After finishing my afternoon classes on Thursday I hopped on a bus headed for Germany! Only a few hours later I got off in the town of Regensburg – a small town along the Danube river where I planned on spending a day.
I checked in with were I would be staying and headed back out to wander the city a little and find some dinner. Sadly, most of the good restaurants were filled with other diners so I settled for a kabob. Each kabob I’ve had varies by country to country so, in a way, I think kabobs are a decent way to understand the flavor of a town or region.
After a long day of classes, travel, and wandering I fell asleep as soon as I returned to my room.
I hit the town bright and early Friday morning. There are 2 reasons I wanted to visit Regensburg: the town and the river.
First, the town. Due to being right along the Danube river and essential for trade routes, Regensburg became a significant economic powerhouse in the Medieval Ages and at one time being a free imperial city minting their own currency. Later it was the capital of the Bavarian region due to being the cultural and economic center of what is now southern Germany. Recently, the town center was marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The river… the Danube river is one of my all time favorite rivers! During much of the Roman Empire it was the de-facto border between Roman troops and the Germanic and Slavic tribes. Later it also became the main highway for trade connecting major settlements together. By many it’s considered to be the heart of Europe and runs through 10 countries and 4 capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade). It formed empires and connected lands and people that would normally never have such a direct link otherwise.
I’ve technically seen it in Vienna and again in Budapest but I never felt like I really was able to experience the river. Modern Regensburg is sprawled across both banks of the river and along three islands making is an ideal place to sit and appreciate the water.
Spurned onward by that bit of history and my nerdy love of this river I was excited to start the morning by taking a long walk along both river banks and along the islands. The morning was a little cold and foggy but I was not deterred and appreciated every minute of it.
I finished by long walk – more of an excavation – around lunch time so I stopped at a relatively touristy restaurant that’s credited as the first fast-food restaurant… ever. Their specialty? A roll with two brat, the best mustard you’ve ever had, and sauerkraut. I had 2.
Re-energized, I headed over the St. Peter’s cathedral and appreciated the mostly original stain glass and arched ceilings.
I spent the rest of the day walking through the Medieval part of the city exploring little shops and odd alleyways so narrow I could barely walk through with my bag!
I closed the day with a typical Bavarian meal and a beer sampler which taught me that I’m not a huge fan of wheat beers.