After lunch Bill and I ventured into Passau on our own. While we’d been frustrated by our guide’s demeanor during the morning, he had led us through a shopping area and shown us a nice riverside walkway. Passau is no Vienna and we’d had lunch, so Bill was amenable to hoofing it around on our own.
A Marvelous Afternoon
While our morning tour had left a bad taste in our mouth, it had not besmirched the charming little town. The first item on my agenda was to find some tokens for my friends. A thorough search of the room did not turn up any of the darling gingerbread ornaments I bought in Cesky Krumlov, so I needed to get busy. I wanted to get something for my Bible Study girls and then I had a couple of other friends for whom I wanted to buy something more substantial.
Passau has a significant pedestrian area with shops called Ludwigstrasse and nearby are a couple multistory of enclosed malls. My patient husband wandered through all of these with me, hunting down the appropriate souvenirs – only I wasn’t finding much that I thought was appropriate. Finally, we wandered into a knick-knack store and while most of the items were tacky bibelots with the words “Passau, Germany” emblazoned on them, I found a shelf populated with charming ceramic cherubs molded into a variety of poses. I’d found the trinkets I wanted for my Bible Study girls.
I was still baffled about what to get for my best friend and my next door neighbor, who is truly the best next door neighbor in the world, but Mr. Bill was ready to roll. We headed toward the river and were hugely rewarded.
The morning had been chilly in more ways than one. Yes, our guide had been Mr. Rude, but the weather was overly crisp, also. I’d layered up with a denim jacket and a wool cape, but had still been uncomfortable. The afternoon weather was so glorious that we might have been in Dallas on one of its best days.
We discovered it was the first really warm day for Passau that spring and the whole town had turned out to enjoy the river. Children tossed balls into the air. Lovers ogled one another on shared blankets. Giggly girls shared secrets strolling along the river. Another girl sat on a stairway leading down to the river captivated by a book. Beer drinking students toasted everyone that walked by. It was like a movie set!
Once More to the Ludwigstrasse
Armed with a map the rude guide had provided, Bill and I maneuvered around the finger of land pointing to the confluence of the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube. When we got back to the boat, Bill agreed to hit the Ludwigstrasse with me one more time. I was in a tizzy. I had to finish packing and dress for dinner soon, but I just didn’t want to head home without something for my friends.
As I bounced from storefront to storefront appalled at the pricing, Bill came to the rescue. One of the clothing stores was having a bit of a sidewalk sale and Bill pointed it out. I doubted anything would be affordable, even marked down, because all the prices I had seen were pretty steep. Bill helped me figure out the exchange rate and the discount. Suddenly, I was all smiles. Not only had we found exactly what I’d love to get for Deb and Sherry, but I wasn’t going to break the bank!
It was a quiet night on board. The evening happy hour was devoted to disembarking instructions. Dinner was delicious, but sad. We’d made wonderful friends and we didn’t know when we’d see them again. Then there we had to be out early in the morning. For all practical purposes, the cruise was over.
Come back next week and I’ll get you back to Dallas. In the meantime, enjoy this video of our final stop.