"Blue Danube Waltz"
Trip Start May 25, 2013
31Trip End Jun 23, 2013
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At Kelheim, we board a smallish river boat for a 45 minute cruise up through the Donau Pass and meet the Danube for the first time. It is the narrowest part of that river, impassible to cruise ships that use the Donau-Main canal instead.
And it's easy to see why the canal was built... Steep rocky walls and semi-submerged boulders would challenge most! The flood waters whiz along at around 10km/hour.
We pass The Befreiungshalle ("Hall of Liberation"), a historical classical monument on Mount Michelsberg and overlooking us, completed in 1863
And then it's on to Regensburg, allegedly a very nice town - and today's guide is lovely and knowledgable - but the body is sagging. Along with about a third of the bus, I head for tonight's stop and an afternoon rest.
The Mercure Regensburg sits in the back streets of a light industrial part of town and is about as exciting inside as it's neighbours. It's nice to feel carpet underfoot, but the room is otherwise unremarkable. Dinner is a hot buffet with one roast meat, potatoes swimming in butter, pasta and cauliflower. There's one white soup and a creme brulee. All very white really.
Drinks are no longer included with dinner and the coffee machine is a game of chance.
The program for tomorrow is announced... a drive to Melk to see the abbey and then on to the next marooned boat somewhere a reasonable distance west of Vienna
With a couple of bad backs and a general feeling of dissatisfaction in our group, we decide to jump ship - to some extent... It's high speed train travel and no more one night stands for us.
By the end of the night, I have found the direct ICE train from Regensburg to Vienna - €78 - and two nights in a suitable hotel near the station.
The prospect has me dancing on air!
"Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss