Regensburg, Weltenburg Abbey, and One Last Emerald Waterways Day

Today, we enjoyed one last day in Germany, Europe, and onboard Emerald Waterways' Emerald Star. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Today, we enjoyed one last day in Germany, Europe, and onboard Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Star. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

July 18, 2014

It’s our last full day aboard Emerald WaterwaysEmerald Startoday, as we approach the end of the Danube and our weeklong voyage that began in Budapest and has whisked us through the heart of four separate countries in just six short days. This evening, we’ll enter the Main-Danube Canal and begin our transit towards Nuremberg, where we will disembark tomorrow morning and another group of guests will take our place.

Fortunately, we still have one day left onboard, and it promises to be a busy one, with excursions to Regensburg, Kelheim and Weltenburg Abbey.

As the last day of our cruise, this was the 'housekeeping' day: filling out customer surveys, collecting luggage tags, and settling onboard accounts. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

As the last day of our cruise, this was the ‘housekeeping’ day: filling out customer surveys, collecting luggage tags, and settling onboard accounts. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Regensburg has been called the most well-preserved medieval city in Germany. It’s also widely recognized for one of its most iconic features: the Stone Bridge constructed between 1135 and 1146, which today is covered in scaffolding as reconstruction takes place. Directly adjacent to the Stone Bridge is the Wurstkuche, a small restaurant that has been serving up superb Schweinsbratwurstl vom rost mit sauerkraut (bratwurst & sauerkraut) for the past 700 years. That, plus a pint of Bavarian beer, was my goal for this morning. With just shy of two hours on shore, I’d be able to do that and still tour around for a little while.

One of five guides for our brief walking tour of Regensburg. The fifth guide was exclusively for gentle walkers. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

One of five local guides for our brief walking tour of Regensburg. The fifth guide was exclusively for gentle walkers. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Unfortunately, once pierside in Regensburg we learned that our time in town would be reduced even further, to a little over 60 minutes, before we had to be back onboard due to lock schedules upstream. Compounding this was the fact that Emerald Star was docked in the second furthest berth from town, meaning a brisk 10-minute walk between the ship and the Wurstkuche in each direction. Math isn’t my strong suit, but I do know that leaves approximately 40 minutes to tour the town before the all-aboard call at 11:15.

Approaching Regensburg from the cruise piers. The walk to town from most ships is between five and ten minutes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Approaching Regensburg from the cruise piers. The walk to town from most ships is between five and ten minutes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

You might ask why I am so passionate about visiting Regensburg for more than 40 minutes. Here’s why: unlike our short call on Durnstein, Regensburg offers a multitude of ways to spend your day. There’s the aforementioned Wurstkuche, the opulent Schloss Emmeram, also known as the Palace Thurn und Taxis, is located on the outskirts of the town. There are also numerous cafes and open-air markets, tons of cool shops, a residence formerly occupied by Oskar Schindler, and – most imposingly – the Gothic Dom, or Cathedral, that anchors Regensburg and has dual spires that are visible for kilometres in either direction.

There's much to see in Regensburg, from the oldest sausage kitchen in Germany...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

There’s much to see in Regensburg, from the oldest sausage kitchen in Germany…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...to outdoor cafes...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…to outdoor cafes…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...historic buildings dating back to the middle ages...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…historic buildings dating back to the middle ages…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...wide town squares...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…wide town squares…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...Venetian-esque passageways...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…Venetian-esque passageways…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...the imposing Dom..Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…the imposing Dom..Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...and even a house once occupied by Oskar Schindler. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…and even a house once occupied by Oskar Schindler. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

It seems that, particularly today, our schedule is operated on the narrowest of margins; perhaps not what you want to do when you have to enter the numerous locks of the Main-Danube Canal in order to reach Nuremberg by tomorrow morning. Our afternoon excursion to Kelheim this afternoon requires us to reposition the ship in order to make it through the Regensburg Lock at the mouth of the Regen River.

Disembarking Emerald Star just outside the Regensburg Lock. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Disembarking Emerald Star just outside the Regensburg Lock. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

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Our Live Voyage Report onboard Emerald Waterways Emerald Star has sadly come to a close, but tune in tomorrow for a complete recap! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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