September 26, 2018 - Passau
We have been in Passau for the past two nights but this morning we floated up the river and docked in a proper position without the view of dumpsters and cement. Passau is at the confluence of the Ilz, Inn and Danube rivers and its the last major German city on the Danube before the Austrian border.
Our tours started at 10 am so it was a slower morning. We met our guide Alex for a walking tour of Passau. Alex explained that other parts of Germany (a country of 80 million) think this part of Germany is odd. All the German cliches that we know - pretzels, beer, leiderhosen they all come from here (Bavaria) and most Germans do not relate to them. Austrian's do - and they are right across the river. Austria's population is 8 million.
They also have a major love for the Dachshund here - there is even a museum.
Passau's population is about 50,000 and it is a university city with about 12,000 students.
Across the river is a monastery which has a set of 321 stairs that are part of a pilgrimage. If you want to do it "properly", you go up on your knees and say two prayers per step. It will take 7-8 hours of suffering.
The castle/Bishop's Residenz was built from 1219 - 1712. It's now a museum, youth hostel, restaurant and open air theater.
We walked around the old town learning along the way.
Almost every place we have visited along the rivers has a wall like the one below. They mark the flood years and the height of the water. In Passau, flooding on the Inn River is a result of the snow melting in the Swiss Alps. Passau, being on three rivers is very flood prone. It even flooded this year when the rest of Europe was in a drought.
Our tour ended at St. Stephen's Cathedral and we enjoyed a pipe organ concert at noon. It was spectacular! It's the largest pipe organ outside the US. It is five organs with 17,974 pipes and 233 registers. You aren't allowed to record the organ (because they sell the CD's) but if you like organ music, you can easily find some with a Google search.
After the organ concert we headed back to the ship for some lunch and then spent the rest of the day exploring Passau.
We had a delightful day in Passau and were back on the ship by 5:30. Auf Wiedersehen Germany!