We did not know exactly where we would visit toward the end of our trip when we started it back in April. At that time we did not know about Regensburg, a charming German town only a couple hours away from Munich. When traveling in the town of Rapallo, Italy a few months earlier with my mom, we ran into a German man on a cable car ride. As we rode up, up to see a church in the mountains, my mom started a conversation with the rest of the cable car passengers. It was only us, the German man, and the operator, a handsome Italian man named Matteo. Anyway, my mom asked the German man where is the place one should go when in Germany, and he said, Regensburg (below is a throwback picture to our time in Rapallo).
Later on, at breakfast in the same town, my mom struck up another conversation (she’s very good at it, and it allowed us to talk to people, even for just minutes, and learn a bit about their lives, that we would not normally) with another German, and she asked him what he thought of Regensburg, and he echoed the first man’s sentiment. So, when we planned the end of the trip, now five months later, we made sure to go.
This journey began with another train trip. Leaving from the main station in Munich, we did not think much about it being a Saturday afternoon train trip to a UNESCO cultural heritage site recommended as a must visit by its citizenry, in the middle of the summer busy season. Needless to say, the train was packed. We normally traveled on weekdays and off times if possible, so rarely had we encountered a completely packed long distance train. We were lucky enough to get seats in a compartment with four other people, our rolling bag between our knees. Other people were sitting on their luggage in the narrow aisle, and many stood for the journey.
Lucky for us, the journey was not long; unlucky for us, it was raining when we arrived. Back to lucky: after a short walk to the hotel on a wide, pedestrian street, they gave us a welcome glass of prosecco!
We headed out into the town, looking for food and beer. It drizzled on and off as we walked, past murals old and new,
and arrived at a biergarten that was hosting a wedding; though they were too busy for us. We went on looking for another biergarten or brauhaus (brewhouse) to eat some good German food and drink good German beer, and luckily, after walking past the colorful buildings and narrow streets (these are the first of many of the colorful homes of Regensburg, fair warning), we found one.
The above yellow building houses the Brauerei Kneitinger brauhaus (or brew house), dating back to 1530.
We drank Dunkel (dark) beer and ate spatzel (similar to macaroni, cooked in a skillet) with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions (it was out of this world) and braised ox-cheek with dumplings, and red cabbage with apple. It was really, really good and the waitresses, dressed in the traditional garb, treated us really nicely to boot.
Fully satiated, we walked about town,
and eventually crossed the Danube River, which splits three times, creating two long, narrow islands as it were, before the river comes back together past the city center. We found a good spot to relax, sitting across the river from the Old Town, where the water was so still the reflection of the Old Stone Bridge (old being the 12th century), the spires on St. Peter’s Cathedral, the clock tower and colorful buildings was stunning (best exemplified in the picture at the top of the this post).
We passed under the Old Stone Bridge (but never across it; for some reason it oddly eluded us until our last day, when we only just took some pictures on it),
and eventually crossed another bridge back to Old Town, making our way to St. Peter’s Cathedral. We went inside, but it was closing soon; as the sun was no longer visible the stained glass did not shine quite so brightly and it was dark inside anyway. We didn’t stay long and after we walked past a statue of a man on a horse (King Ludwig I of Bavaria) and mustard yellow building behind it near the Cathedral.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped for gelato before calling it a night.
Our next day we started at St. John’s Church, a Baroque church, not too big, very near St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Next, we went for an early lunch at a spot on the river called Wurst & Bier; what did we order? A Wurst & Bier sampler of course. A variety of mustard came along as well; when we left we had a little buzz and a lot of sausage in our stomachs.
After lunch, we wandered crossed bridges, walked through city and parks, along the Danube, for a couple hours, until we reached a biergarten, this one for the Spital brewery. After a big beer, we headed on, eventually finding ourselves among many parked cars and people heading toward a carnival. We had no idea a carnival was going on, but there were the normal carnival rides and games, with stuffed animals to win, and many places to get food and beer. What was a bit different was that there were a lot of booths selling all kinds of goods; so after we finished walking up and down the aisles of vendors, we made our way to the Ferris Wheel, because if there is a Ferris Wheel opportunity, it would be silly not to ride it
We split a bag of caramel corn, and it all felt like being in a small town or church carnival on a summer day. We headed back toward our hotel, stopping at a restaurant to split currywurst and fries, before making it back, enjoying the nice weather and colorful buildings and statues around town,
After a rest we were back out on the street to see Regensburg at night.
Around town we had seen posters for an artist Andre Maier. He was not previously known to us but liked the poster and saw he had a gallery; funny enough we walked right by it, recognized the art, and saw the artist at work in the studio! Very cool.
Next we returned to the spot we had been the day before, across the river from the Old Town. We were alone on the cool evening, talking about our travels so far, as our trip was in the final stages, with only a couple places left to visit before we returned to the US. The water remained still, and the night colors reflected just as well as they did in the daytime.
We traveled back to the hotel, excited for our next day in Regensburg and a trip to nearby Walhalla!