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In Regensburg – August 2007
This follows on from Two Nights in Regensburg
It’s a tourist boat, so when we boarded, despite our early arrival, many of the outside seats were already taken. But we found two, which turned out to be among a group of middle-aged to elderly German women on a tour, with a tour guide.
The wedding party
Not long before the boat was due to leave there arrived a wedding party. The bride and groom were dressed in the traditional Bavarian costume, he in a kind of brushed-effect brown suit and hat with a feather in, and she in a dress that was somewhat classier than those worn by the waitresses in the sausage hut, but of the same general style. The guests, including what were obviously the bride’s parents, were dressed in more modern clothes, but expensively and smartly. They’d obviously had a bit of a rush to get from lunch to the boat in time, but unflustered themselves and took their places on the seats outside at the rear of the boat – we were at the front.
To Walhalla
And the boat left to take us for a ride to Walhalla. Walhalla is a Greek-temple-style monument by the banks of the Danube, erected on the instructions of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and designed to house the marble busts of suitably famous Germans, or presumably originally just suitable Bavarians. Why? It’s bizarre, really. See Wikipedia on Walhalla
On the way to Walhalla our boat passed the Regensburg docks, which are quite substantial, extraordinarily extensive for a river, and we glided under the railway bridge that was a significant target for allied bombs in WW2 as it carried the trains from the southern part of Bavaria to Berlin. It was a major transport link. There was also a Messerschmidt factory in the industrial area of Regensburg, which did get hit by bombs. But all of this is somewhat outside Regensburg town, and it’s a long way from Britain and so it would have been easier to apply spirit-breaking destruction to nearer towns, thus the old town of Regensburg was spared.
Along the route we are joined by the new canal linking the Rhine and the Danube. This is a busy working river. See Wikipedia on the Main-Donau Canal (in German – there doesn’t seem to be such a thorough description in English).
Up the dirt track in your wedding shoes
At Walhalla we get off the boat, and there is the coach waiting to take the German ladies with guide on the next leg of their journey, but we together with the rest of the people who’ve stepped down from the boat, including the wedding party, will walk up the hill to the Walhalla. There are building works going on so we have a detour on a rough path, but the wedding guests undaunted do this in their shiny high-heeled shoes.
At the Walhalla, we decide not to pay €4 to go inside and look at the marble busts, so sit around on the ledge watching the families who’ve arrived by car and their children using the ledges and balustrades as a climbing frame. We walk down to the car park where there’s a souvenir stall, and then begin to make our way back to the jetty, leaving at about the same time as the wedding party who’ve spent their stay taking photographs of each other.
By taking an adventurous route down through the woods, we manage to go down the wrong side of the hill, but luckily get to the jetty just as the boat is pulling in – it had continued its trip further down river to a town we could have gone to instead but it would have meant a very short time on shore.
Not quite perfect English
On the way back to Regensburg on the boat there are further informative pieces over the tannoy about things we’re passing, in German and English, the English very good but not quite perfect, for example as we pass Donaustauf the voice tells us in German that this was a leisure resort for the people of Regensburg who would come out here on Sundays and holidays on a small steam train (Dampfzug). This was translated into English as a ‘choo-choo train’. Someone would have been proud of that amusing boob, no doubt.
The story continues with A Throwback and AusChecken.


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