Day 11 – Melk; And a Most Magnificent Benedictine Abbey.

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Melk Abbey, Austria.

Melk Abbey, Austria.

We awoke early on Day 11 to find ourselves travelling through magical Austria

It was akin to a good dream … one that comes back just  to bless you a second time!

This was now our second visit to an absolutely captivating country.

After all, we had already explored a little of the Salzburg Provence just three short weeks ago before even boarding our Longship Tor on this amazingly wonderful river Cruise.

For those of you who have been travelling with us, you will know I’d already fallen in love with the wonderfully mesmerizing blues and greens of the Austrian landscape. I’d been totally drawn in by our sightseeing around this wonderful country and its glorious snow capped alps, beautiful alpine spa regions and pristine lakes districts. You may or may not recall that  this had been one of initial destinations earlier on in this, “Our Grand European Sojourn” in the Spring of 2013.

Docking in the little town of Melk (Population approx 5,000), D.B. and I were soon busing our way up to the rocky outcrop at the top of the hill which overlooks the small township. Indeed, we were off to see the magnificent Melk Abbey in all its historical monastic glory. Belonging to the Benedictine monks, Melk Abbey is just simply brim full of the most incredibly ornate historical treasures. It was truly another of those most notable and stand out sightseeing ventures of our holiday.

Exterior of Melk Abbey, Austria

Exterior of Melk Abbey, Austria

Do watch this video below if you would prefer a night time view of the Magnificent Abbey.

Initially built in the 10th century A.D. as a castle and home for King Leopold  1, it was later gifted in around the 11th century to the Benedictine order of monks by King Leopold 2.  Melk Abbey has been home to the Benedictines ever since.

However as we well know, the course of history rarely runs smoothly. Much of the original castle section of the abbey burnt to the ground in the 13th century. Different smaller sections were rebuilt in centuries following. By about the 15th century it housed the most remarkable library and scriptitorium. The churches often controlled the printed word at this time and held huge collections of books.

 Library, Melk Abbey, Austria

Library, Melk Abbey, Austria

It was much much later…….. in around the 18th century that another rebuild and further remodeling saw it establish its current magnificent baroque style.

Today, tourists continue to travel from all around the world to visit the tiny little township called Melk; most come so they can visit and view this truly remarkable abbey. Housing a very eclectic monastic mix of the most wonderfully guilded treasures from throughout Benedictine religious history, Melk Abbey continues to be a drawcard for both Christians and non-Christians alike. There is just so much opulence….and so much grandeur……..at times sensory overload but oh so ….WELL YES ….MAGNIFICENT.

The Painted Ceilings, Melk Abbey, Austria.

The Painted Ceilings, Melk Abbey, Austria.

Once again as one area led on to the next and then to the next……. each seemed to surpass the other for both its storehouse of treasures and its magnificent architectural features. Truly again all D.B. and I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW and WOW!! What a truly amazing place.

Opulant historical treasures, Melk Abbey, Austria

Opulant historical treasures, Melk Abbey, Austria

The splendid staircase, Melk Abbey, Austria.

The splendid staircase, Melk Abbey, Austria.

The Chapel, Melk Abbey, Austria

The Chapel, Melk Abbey, Austria

The Summerhouse, Melk Abbey, Austria.

The Summerhouse, Melk Abbey, Austria.

The Township of Melk, Austria.

The Township of Melk, Austria.

And for those of you who are really interested in the absolutely magnificent Melk Abbey please also check out these links as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmAaoEu9wf4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs5IeBbID60

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SUuKrwVs_Y

Just Tickled Pink and Overjoyed.

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Just Tickled Pink

Just Tickled Pink

I have to say that it is with great delight and humble privilege that I now accept the award of “Most Influential Blogger” from lovely Dawny Hosking. She is a wonderful writer and fellow WordPress member who posts about yoga, poetry, and so much more. I have to admire Dawn as she does all  this even though she suffers from much pain in her life. Do hop over and visit her blog at dawnyhosking.wordpress.com/

Pink

Pink

I’m sure you’ll find something there to interest you too.

I believe Dawny originally received this award to pay forward from Shaun over at his headquarters Looking for reasoning to a complicated world  I’d recommend checking his stuff out well — very worthwhile, interesting and cool.

Here’s what the award looks like:

most-influential-blogger

Now I’ve been lucky enough to receive it as well….Yeeehhhh!

Well here are the rules which I must take note off:

1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
5. Answer each of the 11 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 11 for your awardees (or use the same ones up to you !)

That’s fair enough, and on to the questions:

1) What makes you happiest?  Relaxing with family and friends and taking photos.
2) Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?  Absolutely adore both and also love photographing them both along with everything else that’s in between.
3) What has been a special moment in 2013? Globe Trotting and River Cruising in Europe in Spring and now writing this blog Memoir….wonderful experience.
4) What’s your favourite quote?  “Don’t worry, Be happy”.
5) Do you like yourself? Absolutely.
6) Do you stay up till midnight on New Year? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Love fireworks though.
7) Something you wish could be done ASAP?  Peace for all and an end to suffering. (I’m with Dawn on this one.)
8) What was your favourite class when still at school? Dance.
9) What musical instrument have you tried to play? Piano –not well!!
10) Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?  Well I guess photography of course but I sort of think that the doors open when you yourself are ready to learn!
11) Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing or Painting?  Sorry but I have to say photography again. And I’d love to learn to use Photoshop if I can.

I’ll just stick with these same questions for my nominated bloggers as well — saves time and they are as good as any I could ask.

My new nominations for influential blogger awards are:  Oh don’t make me choose, really — so many.

http://elenawil.wordpress.com/

http://gegallas.wordpress.com/

http://cindyknoke.wordpress.com/

http://neihtn.wordpress.com/

http://publictransituser.wordpress.com/

http://shakeyourtailfeathers.wordpress.com/

http://dyandiamond.net/

http://sharechair.wordpress.com/

http://standoutleader.wordpress.com/

http://edithlevyphotography.com/

http://brianroe27.com/

http://mindfulmagpie.com/

Congratulations to these great nominees I love all your blogs so much. you guys.  At this point I’ll take a bow and accept my lovely award.

Thank you to all of the wonderful people on WordPress. Once again this lovely award has made my day.  Thank you so much.

Totally Tickled Pink

Totally Tickled Pink

 

Day 10 – Passau; Love Heart Banners strung across Cobblestone Streets

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Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #1

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #1

During the morning info-walk on Day 10 of our river cruise, we saw a wonderful array of large colourful love heart collages strung high above the cobblestone streets in the city centre of Passau.

I have posted some in this blog. But this is really only a smallish sample of them. They added such a cheerful quality to this already picturesque little township. I’m not sure why they were there in the early Spring of this year or even if they are still there. Although I do doubt they would have survived the devastation caused by all of the rain and flooding that occurred just one short month later. If anyone does happen to know the reason behind them I’d really love to hear from you.

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #2

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #2

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #3

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #3

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #4

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #4

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #5

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #5

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #6

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #6

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #7

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #7

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #8

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #8

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #9

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #9

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #10

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #10

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #11

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #11

Love heart banner, Passau  Germany 2013 #12

Love heart banner, Passau Germany 2013 #12

I’ve also added a link to a Youtube video on Passau at the top of this blog and I pasted again here for anyone who would like to view it. Just click on the video to watch it.

Day 10 – Picturesque Passau; A Township on 3 Rivers

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Beautiful Interior, St Stephen's Passau, Germany

Beautiful Interior, St Stephen’s Passau, Germany

How could this be I had to ask? We did still have one more day in Germany after all. I’d thought Passau was in Austria but no…I find it’s actually in Germany but sitting right on the border between the two countries. It’s also only about 30klms away from the border of the Czech Republic.

Sailing down the Danube to

Sailing down the Danube to

So with yet one more day in Germany, we were soon off to explore lovely Picturesque Passau (Pop approx 50,000), which sits rather poetically on the confluence of three rivers – The Ilz, The Inn and The Danube.

It’s also sometimes referred to in German as the Drieflussestadt which translates to “the Town of 3 rivers” and at other times as “Barvaria’s Venice”.

View from high on the hill overlooking the confluence of the 3 rivers, Passau, Germany

View from high on the hill overlooking the confluence of the 3 rivers, Passau, Germany

Another photo of the beautiful view in Passau, Germany

Another photo of the beautiful view in Passau, Germany

Veste Orberhaus, Fortrees on  the Hill, Passau, Germany

Veste Orberhaus, Fortress on the Hill, Passau, Germany

We’d decided to catch a little sightseeing bus and travel up to the top of the hill behind Passau in order to take in it’s picture perfect views. Needless to say there were watery vistas everywhere below…..indeed such a pretty little place.

Our bus driver was talking to all of the other passengers on board in German; hence we couldn’t understand a word he was saying for most of the journey. Many on board actually seemed to be participating in a little Trivia Quiz and some were even winning little prizes for their correct responses.

Then all of a sudden, the bus driver turned to us and directed a question in English.

“Passau is famous for its three rivers,” he said. “Can you tell me the names of all three?”

Well thankfully I’d actually read the little news letter delivered to our stateroom the evening before just as I always did. And I think I must have read it far more carefully than Dearly Beloved (D.B.) for I quickly rattled off my response ….”The Ilz, The Inn and The Danube,” I replied with quite some pride in my newly acquired knowledge.

Interesting doorway Passau, Germany.

Interesting doorway Passau, Germany.

“Wonderful,” replied our rather friendly bus driver. “You have won yourself this little voucher for some cake and coffee at a little café in Passau. I will show you where to go when we get back down into the town.”Indeed, I was quite excited by all of this! I’d actually won something.

Passau township, Germany

Passau township, Germany

But as you are probably aware, the rivers of Passau have also caused its Town-folk much grief at various times throughout history. Sodden and waterlogged as it was yet again early in June this year (and just one short month after our own visit). Record high floods had again triggered a massive cleanup to remove all of the smelly mud and silt from the cities roads and buildings as the water receded. If you have time, you might like to click on the video links below and take a closer look at the havoc it caused.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TueW2wD3RWo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRiiBtZ7FtY

Of the 50,000 inhabitants of Passau, 10,000 of them evidently include a revolving residency of students who attend the Passau universities. As such, this lovely little Town does have a rather youngish feel to it. There were love heart banners across its streets and  young people out and about just enjoying the sunny day.

Yellow Rose display, Passau, Germany

Yellow Rose display, Passau, Germany

According to Wikipedia, Passau was first settled by some displaced Roman tribes way back in about the 2nd century A.D.  Later, it was called home by the “Batavi” an old German tribe.  By the 8th century it had become the largest dioceses of the Holy Roman Empire.

Door on St Stephen's Passau, Germany

Door on St Stephen’s Passau, Germany

St Stephen's Passau, Germany

St Stephen’s Passau, Germany

Detail inside St Stephen's Passau, Germany.

Detail inside St Stephen’s Passau, Germany.

One part of the organ, St Stephen's Passau, Germany

One part of the organ, St Stephen’s Passau, Germany

Gold statue, St Stephen's Passau, Germany.

Gold statue, St Stephen’s Passau, Germany.

More Statues inside St stephen's Pasau, Germany

More Statues inside St Stephen’s Passau, Germany

More detail, St Stephen's, Passau, Germany

More detail, St Stephen’s, Passau, Germany

Last photo, St Stephen's Passau, Germany.

Last photo, St Stephen’s Passau, Germany.

For us, today’s wonderful little sightseeing gems included the Alstadt (Old Town area) and the majestic, Gothic and Baroque St Stephen’s Cathedral, which was built in about the 17th century A.D. With its beautiful white interior and its Carpoforo Tencalla, Ceiling Frescos, St Stephen’s is truly a stand out piece of architecture.  The cathedral houses eight bells and lays claim to the largest organ in the world outside of the United States of America. We were lucky enough to hear it play as we were treated to an organ concert at the end of the morning’s info-walk. Just wonderful…….and yes yet another interesting and enjoyable day. But this one really was our last in Germany!

Spring Flower Display down near the river, Passau, Germany

Spring Flower Display down near the river, Passau, Germany

Passau Resident, Germany.

Passau Resident, Germany.

Apricot Rose in Passau, Germany.

Apricot Rose in Passau, Germany.

Pink rose in Passau, Germany.

Pink rose in Passau, Germany.

Children's traditional clothing for sale Passau Germany

Children’s traditional clothing for sale Passau Germany

Day 9 – Lost in Regensburg; A City of Fairy Tales.

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A Modern Day Fairy TaleThis is the story of a young student bear, some clever, sparkly gnomes, a rather large bag of magic fairy dust, and a somewhat disoriented Viking River Cruise tourist who loses her way in Radiant Regensburg!  (P. S. Dearly Beloved (D.B.), continues to tell a similar (but perhaps far more colourful version to all who will lend an ear!) Do beware though as it is a rather looong story!

Well here goes…..

Once upon a time, there was a, not so young, Aussie couple who had found themselves lucky enough to have saved all of their pennies over many years. With all of this saved up treasure they’d been able to purchase a most wonderful Viking River Cruise in exchange for their “Penny Gold”!

This magical river cruise was now taking them through some five countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary) and up and down three main rivers (The Rhine, The Main and the Danube). It was a truly grand European Sojourn. They were travelling in the early Spring months, as the trees were unfurling their emerald-green leaves and many of Europe’s prettiest blossoms were again bursting into their rainbow of Spring colour.

Spring Blossoms.

Spring Blossoms.

Everything had been going so well, just as it always seems to, right at the very beginning of a really great Fairy Tale! The couple had been wined and dined, cocktailed and trivia quizzed, entertained and nurtured, pandered, mothered and totally spoilt. They were meeting lots of new friends from all around the world. There were lovely people from England, Wales, Scotland, and America, travelling with them. The couple even met some 22 or more new friends from their own land down under called Oz.

They had been sailing for nine days so far. Today they were going to visit Radiant Regensburg.

Regensburg, Germany.

Regensburg, Germany.

The sweet (but not so young) girl with her beloved Nikon D7000, heartily vowed to try to take some of the very best photos she could on this day.

After all, she really wanted to remember this interesting little city. It was also going to be the couples very last day in Germany for many more years to come. And added to this, the sweet, not so very young girl, knew that Radiant Regensberg was quite well known for its amazingly old architecture. She also happened to know it held a rich place in European history. How did she know all this you may well ask? Well she knew it because she’d spent quite some time in the mid-morning hours quietly surfing around Google on the wonderful internet of the 21st century, just looking at many of the places they would soon be visiting.

After docking in Radiant Regensburg just after the sun had reached its highest point in the cloud filled sky that day, the happy couple quickly disembarked for their afternoon of sightseeing and info-walking. There were so many interesting things to look at….things that they simply didn’t have back in their own young country.

There were archeological diggings, stone-aged roman walls, a beautiful arched stone bridge dating back to the time of the crusades, a 900 year old sausage kitchen that smelled simply divine, and the most wonderfully ornate Gothic Dom.

Archeological Diggings, Regensburg.

Archeological Diggings, Regensburg.

Photographer living dangerously to take photos of Archeological Diggings

Photographer living dangerously to take photos of Archeological Diggings

Well the girl with her beloved Nikon D7000 got busy taking lots of joyful happy snaps. She was most careful to try to minimize the number of people in her shots so that they looked more like the professional ones she’d seen on the Internet and in the glossy travel magazines.

In fact, she would often hang back for considerable amounts of time just waiting until the others had taken their photos and moved on again. At the very least it often took her some time to get all of her manual settings just right on her beloved camera.

Green Leaves and Horse Chestnut Blossom.

Green Leaves and Horse Chestnut Blossom.

More pretty Spring Blossom.

More pretty Spring Blossom.

So she was often lagging behind all of the other sprightly sightseers in her tour group. On several occasions, her concerned and kindly husband had come back to get her. He tried to warn her that she needed to hurry along and keep up with the rest!

Waiting for someone else to take a photo!

Waiting for someone else to take a photo!

Taking a photo after the other person had finished!

Taking a photo after the other person had finished!

But then it happened…..

The sweet, not so young girl, with her beloved Nikon D7000 turned around from taking a particularly time consuming shot and found herself all alone in Radiant Regensburg……..a city that was actually  thousands and thousands of miles away from her home in the land of Oz.

“Crikey”,  she thought…Where’s everyone else gone now? (She may well have said far worse than this you know! Being polite company it shall not be repeated here!)

She rushed outside but there was no one to be seen. Not even her wonderful Dearly Beloved (D.B.) They’d all suddenly vanished into the ether of the atmosphere. A whole river boat full of nomadic sightseeing tourists had gone “poof”  and were now nowhere to be found!

She turned to look this way.

She turned to look that way.

Her gaze swept hurriedly up the street and down.

Ah….thankfully it wasn’t too long before she spotted a small  group of tourist’s a long way up the street in front of (what was now looking to her like the most beautiful) Viking info-walk tourist guide she had ever seen. And yes…the guide was holding one of those lovely round lolly-pop signs that she recognized so well. Oh thank goodness  she thought to herself, “THERE THEY ALL ARE”!

The sweet, not so young girl, rushed as fast as her little old legs could rush, as she raced along hastily to rejoin her group way up yonder on the horizon.

But something was still very wrong.

As she drew nearer the tour guide, she noticed that her audio head set was still not picking up this lovely Viking Tour guides radio signal as it should. Then suddenly it dawned on her…she realized there were no familiar faces in this group at all. No, not a one. Here she was in Radiant Regensburg such a long way from home and there was not one familiar face to be seen! Starting to panic now she knew deep inside that this was not her tour group after all.

She had to admit it.

She was lost.

She had no idea which way to go or where to start looking.

She was lost in this historic old German City of Radiant Regensburg and some thousands of miles away from her home in Oz.

But wait…..way up yonder at the other end of the street she could see some most impressive main-street looking buildings. Don’t panic she told herself resignedly. Panicking just won’t help at all.

Immediately she headed for the main street.

When she finally got there, she could see strangers everywhere. There were singles strangers, couples strangers and small groups of strangers. But sadly all appeared to be just that ….STRANGERS! Many appeared to be out and about enjoying a day’s shopping.

But there were no lovely familiar Viking Lolly Pop signs and there were absolutely no familiar Viking faces.

Adrenalin now pulsing through her body, she stooped to think…what to do?

“Ah”!  She now recalled hearing that her tour groups were going to meet back at the Dom when the clock struck three!

She quickly looked at her own watch. It was now just ten minutes away from three. If only  she could just find  the Dom she could hopefully get back there by three o’clock and meet up with her group and her wonderful D.B.  She now couldn’t wait to see his face again.

But where was the Dom? Which way to go? Surely the spires would have to be a dead giveaway. The sweet, not so young girl, scanned the horizon. But no, not a spire anywhere to be seen.

She stopped to ask a young student bear, “Excuse me kind sir, could you please tell me the way to the ornately beautiful Regensburg Dom?

Young Student Bear.

Young Student Bear.

“Ah but no I cannot”,  said the young bear sadly. “I’m from Munich and only here in Radiant Regensburg visiting for the day”.

“Oh no”,  thought the girl with a sinking heart.

Then she saw some pretty sparkly green and gold magic gnomes. “They look wise and very kindly,” she thought to herself.

Kind Sparkly Gnomes.

Kind Sparkly Gnomes.

She stopped to ask them, “Excuse me you pair, you look like a very wise and helpful pair of young gnomes, Could you please tell me the way to the beautiful Regensburg Dom?

“Ah but no we cannot”,  replied the sparkly gnomes. “We’re from Ireland and we’re only in Regensburg visiting for one day”.

The girl’s heart sank further.

“Oh but wait”, said one of the kindly gnomes….….we do have some magic gnome dust with us.”

Magic Gnome Fairy Dust!

Magic Gnome Fairy Dust!

With a wonderful woosh and a whirl, the sparkly gnomes threw their magic glitter dust high into the air. It billowed around in a little whirlywind.

All of a sudden the girl spied the very familiar faces of a lovely Welsh couple who were also travelling on her longship.

With heart racing quickly she ran up to them.

“Hello are you with the group from our river boat sightseeing tour today she asked.”

“Why no”, they said.

“We’ve decided to just do a little of our own sightseeing and shopping today. We didn’t take the tour as we’ve both been here a few times before,” they said.

Relief flooded through the sweet girl’s veins. Surely they must know their way around.

Back to the Dom before the clock struck three!

Back to the Dom before the clock struck three!

And so all ended well. This lovely Welsh couple were able to direct the poor lost, not so young girl, right back in the direction of the Dom where she was able to rejoin her group yet again.

Strangely her D.B. appeared rather angry with her when she returned. How could he be so angry when she was now so very, very happy she wondered?

Well it turned out that he’d mistakenly thought she’d been absconded by the Gypsy’s. He’d been searching and searching and couldn’t find her anywhere.

She wondered what he thought the Gypsy’s might want with a sweet, but not so young girl? She couldn’t work that one out. Not at all!

Ah but the tale has a very happy ending as all good fairy tales do and nothing could spoil the sweet, not so young girls, deliciously happy frame of mind now that she had found everyone once more.

Well the motto of this story is obvious I think:

Never take too long to take your travel photographs for fear you may find yourself all alone and a long lost way from home!

Happy Endings!

Happy Endings!

Did you know that this is most certainly not the only Radiant Regensburg Fairy Tale ever written. I’ve recently read  a news story that said there were some 500 lost Fairy Tales rediscovered in Regensburg just a couple of years ago. They’d evidently been hidden away for over 150 years. You can read all about them by clicking either of the two numbered links below. If you can read german, you can even buy a book containing many of these lost fairy tales from Amazon. For a small sample of these tales just click here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/05/turnip-princess-discovered-fairytale

1. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/05/five-hundred-fairytales-discovered-germany

2. http://www.examiner.com/article/500-new-fairy-tales-discovered-germany

Oh and lastly, I  wanted to tell you all about another wonderful blogger in our blogosphere called Brenda who writes lots of lovely modern fairy tales for the whole family. Do go over and check out her blog as well. You can find out more about her at:   http://friendlyfairytales.com/about-2/

I love to read her stories…….I’m sure many of you will too. And for those of you who would like just one more Halloween Story you might like to go over to her blog and read about “Crankypot Halloween”. Click on this link here to read the tale: http://friendlyfairytales.com/adventurous-fairy-tales/crankypot-halloween/

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Day 9 – Regensburg, Germany – Famous for its 900 year old Sausage Kitchen.

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Regensburg is sometimes also known as Ratisbon or even Ratisbonna –  both were evidently among the early Celtic names given to this little township in around the 1st Century A.D.

Sailing towards Regensburg, Germany

Sailing towards Regensburg, Germany

It was a big day for us. It it was probably going to be our very last day in Germany for many, many years. Later tonight we would sail across the German border into Austria.

But as you all probably know by now, I do so truly love the land of the Peridot green valleys and the Tiffany blue lakes (Austria that is).

Despite this, I  wanted to make the most of our last day and truly relish in this opportunity to explore yet another beautiful German city we’d never seen before.

Armed with my trusty D7000 and our knowledgeable, but young info-walk guide, I was determined to get the very best photos I could in this pretty city.

Outside Portia Praetoria, Regensburg, Germany.

Outside Portia Praetoria, Regensburg, Germany.

According to one famous British architect, Lord Norman Foster, Regensburg, Germany, (Population about 140,000) is actually one of the most beautiful, and historic cities in the world. Sitting right on the banks of the Danube and Regens Rivers; just a little west of the Black Forest in Germany, it is historically abundant. The city showcases many old buildings and “centuries old’ architectural styles. Some buildings even date back to the Stone Age (around 90 A.D.)

Wandering around Regensburg's cobbled streets, in Germany.

Wandering around Regensburg’s cobbled streets, in Germany.

Unlike Nuremberg (which we visited yesterday), Regensburg was left relatively untouched by the World War 2 bombing raids. But it is of course another UNESCO World Heritage Listed City due to its many irreplaceable treasures. As such it provides significant windows into Germany’s architectural and historical richness…….a city that has survived many of Germany’s early conflicts.

St Peter's Dom, Regensburg, Germany.

St Peter’s Dom, Regensburg, Germany.

Inside the Dom, Regensburg

Inside the Dom, Regensburg

All of the early architecture is still there, Romanesque, Roccoco, Gothic. There’s even a very early Roman wall and a reproduction temple built to honour of the Parthenon in Greece. The latter, called Walhalla is evidently some 15 kilometres to the east of Regensburg; it sits in a little place called Donaustuaf. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it.  I think I would have loved to visit but maybe there is good reason why we didn’t.

I’ve been told, Regensburg lays claim to the oldest sausage kitchen in the world (some 900 years old in fact). Dating back to about the 12th Century A.D., people still throng to its rustic ambiance. They sit on basic wooden bench seats watching the Danube pass them by as they chat about the treasures cacooned within the area. And they enjoy sampling the deliciously spicy German fried sausages with caraway seed rolls, homemade sauerkraut and mustard. Yummm

Old Sausge Kitchen, Regensburg, Germany.

Old Sausge Kitchen, Regensburg, Germany.

But Viking were indeed keeping us very well fed during this wonderful river cruise. I have to say there were always delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners; smallish servings on the whole, but so many courses meant we were unable to squeeze in even a another morsel…not even a mouthful of sauerkraut, let alone a whole sausage meal, complimented by a caraway roll and other condiments to boot. Sadly our very sated tums meant we had to leave the sampling of such tasty age-old morsels to all of the other hungry visitors to Regensburg that day!

As we wandered along the banks of the Danube, we came to Regensburg’s old, arching stone bridge. It was evidently the very first stone Bridge to cross the banks of the Danube in Germany…..so old indeed, that it has seen the knights of the 2nd and 3rd Crusades trotting across its structure on their trusty steeds way back in about the 12th Century A.D.

And I must say that the view from the bridge was really beautiful…..there were historical regional city views with Cathedral spires in one direction, busy river boat and water views in another and there were even some small wilderness areas on the other side.

Regensburg, Germany, taken from the old stone bridge across the Danube.

Regensburg, Germany, taken from the old stone bridge across the Danube.

The Danube River, Regensburg, Germany.

The Danube River, Regensburg, Germany.

Greenery seen from the bridge in Regensburg, Germany.

Greenery seen from the bridge in Regensburg, Germany.

We visited so many places that afternoon on our short 1- 2 hour info-walk.

I more than most it would seem!!!

Between all of the historic buildings, knowing it was our last day in Germany, and with my very deep-seated desire to take the best photos I possibly could……..  it  turned out to be a rather more eventful afternoon than we’d intended!!

Ah but that’s another German “tale” altogether!  Germany’s simply full of all sorts of German tales I believe. Must be something to do with a tradition of the fairy tales and the Grimm Brothers perhaps!

Another  view from the old stone brige, Regensburg, Germany.

Another view from the old stone brige, Regensburg, Germany.

Traditional clothing for sale, Regensburg, Germany.

Traditional clothing for sale, Regensburg, Germany.

Mozart with a tourist, Rergensburg, Germany.

Mozart with a tourist, Rergensburg, Germany.

David and Goliath Mural, Regensburg, Germany.

David and Goliath Mural, Regensburg, Germany.

"Dr Bear" outside of a medical centre, Regensburg, Germany.

“Dr Bear” outside of a medical centre, Regensburg, Germany.

Cute little garden gnomes, Regensburg, Germany.

Cute little garden gnomes, Regensburg, Germany

Can you believe it though?  The continuing story has something to do with some  Magic Gnomes having to return a rather lost Viking tourist to a very worried husband and  her tour group! But more of that intriguing little tale next time! Please don’t worry ….. all good fairy tales tend to have happy endings these days!

Must be Family- And isn’t it Magic!

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Must be Family!

Must be Family!

Our lives are interwoven

In the shimmering web of life.

We happily post and comment as we ponder and delight;

We send sparkles, cheer and magic,

As we

Soothe,

Encourage,

Embrace.

We like to learn from history and observe each other’s grace

And we so enjoy this journey…

As we share

We laugh

We cherish.

We simply adore our time spent blogging

And exploring cyberspace.

We must be part of the WordPress family!

Thank You Everyone.

KidazzleInk

Much Love,

Michelle

WOW again- Now I’m Part of the WordPress Family too – Yeah!.

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WordPress family creating a splash.

WordPress family creating a splash.

Well yes it’s official! I’m now part of the wonderful WordPress family and I couldn’t be happier!

A couple of weeks ago I received this welcome award from lovely Dawn Hosking and it means a lot to me. Please go over and check out her blog here: http://dawnyhosking.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/we-are-family/

I’ve only been blogging a few short months but I have to say I really enjoy the experience. Dawn has been a wonderful WordPress friend during this time. She is an inspiration. Please do visit her site and read her wonderful words.

Wordpress Family Award

WordPress Family Award

But you are all such a wonderful bunch of helpful, talented, positive and caring people. I’m finding more and more that I just can’t wait to sit down with a nice cup of coffee whenever I can and catch up with all of your latest posts and comments.

Now to be awarded the WordPress Family Award is a wonderful surprise. So thank you very much Dawn.

As you read this, you may be asking yourself where did the idea for this “Part of the WordPress Family Award” first originate. A fabulous man called Shaun created it and this was his rationale for doing so:

 ‘This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side as only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award. Thank you,

Shaunhttp://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

What a warm and wonderful award to create and pass on to others we appreciate.

Well here are the award rules.

If you receive this award it means someone really values all the hard work you put into your blog and the kind and considerate thoughts and comments you share with others through the WordPress experience. It means you’ve been identified as someone who is part of the WordPress family.

In accepting the award you are asked to:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having a positive impact on your WordPress experience; people you feel are part of your own WordPress family.

4. Let your 10 new “Family” members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the continue to spread the love.

My new Word Press Family Awards today go to:

RestlessJo

CindyKnonke

TracieLouise

ToniAndrukaitus

Tina’sRabbitHole

AdinParadise

ShairChair

NiaSimone

MindfulMagpie

Dadirri7

CookingwithSpana

HeartaFire

I know that’s just a couple too many…..but I do love all of your blogs just so much and I’m very thankful you take the time to create such a wonderful WordPress experience for others. I find your posts fascinating, entertaining, interesting, uplifting and loveable. You all put a lovely positive spin on my days. Congratulations and thank you. Oh and please don’t think you have to rush to accept this award and no problem if it is too much at the present time – I can fully understand. Just know that you are appreciated, that’s all.

Oh and I’d like to add that there are just so many other bloggers out there that I love heaps as well. To everyone I am following. I love you all. You brighten my days. Many many thanks.

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Day 8 – Nuremberg Today; Gingerbread, Sausages, Toys and Christmas Markets.

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Nuremberg (Population about 510,000) in middle Franconia, sits on the banks of the Pegnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. It’s the largest city in Franconia, Germany and the second largest in Barvaria.

Nuremberg City, Middle Franconia, Germany

Nuremberg City, Middle Franconia, Germany

Nuremberg’s history dates back to about the 11th century A.D.

It’s actually a miracle we can still enjoy  some of its rich historical atmosphere, considering about 90%  the Old Town Area was totally destroyed towards the end of World War 2. But miracles do happen!

Nuremberg sits on the Pegnitz River.

Nuremberg sits on the Pegnitz River.

Ceiling shot in Cathedral of Our Lady, Nuremberg

Ceiling shot in Cathedral of Our Lady, Nuremberg

Stained glass windows in Cathedral of Our Lady, Nuremberg.

Stained glass windows in Cathedral of Our Lady, Nuremberg.

The majority of the city was rebuilt shortly after the war ended. Historical buildings still coexist alongside more modern architectural structures. Its elaborate fountains, ornately decorated churches, grand old statues and even the centuries old Nuremberg Castle itself are all still there to be viewed by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the city every year.

Fountain, Carousel of Marriage, Nuremberg

Fountain, Carousel of Marriage, Nuremberg

The Schroner Bruner Fountain, Nuremberg.

The Schroner Bruner Fountain, Nuremberg.

Today Nuremberg is best known for its gingerbread, sausages, quality homemade toys and Christkindlesmarkt or Christmas markets.

It is also very much a part of the industrial heart of the wider Barvarian Region, with large companies such as Siemens and Bosch having both firmly established in the city.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Architectural mix in Nuremberg Street

Architectural mix in Nuremberg Street

It appears to be a township of renewed vigour. A city, that despite near total destruction less than a hundred years ago,  still stands proudly as a symbol of what can be achieved through a concerted effort and unyielding spirit.

But it certainly hasn’t forgotten the atrocities that took place either. In the year 2000 it was awarded one of the UNESCO Peace and Human Rights Education prizes for its role in promoting peace and for educating others about the importance of human rights for all.

Nuremberg City of Peace and Human Rights Education

Nuremberg City of Peace and Human Rights Education

After our rather solemn morning, Dearly Beloved (D.B.) and I really enjoyed just spending our afternoon meandering around Nuremberg’s pretty streets, taking in the interesting shop windows and soaking up the lovely eclectic architectural mix and cosmopolitan feel.

Nuremberg, wandering the peaceful streets.

Nuremberg, wandering the peaceful streets.

This was indeed a small, yet vibrant city and a joy to visit during our river cruise.

Oh and I also recall this was the one and only day we didn’t decide to go back to our “Longship Tor” for lunch. We’d stayed on to savour some of the traditional bratwurst sausage and sauerkraut instead. Then to top it off, D.B. happily got to sample some of that delicious Apple Strudel he’d been hankering after for some time now!

Nuremberg Sausages and Sauerkraut.

Nuremberg Sausages and Sauerkraut.

Apple Strudel at long last!!

Apple Strudel at long last!!

Gingerbread, Christmas Markets Nuremberg

Gingerbread, Christmas Markets Nuremberg

Handmade Wooden Toys

Handmade Wooden Toys