Jason Leppert here posting Paul Motter's report on his behalf while his internet connection is slow:
We have been so busy there has not been enough time to post here. We arrived in Passau - which is an adorable, little German town, and we took a tour of the small city which included a concert by the second biggest pipe organ in the world. The sound was just amazing.
The river is getting less narrow as we move upstream - surprisingly so. In Budapest she was a raging torrent as wide as two city blocks. Now the river has become so narrow that we reached a spot that we can no longer navigate it.
And so we switch to the Danube-Main Canal - which we are in now. The Main River also runs through Germany but in the opposite direction.
Yesterday - before the boat made the switch into the canal we were docked in Regensburg - the home of the Current Catholic Pope. But that was not our concern although we happened to pass by his house; my understanding is that he has only spent 10 minutes there since he became the pope. Our goal was to go to the Mecklenberger Abbey, where they have been brewing some of the world’s best dark beer since the 1000’s A.D.
The church at the Abbey was absolutely beautiful, and the free beer & pretzels provided by Viking River were even better. Afterwards we took a small tour boat through the “Danube Gorge; “ the final bend in the river that makes it impossible for riverboats to go beyond. With limestone cliffs on both sides it is a dramatic ride.
We landed just below a large tribute turret built by Frederick the Great to honor the German defeat of Napoleon. Actually, we had to go there as our boat was held up in Regensberg due to another boat being stuck in the first lock of the Danube-Main canal. We had to wait until 7:00 - then out boat finally arrived. We meet within the first stretch of the canal.
We had our farewell dinner last night. This has been one of the most congenial river cruises I have ever been on. Everyone we met was very nice - a truly great group. The staff was very accommodating and the food was authentic and fresh.
This morning we arrive in Nuremburg. Many people will take an optional "World War II" tour to see the famous spots there. We are going to catch a train to Munich and then on to Salzburg so we can go on a "Sound of Music Tour." What can I say? My wife is a fan.
I will send more soon - I have to get ready to disembark today as we leave the cruise day early so we can go to Salzburg.