Waking up in Passau was bittersweet. During the night we’d passed from Austria into Germany and docked at Passau, but my research had not mined up any nuggets for my “must-see” list, in this town at the confluence of three rivers. The overwhelming emotion was regret. I was going to have to leave this cozy boat where they took me from destination to destination, fulfilling my every need and desire along the way.
The Morning Rush Hour
In Viking River Cruise land, mornings were busy. We had to get up and get breakfast before the tour started. There were no lazy days at sea. It might have been nice to intersperse all these activities with some down time, but Mr. Bill is not a two week vacation kind of guy and on an 8 day river cruise you are engaged every single day, all day long.
Passau was no different. The walking tour began at nine. After a delicious breakfast we disembarked and found our guide. We did not get the pick of the litter.
The Walking Torture
He was a Frenchman, resettled into Germany and I’ll just say it, he was rude. He was quite knowledgeable, but so unpleasant. He was obviously unaware that we were on a walking tour, not taking an oral exam for a PhD. He’d pepper us with questions and then ridicule our answers. If we dared ask him a question, he’d belittle us. I’m not exactly ignorant of history, but the one question I asked him about a date painted on a castle, resulted in my most uncomfortable moment of the cruise.
We put up with him for a while, but it was finally so unpleasant that we wandered off and found our own way back to the boat. However, Passau is a lovely little town, in spite of the rude guide, so I’ll show you some of it.
Pretty Little Passau
If you’ve been following me along on this cruise, then you know the operative word for the predominant architectural style along the Danube is Baroque. We got a taste of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Cesky Krumlov, but pretty much everything else has been Baroque-on-steroids. Passau was no different. The architectural highlights are the Prelate’s Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, but the whole town is lovely. For some reason, the Rathaus has murals painted all over it which are reminiscent of the Middle Ages, but they are merely modern interpretations of that era. Architecture aside, the three rivers are the real stars of the show.
Enjoy this gallery of shots from our walking torture. I can’t tell you much more about them, because the only way I was able to avoid killing my guide was to ignore him. We finally abandoned him and made our own way back to the boat. Come back next week and I’ll tell you about the rest of the day, which was a lot more fun.