We were still sailing when we woke up (it is light by 5am - but we don't get up until 7 usually) and arrived in a very small town called Engelhartszell, Austria. It was raining. Guess I jinxed it by my comment yesterday. But we don't melt so it was ok. And Uniworld supplies these great golf umbrellas so with that and my trusty Robin hat (the teal/black cap you'll see in photos) I was up for the long hikes - but no hill climbing today. Just cobblestone streets.
We walked from the ship to the Abbey (about 5 min walk) and learned that they are down to 5 monks. 93, 85, 70, and two brothers in their 50s. They are the only ones who know how to make their beer. Which was good by the way. I even liked it. Well, the lighter beer, not the dark beer. And the 'stinky cheese' was yummy too. Though the beer and cheese tasting came after the walk through their new aquarium. Home to Harry the Sturgeon - a big 6 foot dude. He's from the Black Sea delta (at the end of the Danube). They have a very special, rare sturgeon that is only found in the Engelhartszell section of the Danube - it's a Sterlet. And Ken enjoyed checking out the list of fish found in the Danube.
Because the Inn River is starting to flood again the ship had to leave us behind and zoom down to Passau so it could get under the bridge before it was too late. They just made it, I hear. One of the guests was watching from the front of the ship (no one was allowed on the sun deck). We took the bus (thus saw the sign mentioned above).
Once in Passau, since our ship was early it could only temporarily pull up to the shore, pick up those passengers that wanted to hop on, and then had to pull out again until it could take its position with the rest of the ships in town (I think there were 4?). Ken, Greg and I opted to stay on shore and walk around Passau for a bit. We walked out to the point (the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Donau (Danube) then checked out some areas that were flooded last year, and were starting some flooding now (the path we would have walked on was under water). Eventually we made it back to the ship, though not until after I spotted a grocery store in a back street. It has pretzels. I had to get some. Then we spotted a home made Jam/Marmalade/mustard store. We stopped there and got some yummies...the Lingonberry mustard was a perfect complement to the pretzel.
At that point Ken and I traded Greg for Dad and we also went out exploring. This time we did a big loop. We walked through the pedestrian shopping area then decided to cross the river on the major thoroughfare - I think it's called Highway 12 (Schanzilbrucke?) then down Angerstrabe (where I did manage to get splashed by a passing truck) to the other bridge (Luitpoldbrucke) and back along the promenade until we found a place for a restorative beer. Dad had a dark beer, Ken a Pils and me a Shandy (beer and Seven-Up). Once suitably restored we walked the rest of the way to the ship where we're now doing our free laundry (the washing machine and dryers are speedy - 1 hour tops fom beginning to end).
Soon it'll be cocktail hour again - meeting in the Piano Bar, as usual.
Mom and Dad and Yolanda reading "Rocky the Rodeo Pony"
Engelhartszell Abbey's beer
Our ship pulling into Passau
Greg handing over the 6 pack Ken and Greg bought at the Abbey
The point - confluence of the Ilz, Inn and Donau (Danube)
Some type of bird that was really noisy....we're going to figure out what it is, maybe
The 3 rivers are full....
The Ilz joining the Danube
The Inn is over its banks...that is the path we were walking on
Had to go exploring
See the high water mark on the tower? That is easily 14 feet high...probably much higer...and was from the flooding last year
This is for Toni and Bob - though it is a gummi bear place, not teddy bear
I didn't know there still were Benetton stores! Last one I've seen was in Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo in the 80's
On the bridge over the Danube - our ship is in the background
Dad checking out the view of our ship - I'm juggling the umbrella in the wind so the photo isn't upright
Our ship is at the point there - double berthed
Our ship on the left
Dolphins for Greg and Yolanda
From the other side of the river
I'm just about on the bridge to cross back, our boat is there, and way in the distance is the other bridge we walked across for the other photos
That's 1499 - the second digit is half of an 8....meaning 4.
Ken and his Pilz in Passau