Munich to Regensburg

Photo by Hert Niks on

Upon departing from Munich our group boarded a bus for journey to the port where we joined our ship for the Danube cruise. Driving through Germany I was amazed at the fields of hops, mustard plants, solar panels, and wind turbines which were extensive in the many small country towns. Germany has bypassed their EU goals for green energy and has almost ended nuclear power usage.

Our Ship

Starting the cruise in Regensburg I found an idyllic town with roots dating back to the Celts in 500 B.C. then later the Romans in 179 A.D. This town prospered through the Middle Ages being the capital of Bavaria. Suffering no major damage in WWII due to air defenses it is a treasured UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Let’s begin the tour with some Regensburg churches starting with the most famous Regensburg Cathedral also known as the Cathedral of St. Peter.

Church construction began in 700 and after fires and the like was finally completed in 1872. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture.

Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Church of St. Johann, (St. John),where worshipers prayed during Cathedral construction. This is a simple yellow church, stop by say hi to Mary, and visit the interesting crypts in its basement.

Regensburg has many churches as wealthy patrons built churches in the hopes of indulgence for Heaven entry.

Then there are the many shops. To rekindle business after WWII buildings were sold cheaply as long as owners placed stores in their buildings. It worked creating a resurgence in the town’s economy.

And don’t forget to stop at the mustard store or Johnny Depp’s hat shop.

Ask for the clearance bin to get a good deal..

But mainly stroll the streets and enjoy. Further uptown there are even Marshall’s and Dollar Stores.

Lastly, stop at the most famous sausage restaurant in the world. You can’t miss it as it’s right next to the town’s famous bridge.

Oberammergau and Neuschwanstein Castle

Driving through the Alps

This was a day of much anticipation with the visit to these two extraordinary sites. Oberammergau is the site of the Passion Play which occurs every 10 years.

Passion Play Theater

This event came to be when citizens in 1634 offered to do Christ’s Passion in a play giving thanksgiving for being spared the Black Plague. Since that time the play has occurred every 10 years with all townspeople participating. The play runs five days a week from May 2020 through October 2020.

Oberammergau is a quaint, quiet town surrounded by majestic mountains. Homes have painted themes on them and townspeople are friendly.

And here’s my favorite home..

During our visit the town was quiet and serene. I was the sole worshiper in the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Here are some pictures.

Then there was the church cemetery with the Alps backdrop.

And next on the agenda…

The Fairy Tale Castle Neuschwanstein

What can be said regarding this masterpiece?

Neuschwanstein was the creation of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and built in the 19th century. This royal palace was created as a tribute to honor Richard Wagner, a friend of the King. Ludwig modeled the Castle after Hohenschwangau Castle where he spent his childhood and is located near Neuschwanstein.

View from Neuschwanstein noting Hohenschwangua Castle, the boyhood castle of King Ludwig II.

The Castle was built purely from King Ludwig’s funds, no citizen or tax monies were used. In today’s terms this would be $250 million. Ludwig was uniquely and intimately involved in its construction installing many new innovations such as central heating and telephones. While he never saw the completion of the Castle he did reside there during its construction.

Scenes along the trail to the Castle

There is a bus or horse carriage ride available leading to the Castle then a long walking trail leading to the entrance. On the way is a side tour to Mary’s Bridge which gives stunning distance views of the Castle.

View from Mary’s Bridge courtesy of fellow tourist Anil Gola.

Once at the Castle entrance there is timed entry with limited numbers in each group for the visit. No pictures are allowed and tour guides are well versed in King Ludwig II and Bavarian history. Visitors are able to view grand hallways, the throne room, Ludwig’s office, and bedroom as well as a theater area dedicated to Wagner, a German composer known for operas and theater composition.

The tour lasts close to an hour and a must see is the footage post tour which describes the building of the Castle. Also available post tour is a cafe with reasonable fare and several places where one can take in the beauty of the Bavarian Alps.

The lovely village surrounding the Castle has many gift shops and great restaurants with tasty German beer. While our guide stated this area pricey in viewing shops in other areas of Germany I found the prices more reasonable with good selection. Here I found a cuckoo clock I liked for 100 euros less than at another site later in the tour. Sadly I waited and if only… The cuckoo clock remains in Germany, ? next visit… 🙂

On to the Danube, farewell Neuschwanstein.

Munich City Tour

Interesting Character

Today was the official half day Munich City Tour. Started the day learning that our hotel was formerly on the grounds of a beer garden where Hitler gave frequent speeches. It was also one of the locations of a failed Hitler assassination of which there were 43. Fascinating fact.

Munich began in 1158 as a trading city and now has 1.5 million inhabitants. During WW II they had over 70 air raids therefore much of the City was rebuilt. Nazi buildings in the City were not bombed as their flat roofs had canvases with houses painted on them. From the skies it looked real therefore the buildings were not bombed. While destroying these buildings were considered after the War, they remain and have been repurposed.

Munich is a haven for museums as well as cultural events. During the war art was stored in local monasteries and castles so art museums are present. There are also scientific and historical museums as well.

Munich Opera House rebuilt after the War by local families.

And then there is beer. The city has 6 breweries and as stated previously no chemicals are allowed in the beer. In fact, it’s a law. Germans are quite serious about their beer.

Fun fact: Beer began as a medicinal drink with monks producing. Beer was cleaner than water at the time.

Let me close with a picture of the historic clock in the main square.