The Donau – part 2

-A 5-part journal of a kayak trip down the Danube in 2009-

 Part 2

 ************

 In spite of all the thunderstorms, there was enough nice summer weather too:

There are many villages and cities along the Donau, in fact, it’s rare that you don’t see any houses and church towers on the banks.

 It’s always an invitation to go ashore and check out the street cafés and beer gardens. The German beer is still fantastic! Down there in Bavaria they make the Weizen Bier and many other varieties that are all absolutely delicious.

 Straubing, a super nice little city with a center full of beer gardens and people who hang out there and know how to have a good time.

 Deggendorf

Straubing

 Bicyclers everywhere.

 The river always takes us back – no questions asked. Parvin turns around her seat, and I occasionally do a little paddling.

 In the mornings we often have our breakfast in the boat.

 Parvin sets up the stove and makes tea while we keep floating. The river takes us, no problem, no comments, no questions asked; it’s just there, we are free to let go and go along.

 The river, once again, in flood stage.

 Fresh strawberries.

 We don’t need to carry a lot of supplies, there is always another town around the next bend.

 The water is fairly clean (quite different to 30 years ago!)

 The beer is good, but so is the bread. We love it!

 Regensburg under brooding skies…

 … an ancient city full of atmosphere and nice people.

 Somebody’s castle in Regensburg.

 Walhalla on the banks of the Donau: A memorial hall glorifying some events in the early stages of the birth of the German nation.

 These are Elfriede & Dieter, the nicest hosts we ever had. They run the boat house of a rowing club in Deggendorf; they welcomed us like long-lost friends  and served us home-baked cake and coffee and didn’t let us go next day before we had a huge breakfast. The club house is directly under a freeway bridge, actually a horrible place, noisy like hell, we could only sleep with ear plugs; but their incredibly friendly care still made it a most lovely affair.

 Gorgeous days between the rains.

 Hearty food somewhere on a beach.

 Wonderful evening walks in the fields along the river banks.

 There are dikes along the Donau. (It still floods sometimes and causes great damage) The entire landscape next to the river is often elaborately engineered. However, I have to say, this is done very wisely, it looks as natural and wild as it probably has looked before all the space was used for agriculture.

 Another happy, beautiful morning after a 24 hour cloudburst. Here I managed to drop one of those rocks of the fire pit on my big toe – back home now, the nail is slowly coming off.

 Passau, a city close to the Austrian border.

 Also an ancient place full of history. The ships are getting bigger and bigger.

 Old houses along the river bank.

 Passau.

Three rivers meet here. In the middle: the Donau, dark and powerful. Left: the Inn comes in; lively, loaded with silt from the Alps. It takes several miles before it mixes with the Donau. Right: the Ilz, small, shallow, and fairly clear.

 Ships from far away countries…

 

 * * *

 … to be continued.

                                                           Klaus  August 2009

This entry was posted in 2009, Donau 2009, Other Travels, Summers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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