Our last full day in Regensburg we actually left town, though only just a bit outside, taking the local bus to Walhalla. Walhalla is a massive neo-classical building that looks like it is straight out of ancient Greece (the Parthenon in particular, and, as we had just seen the Parthenon in Athens a month before, could confirm). The massive structure was built in the mid-1800s to honor famous Germans through history; and Jesse had read if we were in Regensberg it was worth the short trip (the bus was only about an hour; by car its much faster).
We arrived at the bus stop in the town of Donaustauf, from there we walked to the Sanctuary of St. Salvator. It was up some steep stairs, though it’s doors were locked and we could not peek inside. There was a path behind the Sanctuary that led into the forest; Jesse said let’s take it, and the compass agreed, so we did. The path took us higher and higher, and while we could not see that far in front of us, the map app assured us we were getting closer. We could see the town of Donaustauf below,
then we stumbled upon a familiar marker,
The yellow Camino shell on the blue background, the same one we saw all over Asturias and northern Spain when we lived there, marks the way for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Right around the corner there was a stand selling coffee, snacks, and beer (of course). Since we were a bit tired from the walk up we had a couple Radlers and relaxed as Walhalla was right in front of us, so no need to rush.
We finished our drinks and walked along the colonnade to the front,
where we sat outside, taking in the truly spectacular view of the Danube and surrounding countryside.
Inside is impressive too, but as we did not want to inspect all the busts we took a few pictures, bought some postcards, and went back to sit on the steps outside.
From the back:
The aerial view (in a photo borrowed from Wikipedia) really conveys how grand it is:
After we headed down the many, many stairs back to sea level, and a path that would lead us back to the bus stop in Donaustauf. We took a nice walk through the Englischer Garten to the center of the tiny own, and passed the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), originally built in 1800, and rebuilt later, in 1952. Now it was fenced off to the public, but still, an interesting and unexpected sight.
The streets of the town were empty, and it felt almost like being on a movie set.
We found a bakery and ordered a pastry and coffees but there was not seating so we went looking for a bench. After a bit we found one, that was right across from another bakery. One pastry had not satisfied us after all the walking so I went in and picked up two more. We walked back to the bus stop and soon were on our way back to Regensburg.
I thought the bus would drop us off on the Old Stone Bridge, so we could cross it and walk directly to St. Peter’s Cathedral, as the sun was out and I wanted to see the stained glass. Alas no, it was the wrong bridge. Though we did walk under the Ostenator clock tower on our way back to Old Town.
We made it to the Cathedral and the stained glass was as impressive as I have seen in our time traveling around Europe, rivaling León’s. The uncountable number of pieces of multi-colored glass were so small, so colorful, that seemed almost impossible to fathom the time and craftsmanship these windows required. The pictures here do not do them justice, for sure.
After we left the cathedral I was determined to find the Old Stone Bridge, and even though we still got a little lost, we found it; quite crowded, in fact.
We walked under the archway, took some pictures from the other side, and walked back. We had walked upon it, and that was enough for me. On our walk back we happened upon another studio for the artist Andre Maier, who we had seen at work the day before.
We called it an early night and prepared for our next day train back to Munich.
I hesitate to use the word “magical” to describe a place; there’s a Disney connection that seems to relate to Germany, with the Disney castle based on German ones and whatnot. Back when we were in Turkey, Jesse and I joked that someone described Istanbul as magical, and, as much as I like Istanbul as one of my favorite cities, magical is not a word I would use. With that being said, if any place would be magical, a town in Germany makes sense. Before I get too far down this rabbit hole, let me say that there is a magical quality that Regensburg possesses that makes me understand why those Germans recommend it months earlier. I cannot recommend a visit enough, as it was one of my favorite places we visited during our travels.