Today we left Salzburg, and took a beautiful scenic drive through the Austrian Tyrol, then on into Bavaria. The scenery was miles of rolling hills, interspersed with picturesque chalets, all spotlessly kept. The fields were mainly laid over to pasture, although a few had been planted up with crops that were just starting to sprout. It is clearly very rich farmland in this part of the world, and the overall impression was of green meadows scattered with yellow wild flowers, and a clear blue sky.
We headed for a town called Passau in Bavaria, which sits on the confluence of the rivers Inn (hence Innsbrook) and the Danube. It is a very attractive town, the Old Town effectively sitting on an island between the two rivers. It is famed for it’s beautiful cathedral, the Dom, and a profusion of other churches and colourful Bavarian houses. The Old Town appears to be completely pedestrianised, and it was by there chance that we found a free parking spot right by one of the bridges into the old quarter. That is not entirely true, it was free for the first half hour, but being Saturday, all the locals appeared to be flouting the parking rules, so we did the same.
We sat in a charming little cafe by the River Inn, planning to combine a late morning coffee with lunch. It was a popular spot, however, with only one poor frazzled waitress serving, so we sat for ages waiting to give our food order. To be honest, we weren’t too fussed – we had a prime view of the town, and so we just sat and watched the word go by, but always with Oscar within sight.
After eating, we decided to take a quick wander round the town. Our error was not clocking the position of Oscar on one of our phones. Within minutes we had meandered off into the labyrinth of little streets and squares, and got ourselves completely lost. The main problem being, that there were several churches with similar looking spires, and we got fooled into thinking we were parked near one of them, when in fact it was on the completely opposite side of the island. For a few moments, Howard became very concerned that we would return to find Oscar towed away, but once we had located the right side of the island, all was well, and we re-traced our steps back along the river. Passing the shops, I was momentarily tempted to buy Howard a pair of lederhosen, until I discovered they cost 500 euros a pair!
As we drove out of Passau over the River Danube (me, singing said waltz), we both commented that the Danube appeared a rather murky green colour, rather than the blue we had been led to believe, all these years. However, as we drove a little further along the banks, we came to the point that the two rivers merged, and indeed it became clear that the River Inn was an icy white, whereas the Danube, in comparison, did have a tint of blue about it. So all is good with the world still – and we can confidently listen to the ‘Blue Danube’ waltz without worrying.
On leaving Passau, we drove alongside the Danube for fifteen miles or so, before heading up into the depths of Bavaria, to our campsite for the night.
We are making the most of our early arrival to do the washing and have a tidy up, although we had failed to realise that there was no shop or restaurant open on site at this time of year, and tomorrow being Sunday, nothing will be open. So we are rather regretting not stocking up on provisions before arriving. Sadly, we may have to make do with crackers and cheese, washed down with a little liquid refreshment. It’s a tough life!