Saturday, August 4, 2012

Danube River Gorge

While docked in Regensburg, we signed up for an optional excursion to tour nearby Weltenburg Abbey.  It was only €49 per person for a half day, so I thought it was a pretty good deal and would be glad to get off the river boat for the afternoon.

So we loaded up on buses and headed to Weltenburg Abbey, still in the Bavarian region of Germany, near the town of Kelheim.  Founded by monks in the 7th century, it sits on a peninsula in a bend of the river and the Southeast Texan in me was immediately shaking her head and tutting.  This place has had to be rebuilt and remodeled multiple times due to flooding because it more or less sits on a glorified sandbar.  They need to hike that sucker up on some stilts or move it up the hill to keep the water out of it.  You'd think after more than a thousand years they would have figured it out by now.

Above is a pic of the Weltenburg Brewery that was founded in 1050.  They still make the brewskis on site and in 2004 they were awarded the World Beer Cup title for the best dark beer (dunkel) in the world.  We all got a sample of their wares in the biergarten before getting a tour of the church.

Built by the Asam brothers in the early 1700s, the church is dedicated to St. George.  You can see a statue of George slaying the dragon, above, in the church's apse (an alcove behind the altar).  It was a small church, but beautifully decorated.

After our tour, we walked down to the dock.  Along the way, we passed a little ferry for small cars, foot traffic and bikes to get to the other side of the Danube.

In the pic above you can see a local tourist boat coming to collect us at the dock for our trip through the gorge.  Below is a pic of some of the exterior walls of Weltenburg Abbey once we were on the top deck of the boat.

See those little dots on the sandbar that I've enlarged below?  They were some Canadian geese just hanging out as our boat motored by them.  Honk, honk!

1 comment:

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