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Daily Archives: May 4, 2019

Passau 5/4/19

After our usual great breakfast, we were up the the gangplank and off the ship about 9:30 for our day visit to Passau, Germany, our first stop in a German city.

Passau Gangplank

We had signed up for the Walking Tour of Passau, the included one for this stop. Unfortunately, so far we haven’t had many, if any, ‘driving’ tours, but I guess it helps work off all the delicious food they keep feeding us.

We started out along the Inn River, with our first stop the Schaibling or Salt Tower.

Passau Salt Tower

Built in the mid-1300’s, it was a fortified watch tower to protect and store, what else, Salt. Salt, necessary for preserving food, especially meat, has been a hot commodity since the Roman days. In fact, in many cases Roman soldiers were paid in salt. Hence the term, ‘Salary’.

The salt came from the mines near Salzburg, and was a favorite target of pirates and thieves, so it was protected all the way up the river and then safely stored in the tower.

Next, cutting up through an alley to get into town, we came across this sign on someone’s backyard.

Passau Meine Ball

He looks like he’s serious about all this.

Our next stop was the old town hall which was pretty non-descript on the outside, but another story on the inside. And besides the carved marble staircase

Passau Town Hall 1

and the marvelous frescoed ceiling,

Passau Town Hall 2

its other claim to fame was that Mozart played here for the local prince at the age of 6. Mozart, not the prince. But Mozart felt insulted when they kept him waiting for six days before hearing him play, so he refused to ever play for the prince or his family again, since they wouldn’t pay him for waiting.

A little way down the cobble-stoned street, we passed through an archway and into the square in front of the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Passau St Stephens Cathedral Front

There have been churches on this site since 730 A.D., with this one being built between 1668 to 1693 to replace the previous one that burned down in 1662. Designed in the Baroque style, it’s over 100 meters long, and even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.

Passau St Stephens Church 3Passau St Stephens Church 4Passau St Stephens Church 5

Even the floor tiles are over 1000 years old, taken from Roman ruins and reused.

Passau St Stephens Church Tile Floor

But the crowning glory is the massive pipe organ, the largest in Europe, and in the top five in the world.

Passau St Stephens Church Pipe Organ

It currently has 17,794 pipes and 233 registers, and is played from six consoles, and even better we got to hear a concert after lunch.

Or maybe I should say after ‘dessert’, since that’s what we had. Jan had the Cherry Cheese Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream

Passau Cherry Cheese Strudel

and I had the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce.

Passau Apple Strudel

Delicious!

There are very few free toilets in Budapest or Germany, but less so in Germany. You either pay .50 € or 1 €, or you buy something in a restaurant. But this little old lady had a real scam going by setting up right in front of the ‘WC’ next to the cathedral.

Passau St Stephens Church Bathroom

Many of these have an attendant to give change, or a change machine, but this one didn’t. So if you had to go really bad, you bought a postcard or a trinket to get some change.

Nice racket!

When we got back into the church for the concert, we were warned that there was no recording allowed. But obviously someone did record it, and you can listen to the opening piece here on YouTube.

And it was all I could do to not laugh out loud on the first few notes. It was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, probably one of the most recognizable openings in classical music, except maybe for Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

But that wasn’t the funny part. Here we are in definitive ‘Dracula’ country, and this the definitive Dracula theme song. So much so that if you Google ‘Dracula music, this piece comes up.

The organ has one pipe that’s about 2 feet across and puts out a note at 16Hz. It seems to make the air in your lungs vibrate, and you feel it as much as hear it.

They also have a pipe that’s about 1/4 inch across that puts out 16kHz, so pretty much only young kids and probably young dogs can actually hear it. I certainly can’t, but it does make my ears itch.

Dinner back on the ship was as delicious as usual, with my Angus Ribeye with double veggies, and no fries.

Passau Angus Ribeye

Gotta try to cut back somehow.

Jan got one of her favorites, the Roasted Chicken.

Passau Roasted Chicken

Next up: Regensburg


Since it took over 9 hours of start and stop to get the last blog up, I decided to wait until Paris to start catching up again.

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