River Cruise Day 8

River Cruise Day 8          Regensberg           Cool and showery

We woke this morning to showers and fog and while this sounds a little dismal, we consider ourselves very fortunate that the weather has been so good to us so far, and a little bit of rain did not dampen our spirits!

The Captain had been concerned that the river levels would be lower than he could comfortably navigate through in the sections up to Regensberg, but a little rain yesterday in this area and his skill, enabled us to reach Regensberg early this morning.  We were warned that we may hear some scraping noises and the boat may experience some unusual vibrations during the night as we passed through some very shallow areas, but not to be concerned (one can only imagine what these scraping noises actually were – thank goodness we are on the top deck as we didn’t hear or experience these anywhere near as much as those on the lower decks would have!)

After Breakfast we set off on a walking tour of Regensberg.  We could St Peter’s Cathedral from the boat and as we walked along beside the Danube towards the centre of town, we could see the Old Stone Bridge which was built from 1135 to 1146 and is 336 metres long.  The arches are not high enough for big boats to fit through, so when we sail this afternoon, we will need to back up, and go along the Danube Canal, which was especially built to allow boats to rejoin the river a little further upstream.

Next to the Old Stone Bridge is the Old Salt House and what is supposed to be the oldest restaurant in Germany, the 12th century Historiche Wurstkuche (the Old Sausage Kitchen).

We walked through the old town and its narrow cobbled streets past the Old Roman Gate built in 179AD and the St Peter’s Cathedral, the Town Hall where several weddings were taking place. We were surprised to see men dressed in the traditional Bavarian Lederhosen.

The lovely pastel coloured buildings that we saw in Austria, were here in Bamberg too!

After our tour finished, we visited the Drubba Shop where they make Cuckoo Clocks with wood from the Black Forrest and decided not to have a sausage at the Old Sausage Kitchen as it was extremely busy and it was close to our lunch time – which we would have on board.

We crossed the Danube to take photos of the ship from the other bank and also took some more photos of the Cathedral and the Salt House.

After lunch, we went on an optional tour to the Danube Gorge and Weltenburg.  We went part of the way in a bus, before transferring to a boat (about the size of our River Cats) for the trip through the Danube Gorge to the Benedictine Abbey of Weltenburg, the oldest monastery in Bavaria.

The gorge was spectacular, even through the mist and light rain.  The sheer limestone cliffs create a dramatic backdrop to the shallow water of the gorge.

The Abbey was founded by the monks of St Columban in about 600AD and the baroque church was quite spectacular, although rather dark and almost impossible to get a decent photo.

The monastery is well-known today for the production of its award winning dark beer, which we were able to sample together with a huge pretzel.  The abbey has been producing beer since about 1050.

We walked about a kilometre to where the bus collected us for our journey back to the boat, stopping briefly at the Liberation Hall, which is a memorial set high on a hill overlooking the gorge.

We are now half way through our River Cruise and we have been thoroughly enjoying our time on MS Artistry – the meals and service that we have been getting, has been better than we expected.  Before coming on board, we were a little concerned that we may be bored sitting about with not a lot to do while the boat was just puddling down the river (Sandy even got an extra book from Janet just in case!), but our days have been filled with interesting excursions/tours (some were included and the others were Optional extras that we chose to do) and we have had very little time to sit about and certainly haven’t been bored. 

However, we are looking forward to an easy morning tomorrow morning as se do not arrive at our next stop until about 1.00pm.  There has been some form of entertainment each night, although most nights we do not finish with dinner until about 9.00 and by then we have been more than happy to retire to our cabin to catch up with our blog and review our day’s activities via our photos, before heading off to bed at bout 10.30 or so.

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