Sunday, December 20, 2015

Regensburg - Day 6

We were able to adopt a slightly more leisurely pace this morning as we weren’t docking in Regensburg until around noon.  However, Grand Circle Tours doesn’t let their guests lack for activities should they so wish: this morning we had a very thorough and informative talk on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal before a lesson in the German language (I did choose not to attend), followed by a special cocktail introduction for those of us traveling solo (or independent travelers as they call us – great title). By then it was noon and time for an early
lunch so that we could get off on our walking City Tour promptly.

Another good guide (I mean as her name was Julia how could she have possibly been bad, I ask you), and somewhat less distance to walk – although here too I can highly recommend GCT for their accompanying personnel: we are always giving clear instructions – instructions that are printed in the morning, told to us in port talks the night before and yet again repeated throughout the program as needed.

Docked on the Danube

The High water mark

The group with City Tour Guide


The old Stone Bridge - 12th century

The oldest Sausage store in Germany
And, I just realized, no Glockenspiel. No Regensburg’s claim to fame is even more impressive than that (in my eyes) – Germany’s heaviest suspended organ, which is in St. Peter’s Cathedral – also my favorite so far. Another of their “famous” points – the oldest sausage house in Germany (Nuremburg and Regensburg were fighting legally about the matter of the oldest sausage and finally agree that Nuremburg could claim the first sausage production and Regensburg the first building dedicated to sausages). This is in the vicinity of Germany’s oldest stone bridge – currently under renovation. Then it was on to City Hall, the famous measuring “sticks” and, of course, the Christmas Market.
City Hall windows
Arches leading to the stone bridge

David and Goliath
The house was built in the 13th century but the fresco was only added in 1573 by Melchior Bocksberger. Very recently renovated
Measuring instruments

As the town was part of the trading along the Danube they had their own measuring instruments at City hall: all of which are much larger even than the body parts they are supposed to represent (the one of the far right is supposed to be the equivalent of 2 forearms - the guide could easily get in three)

Former private home and courtyard

Cherry tree in the protected courtyard

A sign of wealth - a private tower
The above pictures are from a private home in what was the wealthiest district: now the wooden windows denote a dormitory, the cherry tree is so protected that it was actually blooming and the outside tower was built by the wealthy to signal their richness: the tower has no floors, was never used as living quarters and only has a stairwell going up to the top.

Cathedral spires of St. Peter
This cathedral was rebuilt in high gothic style in the 13th century on a spot where the first bishop's church had been in the 700s. The Carolingian church built in the 1100s burnt twice, thus the new edifice. King Ludwig I added his renovationsin the 1800s. Another element was added in 2009: The organ weighs 36 tons and is carried by 4 steel ropes, thus granting it the title of the largest free-hanging organ in the world.

the nave of St. Peter's Cathedral

the new 2009 organ - the largest hanging organ in the world


St.Peter's from the rear entrance.
St.Peter's at night

I then checked out directions to Thurn & Taxis Christmas Market for later that evening, wandered into a few department stores and headed back to the ship.   
A cheery little fellow in a tree in front ot the Thurn & Taxis castle

A memorial marker
One of the numerous reminders of war, deprivation and murder: "Here lived Klara Jakob, born Koltonsky in the year 1886, deported 1942, Piaski - murdered"

The crown on the Thurn & Taxis castle

It was a full schedule as we had early Port Talk and dinner in order to go back out to the Niedermünster church for a concert: magical.   


Those who were up for it then continued to the Thurn and Taxis Christmas Market – by and far the most elegant and beautiful that I have seen! The current countess designed the booths and their emplacement on her grounds and also picks those allowed to pay for a booth. She also charges an entry fee, thus keeping out without ever needing to say anything those who simply want to eat and drink. All the entry fees and booth rental fees are given to charity.  So many lovely handicrafts.

The poster for the Thurn & Taxis Christmas Market

The family wealth came from postal services throughout Europe
 And we have them to thank for "taxis" - also their function with the name being used throughout the world yet today.

Inner Courtyard of their residence

middle part of the inner courtyard

left-hand wing of the inner courtyard
I spoke several minutes with this man: he was the only child of 10 who was interested in the craft and was taught by his grandfather. He spends most of the year on the road and still gets enormous pleasure out of making his various items (there were some cute woven rocking horses). Unfortunately although he had one daughter who was interested, she had to earn a living so the art will die out with him.

Map of the T&T Christmas market - huge

Outside the castle walls

smoked salmon
I came across this at the very end, wasn't hungry, but was able to get a picture of the next to the last one that he took off the smoker. Thoughts of my brother-in-law, my sons and my nephews who fish salmon summers in Alaska - wish I could have done taste test!

G. and I stayed until they shut down at 23:00, walked the 20 minutes back to the boat and went off to our dreams of beauty more than ready.

One of many wrought-iron lanterns