Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday 1 June - Passau

1016 Linz to Passau 1120
1635 Passau to Linz 1745
The heavy rain during the night has certainly cooled things down.  In some places, wheat has been flattened.  It is still green, however, so maybe it will grow back.  We saw several deer in the wheat as well - the farmers have to put up with quite a bit.  Streams were also swollen and the water was full of silt.  It was raining slightly when we arrived but it soon stopped and the weather improved gradually during the day.
The Rathaus is very well decorated
We went first to the Tourist Office past the Cathedral which was almost completely cocooned for restoration. We decided not to go in because of the large number of tourists who were milling around.  Passau is a transfer point for the cruises on the Danube.  There are lots of tourists,  plenty of tourist junk on sale and prices are correspondingly higher.  We walked around the end of the land where the Inn joins the Danube and found a fancy restaurant but prices seemed high so we went back to a Brauhaus which turned out to be a lot of fun.  There were only a few people sitting at the benches when we went in but a large party of elderly Germans arrived and soon the place was hopping.  Good job we had already ordered our meal.  The serving girls were carrying eight glasses of beer in a carrying crate similar to those used by the milkmen in England.  Their food came fast and furious, very hearty and large portions.
The Brauhaus was appropriately  located on Brewery Street
Decoration above the door of the Brauhaus
Mary had turkey strips with a mixed salad, bacon bits and sauteed mushrooms.  The girl at the Tourist Office said I should try pork so I had pork covered with tomatoes and cheese with a mixed salad.  Both were very good indeed and very filling.

The buildings in Passau are pleasant enough but not exceptional compared with Linz or Graz.  We walked along the Inn and then made our way back into the pedestrian part of town where we found a Strudel House.  The owner made only strudel of many different types.  Mary had wild berry and cheese while I had poppyseed and cherry.  These were the owner's wife's special recipe from Hungary.
Different flavors of strudel, sweet and savory, straight from the oven.
We sat in the window and watched the passing traffic.  A lady in a furniture shop across the street spent some time in the window trying to catch a moth that was flying around a sofa.  She finally cupped it in her two hands and released it in the street.  She saw me looking at her and waved.

Several local business people came in with empty cups that they were returning, obviously a regular arrangement.

Passing by this area earlier, we noticed an old, small Dachsund wandering around without a lead.  He was polite to other dogs but made it clear that this was his territory.  It appears he is owned by the husband and wife that operate adjacent high end men's wear and baby clothes shops.  He would go back and forth between the two, especially when one would go into the other shop for a moment.  However, he really came to life when their little boy came home from school, ran into see his father, dumped his bag and then ran in to see his mother.

Just down the street was a chocolate shop.  There were marzipan potatoes in the window as well as a well shaped pair of breasts (busen) in either dark or milk chocolate.

We walked around a little more and then took the train back to Linz.
Click above to see pictures of Passau.
In both directions the train was the latest German high speed train where passengers can watch the driver from behind a glass screen.  We sat in this compartment on the way back and it was good to follow what was happening.  It seems the driver can opaque the glass at will, it has the appearance of  a window with condensation - it comes on and off instantaneously.  At one point a lady came in to catch the action.  We were running wrong line around a long section of track work.  We had just come to the end and had the signal to return to the right hand side over a crossover.  A Talent train was approaching the same crossover on our line.  We were running at about 40 mph as we approached the crossover and the other passenger train was less than 100 yards from the crossover.  The woman cried out but, like in the movies, we switched to the other track just in time.  She was pretty relieved.  In fact it was an excellent meet set up by the dispatcher!

Arrival back in Linz was on time where we were met by a man who cleaned the windshield - it certainly needed it.
The windshield is being cleaned on the ICE at Linz

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