Category: ‘Travels’

Donau Walzer: Linz

April 17, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Overnight, the ship was moored in the industrial town of Linz, Austria. Most of the folks on the cruise were traveling on by tour bus to the town of Salzburg, where the Sound of Music was made and the birthplace of Mozart. My mom was going on that. But there was no accommodation for my nap on that full day excursion, so I decided to stay on and discover Linz.

Here is the first photo I took as I exited the ship. It is looking up river; note the buildings on both sides. The Lentos Art Museum is on the left and the glass building on the right is the Ars Electronica Center which was lit up at night. In this photo, in this distance, you can see the Pöstlingberg-Kirche: pilgrimage church on the Pöstlingberg hill. This photo looks back at the Viking Legend. A closer photo of the Lentos that shows that the patterns in the glass are made by printing the museum’s name on the glass. Another closeup. Another view that frames the glass building across the Danube. And one final view that frames an onion domed church across the river. Colorful spring flowers decorate the space in front of the high “Pestsäule” (“plague column“, also known as “Dreifaltigkeitssäule” (Dreifaltigkeit means Holy Trinity)) which was built to remember the people who died in the plague epidemics in the town square. A closer view of the column. A building in the square. A view of the St. Ignatius Cathedral, built by Jesuits in 1669-78, it has a fairly simple exterior with onion domed twin towers and the usual baroque excesses in the interior. A view down the street to St. Michael & Ursula Church. The door to St. Ignatius. Two solid marble statues of a woman are in use for a holy water fonts in the church. Yikes! Fancier than what is in Rome! The chancel was very ornate, too bad the photo is so dark. Again, my photo of the altar is too dark to appreciate how ornate it really is. However, the intricate woodwork on these pews can be clearly seen. Here is the other holy water font.

Outside the church this wooden tower was being buit and I have no idea what it was for.

This is a side altar in the St. Michael & Ursula Church. The chancel and main altar are in this photo. The chancel is still somewhat ornate. Another side altar. Looking up at the towers of the church. Whoever put in that airconditioner should be shot.

These are shoes in a store window. The kicks in the center are €200.

This might be a rectory, though it looks quite a bit like a church.

Walking away from St. Michael & Ursula.

A bishop’s residence is fronted by blooming magnolias and pollarded trees. It was erected in 1718-25 and has its own chapel. The New Cathedral [completed in 1924] can be seen when looking back towards town from the residence. Unfortunately I did not have the energy to visit it.

A view of the Elizabeth Church, built in 1763-68. This is of historical significance only. [?] But here are the altar and chancel of the church.

The Museum Francisco-Carolinum in a distance and closeup shot. A modern glass building that I liked the work on.

This wonderful glass hemidisk-shaped building held pride of place on the Danube’s banks. I have no idea what it was. But here is a second view.

Here is the Ars Electronica lit up at night. This photo leaves much to be desired.

The most exciting news of the day is that I finally found and purchased my lederhosen! There was a little shop and the people there were very nice. The lederhosen all fit me quite well! I also bought a pretty little blouse that was on sale for  €39! Here is the blouse, front and back and the lederhosen. They look really cute on!

Mom returned from the full day tour of Salzburg and said it was a tourist trap. But she went off on her own for lunch as had a terrific plate of schinkenfleckerl. I was very jealous!

Next our destination is Melk!

Donau Walzer: Passau 3

April 15, 2014 Posted by suefairview

At this point in the tour, we reached the rear of St. Stephan’s cathedral, which is where the Bishop’s residence is. the next photos are of the fountain in this area. The Bishop’s residence is the blue building. Inside is a famous crucifix; though my photo is too crappy to see it well. The plaster work and fresco are also quite well known. I thought just the door was enchanting and took a photo of it. The cathedral is best known for its 5 organs, which are the second largest in the world. There are two photos of the organ over the entry to the cathedral; one of which shows the side organs. Here is the altar in the cathedral. The cathedral has the fifth organ in the dome of this ceiling. The altar sculpture is a modern work. The chancel is ornate and covered in gold leaf. I noticed that the red marble balisters were exactly the same as the ones in Rome in churches built in this time period [1600's], including the Vatican. Here is the fourth organ, at the side of the main altar. This is a close up of the marble work on a side altar and a distance shot of a side altar that includes railing, altar, frescos, statues, and bas reliefs. Here is the entry to the cathedral with the three towers with green onion domes.

We were released from our tour guide and let go on our own. We decided to shop. The first shop we saw was a chocolate shop! I was amazed by their displays and took two photos before the owner frowned at me. Mom bought some for one of her pals back home. Mom was extremely patient while I tried on lederhosen. But I was not happy with the fit of them; all were too low waisted. The shop lady actually tried to pull them up on me so hard that she lifted me! So I bought nothing. But we had joy at a jewelery shop where we found earrings and a ring fashioned into the distel flower in silver and enamel.

Back on our boat, we only had to cruise a wee bit, and we were in Austria. I took a photo of the typical houses there. It seems that someone had more luck than I did with purchasing lederhosen [black is for married men]. He posed smiling, and then when asked to look German, he put on a serious face.

Tomorrow we are in Linz!
























Donau Walzer: Passau 2

April 14, 2014 Posted by suefairview

During a fabulous dinner aboard the Viking Legend, the ship was moved from dock 14, which was midpoint on Passau’s isthmus to dock 2. It was very exciting to be on the ship when it was moved! I enjoyed a terrific night’s sleep [with help of Ambien; better life through chemistry] and felt comletely ready to meet the walking tour the next day.

The walking tour took the same path that I had walked the previous day. However, the tour guide talked about how flooding was a huge problem in Passau. She remarked that the flood in 2013 was the biggest ever, and the town was still drying out from it. She pointed out the coat of arms of Passau on a building constructed in 1687. The old wall I had blithely walked past, was originally constructed in 1250! In many places this old wall has flowering plants growing out of it. The Schaiblingstrum is mated to the old wall by a covered bridge made of stone. An azalea grows out of the stone wall; note the magnolia in full bloom above it. A sign post in front of the old wall. A tower from St. Stephan’s looms over everything in town. Many cafés have blankets or in this case, sheepskins for patrons to sit on. St. Paul church is peach colored with a green topped spire [two photos]. A well worn painting is below the flood line. In these next two photos, you can see the Atelier Café is closed and still airing out after last year’s flood. It is apparent that the stone is still damp. Another flood marking on a building left no room for last year’s record flood. The tour guide explained that the new Passau is reworked, but has kept touches of the past, for example, this gargoyle head decorating the corner of a building. This blue house is built in the old style with a slanted roof and small windows. The pansies and primroses are planted by a garden committee that decorates the entire town with the knoweldge that tourism is an important commercial income source for the town. Most citizens rise very early to commute to work at the BMW plant outside of town. I think this is the Bishop’s residence. The Gymnasium is a boy’s school. This is either a Tattoo parlor, or a shop called “Tattoo”. This beautiful bas relief is covered with netting to deter pidgeons. Religious corner decorations on the Hotel Wilderman. A bas relief of Elizabeth of Austria. The Wilden Mann in the Hotel Wilderman. We then walked to the Rathaus and went inside. We were only allowed to take photos of the stained glass windows [two photos], even though the assembly area we were in was filled with beautiful frescos.

Next, our tour guide takes us to St. Stephen’s.

Donau Walzer: Passau 1

April 12, 2014 Posted by suefairview

The bus dropped us off at the Viking Legend tour boat around 1:00 PM, our home for the next week. We were told that we were the first voyage for the boat this season, so our staterooms were ready for us and we could board immediately. The concierge, David offered to take my rucksack, and I told him to take my mom’s. He kindly said that he would take both of our bags. Mom and I were curious to see how big our room was and were pleasantly surprised at its roominess and the full length sliding glass doors on our A level cabin. She was ready to go out and explore the town, but I had to nap first. What a bummer! It was very difficult, but I let her go out on her own and I laid down to try and rest. When I awoke later, I searched the boat for her, but she was nowhere to be found. No surprise, she was probably still out in Passau exploring. So, I grabbed my camera and a map and went out to see the sights of Passau.

The first thing I spied was a lovely iron door sconce in the coat of arms of Passau. How cool is this mermaid door handle? A Ferrari roared by and I caught it with my camera. A German couple at a café. Childrens’ lederhosen and dirndels for sale at a souvenier shop. A view across the Danube with another tour boat and the Veste Oberhaus . A view up an alley offers a glimpse of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Spring flowers in a windowbox. Passau town hall or Rathaus. Flood markings on the tower of the Rathaus. A shot of the Veste Oberhaus where the date of 1499 can be clearly seen. A closeup of the figures on the side of the Rathaus. A view up an alley; note the religious bas-relief on the building. Two photos of the small bridge over the Danube in lower Passau. The view back up the Danube. A man stands and paddles his yellow kayak on the Danube river. An irresistable spitz puppy dog. Over the water is Austria. Another small church with much painted decoration. More of the Veste Oberhaus. A woman holds her minipinscher; isn’t it the cutest??? The view across the Inn River of the Mariahilf Pilgrimage Church. A young family makes their way up the walk along the Inn. More of the Mariahilf Church. The Shaiblingsturm, a midieval tower, guards the Inn River. It was not at all uncommon for buildings to have paintings of religious or important people on them; this inset is of a king. This chihuahua/minpin mix was so tiny, I thought it was a rat! But isn’t it the sweetest?

I looked at my watch and it had gotten very late! I rushed back the the boat and reconnected with my mom. She had walked all the way up to St. Stephen’s and went inside! But we will do that tomorrow on the guided tour!

Donau Walzer: Munich to Passau

April 11, 2014 Posted by suefairview

Mom and I were so excited to land in Munich and for our Viking ‘Danube Waltz’ Cruise to begin. But first, we had to take a bus from Munich to Passau to meet our boat, the Viking Legend. We got our bags and wandered past customs without being stopped; heard folks calling out to us “Ladies!”. They were the Viking people in red jackets. After waiting a few moments we were on the Viking bus and heading out for a half hour drive to Passau. I sanpped a photo of a Luftansa jet past our seatmates across from us.

Rather quickly, we passed over a canal we did not know the name of; but how stunning is this landscape? Plus, it is already spring here! Look at the leaves! Wow! A motorcyclist! Look how green the hills are! The forsythia are in bloom!

We could see this tower of white smoke from miles away and wondered what it was. Also, note the solar farms. When we got closer, we could see that it was a steam cooler from a nuclear plant.

We also notices Orthodox Catholic churches with onion domes dotted the landscape. Someone rides a large white horse. Old contrasts with new as an onion dome church looms up behind a solar farm. Down the road, we could see the foothills of the Alps. Another onion dome church. Another onion dome church. A twin tower gothic church. Another onion dome church. An onion dome and a Gothic spire church. Cyclists were everywhere! There was industry along the Danube as well. An onion dome on the river.

A larger onion dome church in Passau. A tour boat named after Sissi, Empress Elizabeth of Austria cruises in Passau. Colorful houses line the Danube in Passau. We have arrived!