remind me that one day we’ll live back in Roanoke on our mountainside.

    This past week Mary, Rick and I took the “forest train” up into the mountains for a day hike.  And we’ve been around town several times so know it quite well.  The local library is really nice and I may go one day to look at their art collection.  It will be in German but I can look and learn. 

   So that’s what is and isn’t happening with us.

Happy Summer!

Ru

Deggendorf NMYC

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Ernst Erdl’s bike on the grass verge overlooking the harbor area just off the Danube and Ernst and Randal on our flybridge.

Ernst was also waiting for enough water to continue to Vienna and then Greece.

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This is where we were tied up our first two nights until the visitor berth became available and we realized we’d be here a while so needed power and water available at the dock. 

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Bow to the rock and attached with lots of lines.

A high stone wall and railroad tracks separates the yacht club from the club’s shower block.  You must also climb up, over and down the wall to get to town.  The gate is kept locked when no one is around but we have access to the visitor’s key as well as the keys to the shower block.

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The small, square, sparkling clean building is the shower/toilet block.  Randal and I always shower on DoraMac but Rick and Mary prefer marina showers where there is an unlimited amount of hot water.  When 4 people shower as we did when Charmaine and Linda visited us, you have to use the water more sparingly or wait for the hot water tank to refill.   In the heat of Israel, you really didn’t need much hot water anyway. 

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The club building where many of the members gather to eat their meals or watch the World Cup now.  On June 26th Germany and the U S face off.  We all might have to go watch that game.  The weather forecast is just for sunny weather until the very end of the month and the beginning of July!

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Randal, Rick and Karen

Karen is a member of the yacht club and kindly offered to drive us to the “too far to walk to, big supermarket.”

Later in the day she and her husband and the “harbor master” and his wife came on board for a tour. 

Everyone here, and they’ve been together for about 20 years, are very friendly and welcoming.  We have definitely found that cruising communities around the world are very supportive.  Our Diesel Duck is really the “odd duck” along the river so helps us make friends.  Everyone is curious and wants a tour which we’re happy to oblige. 

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Another horribly bright and sunny day in Deggendorf

Guten Morgen,

   So here we still are.  Some rain in the forecast for this week.  Certainly hope so.  This email is about the Deggendorf Public Library and some public art.  Next email more photos of the town center.

Ru

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Deggendorf Library

“The town library is one of Bavaria’s most architecturally beautiful libraries.  Around 70,000 items and a variety of events invite one to linger.”  M-F 10 to 6; Saturday 10 to 12 noon.  Deggendorf Tourist Map

The library seemed pretty busy which was nice to see.  Wonder if the evening and Saturday hours change during the school year? 

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No hands needed door!  It senses that you’re there and opens. 

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The main desk over which is a sky light and the sculpture of a tight rope walker.  Not sure what’s upstairs but I’ll look next visit.

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A wonderfully decorated kids room. 

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Next door is the Town Museum.  Across the road is The Museum of Crafts and Trade is just near the round fountain but nothing is available in English so we didn’t buy the ticket needed for entry. 

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Funny art : ice cream advert and someone’s “treasure” in a window. 

Around town are different sculptures so Randal and I set off to find them.

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Sculpture of Sammer Xidi who is described as a “mushroom expert and colorful Deggendorf character.”

You can drink the water from the fountain at his feet.  During the week there are food stalls set up in the town square.  On Sunday it’s just Sammer Xidi.

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Dumpling Fountain 

She saved the town but is still only referred to as “the Mayor’s wife” rather than by her name.

A fountain in the old town centre commemorates the legend of the “dumpling hurler“.  In 1266 Deggendorf was saved from being overrun by Ottokar of Bohemia after the mayor‘s wife drove off an enemy spy by throwing a dumpling at him.  After hearing that the inhabitants were using food

to bombard their attackers, the enemy troops concluded a siege would be useless and withdrew.”

http://www.deggendorf.de/ official town brochure.

Reading about the dumplings made me think of a similar latke story.  I thought I remembered something about throwing latkes at the enemy but this more interesting legend of Judith and the Assyrians is what I found.

The Latke Tale

Did you know that latkes were originally made with cheese? Legend has it that in the 16th century, a young widow, Judith, fed the Assyrian general Holofernes salty cheese latkes so he would thirst for more wine and become intoxicated.  It worked and she beheaded him in his stupor, which allowed the Jews to defeat the leaderless Assyrians. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century when potatoes began to be farmed that latkes were made from potatoes. However, the most important element is the oil that is used to fry the latkes, which symbolizes the holiday miracle in which one day’s worth of oil illuminated the Holy Temple for eight days when the Jews recaptured it in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.

http://www.lindasgourmetlatkes.com/latkisms.html

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“Rosa” the Sow with the shiny spots where she has been rubbed. Her shoulder and nose.

“Called “Rosa” by the citizens of Deggendorf.  This location in the Pfleggasse is a reminder of the piglet market once regularly held here.”

Deggendorf Tourist Map

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Schorsch Karmann Glassmeisier 1884-1959

http://axinte.de/persona_eng.htm  website of the artist of the glass maker; the sculpture was sponsored by the town of Deggendorf Savings Bank.    This was added in 2012 and wasn’t on the map or mentioned in the tourist booklet.  We found it looking for the Post Office.

     “The first glassmakers in Germany were brought here by the Romans, but after they left, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Germans rediscovered the art of making glass. By the end of the 17th century, there were about 60 glass factories and the area in the eastern part of Bavaria gradually developed into an important center for glassmaking.    http://discoveringbavaria.com/The-Glass-Road.html

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NMYC Yacht Club, Deggendorf

Guten Tag,

   Tomorrow we’re going to talk with the kind Port Master and ask his opinion about the river depths.  Our info leads us to believe the river is too shallow.  But our AIS shows really large cargo ships passing Deggendorf going down river.  So we’ll see.  The weather forecast shows rain mid-week and hopefully we’ll get it and a lot of it. 

   We’re certainly getting to know Deggendorf.  Today while we were out for a stroll I checked the library hours and will visit to flip through some art books.  Randal and I stopped in the other day and it is a very nice library. 

   This email is about our day in the Bavarian National Forest.

Ru

Bavarian Forest National Park

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We followed the buzzard path.

Trails are very well marked especially when 3 pairs of eyes are looking.

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We passed this tree covered with what looked like very solid fungi and it reminded me of the artist I’d talked to in Bayerisch Eisenstein at the art gallery just near the trail.  I believe he said it was ash.  He has spent time in the US with different tribes of Native Americans.  Unfortunately the gallery wasn’t open when we passed by. 

The long awaited art gallery, Kunsträume grenzenlos,    https://de-de.facebook.com/KunstraumeGrenzenlos   opens its doors on Sunday 28th July 2013. With over 600 m2 of gallery space visitors will be able to enjoy works by contemporary painters, graphic artists, sculptors, glassmakers and more from both sides of the border as well as retrospectives of older artists from the region.

The first exhibitions, until 11th November, are by reknowned artists; Walter Mochizuki (1913-1999), co-founder of the Donau-Wald-Gruppe (artists association), Czech painter Jindřich Bilek, Vit Pavlik and the sculptor Václav Fiala.

There is also a gallery shop with a selection of local produce, regional craft products in glass or wood and more.

The gallery is located 100m from the German/Czech border next to the village train station at; Bahnhofstrasse 52, 94252 Bayerisch Eisenstein.

http://bavarianholidays.co.uk/

We’d left DoraMac and walked to the train station which was a hike itself.  The train trip was 50 minutes.  We spent a bit of time looking for trail information, buying water, visiting with the sculpture and finally starting our hike at 10:40.  We hiked through the woods aiming for lunch at the Schwellhausl Inn. 

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Schwellhäusl Inn for lunch.

“In our historic inn "Schwellhäusl", a popular destination among Zwieselerwaldhaus ArberLand, Bayerischer Wald, in the middle of National Park Bavarian Forest, you can wonderfully relax from everyday stress.

We pamper our guests with bavarian "Brotzeiten*", spicy lunch, coffee and cakes. (*=little solid bavarian snacks)”

http://www.schwellhaeusl.de/en/

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There was a huge lunch crowd so we shared a table which is lots of fun because you get to chat with people who are usually quite friendly. 

This glass sculpture had both Hebrew and German and my guess, “The Ten Commandments.” 

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Carved wood and deer antlers.  A German version of the Peaks of Otter and Maybry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Not Maybry Mill Buckwheat Pancakes.

Heavy duty buckwheat pancakes to start off an 80 mile bike ride weren’t a good idea and neither were these dumplings.  I was trying to avoid the heavy meat dishes!  None of us was exactly sure what it would be except for the vanilla sauce and the marmalade.  I was thinking it might be some kind of noodle.  But it was really three large servings of steamed bread with marmalade in the center surrounded by a thin vanilla pudding.  I ordered it “by mistake” but the couple sharing the table ordered it on purpose.  An acquired taste maybe.  Or maybe this wasn’t such a prime example. 

Germknödel ([ˈɡɛɐ̯mˌknøːdl̩], Austrian German for yeast dumpling) is a fluffy (mine was definitely not fluffy) yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, occasionally - even though less traditional - also served with vanilla cream sauce. It is a culinary speciality of Austria and Bavaria. The dish is served both as a dessert and as a main course.

Germknödel is usually a spherical or bun-shaped dessert. The dessert’s main ingredient is a yeast dough with sugar and fat, usually butter, added to the dough. The dumpling is filled with Powidl, a sweet and spicy plum jam. The dumpling is steamed and then served still hot with either melted butter or vanilla dessert sauce, and topped with crushed poppy seeds and sugar.

The main difference between Germknödel and a related dish, Dampfnudeln, is that the former is either steamed or boiled whereas the latter is cooked in a deep pan.   Wikipedia

http://www.nationalpark-bayerischer-wald.de/

In the area around the Gro?er Falkenstein protected areas came into being a very long time in the past, in places more than 200 years ago, and which are today among the most important and oldest remnants of primeval forest in central Europe. For visitors to the national park they can be counted amongst the big attractions alongside the mountain summits and the pastures (Schachten) in the north western part of the national park. They are connected by particularly attractive hiking trails.

We are delighted that you are visiting the forest wilderness of the Bavarian Forest around the Lusen, Rachel and Falkenstein mountains; it’s a forest in which nature decides how it develops and in which the fascinating interplay between animals and plants runs its own course. As in ancient forests, life and death are inseparably linked; one brings about the other.

As Germany’s oldest national park, nature has flourished here for more than 40 years pretty much undisturbed by human interventions. Forests, meadows, rocks and mires form a unique and captivating natural landscape. You can experience this fascinating and unparalleled forest nature in all its diversity with us.

Bavarian Forest, Bohemian Forest, Šumava are differing names for one and the same ancient mountainous region in central Europe, the use varying according to cultural, geographical or historical reference. A mighty bulwark of hard gneiss and granite rock, it divides Bavaria from Bohemia and the catchment area of the Danube from that of the Vltava. State and linguistic borders between Germany and the Czech Republic run along its main ridge, as does the boundary between the Bavarian Forest and Šumava National Parks.

The landscape with its rounded and long mountain domes, the gently climbing slopes, plateau-like heights and hollow-like valleys are evidence of a long history of weathering and shaping through the ice ages.

http://www.nationalpark-bayerischer-wald.de/

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Wikipedia photo

The train was very comfortable with roomy seats and a “WC.”  Folks had bikes, dogs, and backpacking gear. 

“The Bavarian Forest Railway (Bayerische Waldbahn often just called the Waldbahn) links the heart of the Bavarian Forest around Regen and Zwiesel to Plattling and the Danube valley on one side, and the Czech Republic through Bayerisch Eisenstein on the other. In the Danube valley it forms a junction with the Nuremberg–Regensburg–Passau long distance railway and, to the south, regional lines to Landshut and Munich.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavarian_Forest_Railway

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NMYC Yacht Club

Deggendorf

Guten Abend,

    Every now and then we “camp out”  and really enjoy it.   Once in the Netherlands just past a lock and a few nights ago on our way to Deggendorf.  It actually is quite a treat to be “out in nature” as they say here in Europe.  However, for spending several days (not really sure how many at this point) waiting for water levels to rise, a town in a better choice. 

     We left Marina Saal thinking we might anchor near Walhalla but Randal didn’t feel comfortable anchoring at that point in the river so we continued on tying up in the sport boat waiting place at Geisling Lock.

Ru

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The Walhalla is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished people, famous personalities in German history – politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue". Wikipedia

We would have anchored and then taken the dinghy ashore.  But it wasn’t to be so we may rent a car and drive back to visit. 

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Waiting place for sport boats; we tied up for the night.

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It was a lovely place to spend the night with a cycling/walking path along the river and farm fields along the path.  We took a late afternoon stroll. 

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Poppies

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In the evening we went walking the opposite direction.

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Back to DoraMac

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10 PM and all was quiet

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NMYC Yacht Club

Deggendorf

Guten Tag,

   We’ve been  “stranded” in Deggendorf since the afternoon of the 16th.   We had planned an overnight stop, but  there’s just not enough water in the Danube for us to continue downstream.  We actually scrapped bottom on our way here.  Thankfully there is one visitor berth here at the NMYC Yacht Club so we have power, water and wifi!  We could have been “stranded” at the previous overnight spot which was just the other side of the Schleuse Geisling.  We had tied up at the entrance to the lock which was lovely but with no services such as water or power.  Had we been forced to remain there for as long as we might be in Deggendorf, we’d be eating our can goods just now.  If necessary we can generate our own power and make water.  Thankfully it didn’t come to that because we managed to “limp” into Deggendorf.  We need 2 meters of water under us to avoid scraping bottom.  Right now  there’s just about 2 meters in the channel if we stayed exactly in the deepest part of the river.  But the river bottom for the next bit to Passau isn’t so forgiving so scraping bottom wouldn’t be a good thing. 

   Although there has been flooding on the Danube in Serbia, Rumania and Bulgaria, our part of the river is too dry.  River traffic continues because the giant barges and cruise ships actually need less water under them.  It’s only boats like ours with deep keels that have the problem. 

    But the grocery stores are within walking distance and the town center has coffee shops in its quaint center.  So we could be doing much worse. 

This email is about Reggensburg, our stop prior to Deggendorf.

Ru

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Randal was persuaded to get out his guitar by Linda, Wolfgang, Gitty and Franc; the wonderful and helpful folks we met at Marina Saal.  Our first afternoon there, Linda who is Irish by birth so of course fluent in English, arrange for Gitty to drive us to the grocery store.   Later that evening, Linda and her partner Wolfgang, the marina manager and Gitty and her partner Franc came for a visit.  

   The marina is great and the folks with boat there very friendly.  We were all invited to an informal party the night of our trip to Regensberg; but only Rick and Mary, the partiers among us, took part.  Randal and I were pooped and enjoyed a quiet evening on the boat catching up on email and reading.   Not only was Marina Saal able to accommodate a boat our size, which Wolfgang called an “icebreaker” but there was wifi and electricity, and water and showers …..   A great place to stop along the way. 

http://www.marinasaal.de/

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Off to Regensburg by train

Finding the train station in Saal was an adventure in itself…as was the way home at the end of the day.

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Lots of cyclist were taking advantage of bicycle transport on the trains.  When my friend Martha and I toured England you had to hunt for the baggage car and then lift your pannier laden bike up almost two feet onto the train.  These trains allow you to pretty much wheel your bike right on.   The fun thing to do would be to take the train a certain distance from home and then bike back or visa-versa depending on the time of year and weather.

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Hunting for souvenirs

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Walking towards the old town center

A Medieval Gem, Almost Lost Regensburg’s Old Town was once threatened by highway construction - By Edith Kresta 

http://www.atlantic-times.com/archive_detail.php?recordID=1503

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1155 is the UNESCO description of Regensburg which is on the World Heritage list.

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Regensburg: Goliath House

     “The ‘Goliath House’ (Goliathhaus), built in 1260, is considered one of the most well-known landmarks of Regensburg with its painting of David and Goliath done in 1573. Along with the Haus Heuport, this is the largest ‘city castle’ with in the inner city and is located on the southern base of the old roman fort. The name is likely not derived from the biblical epic, but rather from the name ‘Goliards’. Theology students were called Goliards as their guardian angel was called Golias. It is believed that the present Goliath house was built on the location of the quarters in which these traveling theology students often stayed during the 12th century. This current house would over time belong to many patrician families such as: Dollingers, Mallers and the Nuremberger family.”

http://www.regensburger-touristen-guide.de/en,bauwerke,6,goliathhaus/

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Garden dwarfs Revolution was painted on a wall not far from David and Goliath

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The former Jewish quarter in Regensburg…

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Memorial to the former synagogue

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     “The Jewish quarter in Regensburg is first mentioned in a document dating from ca. 1000 A.D.. This is the earliest mention of a Jewish settlement in Germany. For over 500 years they lived here largely free of persecution and pogroms, and left their mark on the history of Regensburg. The Jewish quarter (on today’s Neupfarrplatz) comprised about 39 houses and several public buildings, including a synagogue. The community had its own administration, seal and judge.

In 1196 Rabbi Jehuda ben Samuel he-Chasid came to Regensburg and founded a famous Talmud school which became the centre of Middle European Jewish live for years.

By the end of the 15th century tension between Jews and Christians was beginning to increase. A few weeks after the death of Emperor Maximilian I, under whose rule Jews had enjoyed protection, the town council decided to expel all Jews from Regensburg. Therefore, in 1519, the Jewish quarter was razed to the ground and a pilgrimage chapel was built on where the synagogue used to be.

Between 1995 and 1998 the most extensive excavations within the Regensburg city centre to date were carried out on this approximately 3000 m² site. In the course of these excavations the remains of cellars belonging to houses and buildings of the Jewish quarter were exposed.

The most sensational find was the Gothic synagogue and the remains of the previous Romanesque synagogue. In several places the Roman layer could be investigated. With the help of the most modern technology, new knowledge about buildings techniques was gleaned, while numerous finds provided a wealth of information about everyday life in the medieval Jewish quarter.

The most spectacular find made during the 1995-98 excavations dates from the end of the 14th century, when the medieval Jewish community was at its peak: A treasure trove of 624 gold coins, found not far from where the document Neupfarrplatz is located.

In 2005, the Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan erected a memorial on the exact spot of the former synagogue on Neupfarrplatz. The so-called “Place of Encounter” is a reminder of Christians and Jews living together, and a reproduction of the layout of the synagogue in an artistic manner. It brings home an important chapter of Regensburg’s history.

Today, people of all religions come together here. Regensburg residents have accepted this place full of gratitude and respect. It is meant to be a sign and food for thought for their children and children’s children.

Hebrew characters in the area of the former torah shrine of the synagogue spell out the word “Misrach” (“place of lighting up” or “East“).

http://www.regensburg.com/

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The older man on the left was teaching the younger man on the right how to prepare a cigar for smoking.

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The Steinerne Brucke was covered with a current reconstruction project.

“The Bridge Arch and the Bridge Tower are part of the city expansion at about 1320.” Bridge Tower

Museum brochure.

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The oldest bridge left standing in Germany according to my MPM Danube guide.

“The "Stone Bridge" was constructed from 1135 to 1146 in romanesque style. The bridge was originally built with 16 supporting arches giving it a total length of 330 meters. The 16th arch is now no longer visible as it was eliminated with the building of the ‘Salzstadel’ on the city-side of the bridge. The arches have a width ranging from 10 to 17 meters and are equipped with steel icebreakers on the up river points of the pillars. Originally reinforced with stone in the river bed, the pillars are now supported by cement to create the legendary ‘regensburg danube whirlpools’. In the 13th century, the bridge was equipped with 3 fortified towers. The ‘black tower’ which was located on the ’stadtamhof’ side, was surrounded by a mote, a few smaller towers, and had a drawbridge connecting it to the north. These were torn down after heavy damage from the war in 1810. The middle tower was already unstable after ice impact in 1784, and had been removed. The only remaining tower today is the ‘bridge- or Schuldturm’ on the city or southern side. This tower is decorated with two clocks and painting depicting the 30-year Battle.Legend has it that the cathedral builder and the bridge builder had bet each other who would finish their projects first. As the construction of the cathedral began to progress much faster, the bridge builder decided to make a pact with the devil in order to win his bet. Although the devil did help him to win his bet, the bridge builder had to promise the devil the first 3 souls who would cross the bridge, and thus could not celebrate his victory in full fancy. However, a hooded monk wisely advised him to send 3 animals over the bridge first; 2 roosters and a dog were thus the first to cross the bridge. The devil was so furious that he had made a huge hole in the stone railing which could be seen for many years.”

http://www.regensburger-touristen-guide.de/en,bauwerke,1,steinerne_bruecke/

“Salt is one of the oldest commodities to have been traded. Roman soldiers often received their wages in salt, hence the word “salary.” Europe’s most important 13th-century trade route brought the salt from mines in Reichenhall to Regensburg. Adjacent to the bridge is the seven-story Salt Store, where salt was traded and warehoused.”

     Read more: Germany’s World Heritage Sites: Wurzburg, Bamberg and Regensburg | The Hunt Magazine http://thehuntmagazine.com/

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I could have stood and watched for hours. 

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Bavarian Cheese board lunch; sort of like the Ploughman’s lunch in England: cheese, bread, pickle and onion.  The cheese was a spread of maybe goat and blue, something very strong.   There was enough for all of us, but Randal, Mary and Rick had their own huge meals to deal with.  Luckily we did a lot of walking afterwards, including an “indirect” route back to the boat from the Saal train station.

Trying different food while traveling is more than about getting enough (or at times too many) calories.  Our friend Heidi’s column about food and travel tells the story best.

Heidi Trautmann Column 62 - Let’s talk about culture and….. traditional cuisine

5/3/2014

http://www.heiditrautmann.com/

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     “The area that is now Regensburg was the site of a 600-soldier Roman camp on a hill at the empire’s border in 90 AD. Emperor Marcus Aurelius established a stone Roman military fortification and trading post, Castra Regina, circa 179 AD. A portion of the northern Roman gate, the Porta Praetoria, is still visible.”

     Read more: Germany’s World Heritage Sites: Wurzburg, Bamberg and Regensburg | The Hunt Magazine http://thehuntmagazine.com

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Greenpeace volunteers in the town center.

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freytag & berndt  specialize in outdoor books, maps, etc.  Their chairs are discards from airplanes with seatbelts included.

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Town Hall building

Today, after numerous additions and alterations, you can admire the three-section building complex dating from the 13th century which consists of the Town Hall tower, the Gothic Imperial Chamber building and the baroque Town Hall. From 1663 to 1806 the Perpetual Imperial Assembly met in the Imperial Chamber. It was there that the well-known expressions “to put something on the long bench” (to postpone something) and “to sit at the green table” (to take important decisions) originated.

Visit the imperial assembly hall and the torture chamber in the cellar where persons charged with an offense were “questioned”. Access only with guided tour.  (The English language tour wasn’t offered at a convenient time for us. ) 

http://www.regensburg.com/

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Former Synagogue

“at this point in the tower of the Gothic woller house was located from 1841 to 1907, the Regensburg synagogue in 1938 was the medieval mansion demolished”  Google Translate

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Very patiently waiting…

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This symbol which reminds me of the Hebrew letter Shin  (but has one too many bits on top) was around the corner from the current Jewish Cultural Center  on Am Brixener Hof.

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Over the following centuries the community slowly grew again, and in 1912 more than 500 Jews of Regensburg were able to open their most impressive Synagogue (Am Brixener Hof 2), a building badly damaged by the Nazis 26 years later during Kristallnacht. Throughout the 1930’s the majority of Regensburg’s Jews emigrated, with the remaining members of the community suffering deportation in 1942 – from which few were to return. The Regensburg Jewish community was re-established in 1945 by Holocaust survivors, who restored the non-destroyed parts of the synagogue. During the subsequent decades, the synagogue has been significantly renovated and enlarged. The Jewish cemetery, dating from 1822, is on Schillerstrasse, on the west side of “Stadtpark”.

http://www.regensburg.com/

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Deggendorf

Guten Abend,

   Berching was charming!  We arrived 4:45 on Thursday afternoon after a long day of locks and such.  When the boat had been secured to the town dock, we went off for a stroll and dinner.  It was a lovely evening during which I met one of the library staff and had a lovely chat.  It was a very good day.

Ru

“Berching, the small Bavarian town greets the visitor with a skyline straight out of the Middle Ages; the town ramparts (constructed around 1450,) with 13 towers and four gates, are intact, and you can walk along parts of the walls.”  The Danube JPM Guides

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We tied up at the public dock.

“150 years after the project by King Ludwig, the new Main-Donau-Channel was finished and officially opened here in Berching.”  Welcome to Berching tourist brochure

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Fairy-tale image except for the modern banners covering the walls.

“In old books you can still find the description of the romantic German town with an imposing fortification, high towers, heavy gates and cobbled places.  Those towns became quite rare, often overbuilt to be modern.  But Berching is quite different: colourful houses which are standing close to each other, small chirches and a completely well preserved fortification from the Middle Ages.

    There is hardly another town in Bavaria with such a close and unchanged medieval townscape than in Berching: 13 towers, 4 gates and the defensive will from the 15th century characterize the picture of the 1100-year-old town. “ Welcome to Berching brochure

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One of the town gates.

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The Berching maypole had images illustrating different professions; cobbler, woodworker, etc.

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Very charming place to visit.

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Examples of wood work was displayed in a shop window.

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The tourist office

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Gluck banners adorn many of the town walls.

“Christopher Willard Gluck, the famous reformer of the opera and creator of “Orpheus and Eurydike,”  who disregarded the motionless baroque opera, was born here in 1714.  An exhibition in the local museum shows details about Gluck’s life and works.”

Berching brochure

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We ate an Italian dinner al fresco  and then went for a walk through the town.

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Berching town library.  I had a lovely chat with Librarian Ingrid Olbrid. (I hope I wrote that correctly.)   The small side chapel off the children’s room made me think the building had once been a church, but Ingrid told me the library had once been a hospital.  It might have been a chapel in the hospital.

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Towers and wrought iron display

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Ruth and Randal




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