Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Danube Valley from Passau and Regensburg

Leaving Passau the ship shortly reaches the Kachlet Locks. When we exit this pool we will be ending our our upstream journey.

Interesting observation: One of our fellow passengers commented that if you have a choice of direction on a river cruise try to sign on for one that is going downstream.  The boats go faster and this gives you a bit more time in ports of call.   I'm already trying to plan for all those extra minutes.   

 The valley between here and Regensburg used to be a shallow, rocky, and dangerous part of the river that ships often had to be pulled through.  The locks. created in 1927, turned the next seventeen mile pool into a placid winding run that seems somewhat like Gatun Lake on the Panama Canal.

It was late afternoon when we left Passau yet there was still enough time to see this more social and convivial stretch.  Fields often swept down to the shore. 

Commercial traffic shared the channel

with other tour boats.
And even a racing shell

Oops, low bridge, DUCK

Tiny little ferry boats added some cross traffic to the mix as they carried pedestrians and small vehicles to the opposite side.  They were held against the current by a suspended cable. 

Every once in a while, just out of the channel, you could see some signs of the dangerous swirling of barely submerged rocks that used to impede shipping before the locks were built
The occasional small towns such as Vilshofen  always looked as if they had been power washed about five minutes before we sailed past and each and every one of them seemed to have lovely period church spires reaching for the sky.

But mostly there were quiet stretches where nature seemed ready to reclaim the ancient waters for its own quiet purposes.

All too soon the sun was setting

and we gathered for dinner.

 Regensberg will be our stopping place in the morning.















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