Live Voyage Review: Viking Freya, Danube River Christmas Markets 2012 – Part 4
“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” has been the theme song for our voyage as the fluffy white stuff has decorated the cities along our itinerary as well as our ship. As seen above, the outdoor portion of the Aquavit Terrace onboard was dusted quite nicely, in fact.
We sailed up a narrow tributary to access Regensburg which despite displaying a veritable whiteout, was nice and dry for our touring yesterday. Of course, the temperatures were bitter cold, but that was alright with us at least until later when levels seemed to drop and we hightailed it back to the ship.
The medieval masonry-constructed bridge made for quite the appropriate scene amid all the snow…
…as it partially mimicked this bronze city model in full scale.
At the end of our brief river walk prior to entering the city, Wurstkuchl, the oldest sausage house in the world, welcomed us with the promise of a mouthwatering lunch later that day.
The Romans made it everywhere it seems as remnants of their earlier city fortifications and gateways are still exposed after all of these years. Remodeling has also occurred with the ruins acting as a foundation for future stucco-covered buildings.
The central gothic cathedral can’t be missed as it stands enormously tall above the outlining structures of the city. The ornamentation on the outside was almost ostentatious…
…but inside the decor was rather stark in comparison.
The Christmas market here was not very large but included a fun merry-go-round adjacent to a LEGO store. As a child that would have been plenty to keep me entertained. (Let’s be honest. It still is.)
The snow encrusted awnings of the market added to the festive seasonal atmosphere.
The market’s Christmas tree did a fine job of resembling the cathedral in the background, almost making for a third spire.
The plainer church in the center of the market seemed more in keeping with the humility of Christ and thus the spirt of the season.
Hand-made wooden ornaments are sold to parents as children can tend to their own desires with another merry-go-round in the distance.
The gothic edifice of the larger cathedral does not hide from view for very long.
Since we decided to sail with the ship as it traveled farther along the canal in the afternoon, we did not see the market at night, but this image gives a sense for how it would appear.
Before boarding for the afternoon at river as it were, we stopped back at Wurstkuchl for a tasty lunch of fresh sausage and sauerkraut. The minimum order is a quantity of six, but the links are smaller and easily devoured, especially with the excellent sweet mustard that they also sell to take home. We bough two containers. Yum!
The inside of the restaurant is cozy and toasty from the outside cold. This is a local experience not to be missed.
Here’s our sausage plate accompanied by bread rolls, mustard and a dark beer that was all a hearty culinary delight.
The whitewashed Viking Freya and Viking Embla strike a beautiful pose alongside the snow-covered dock.
Our choice to stay onboard the ship for the afternoon as tours continued on shore was rewarded by views of the tightest lock clearances…
…and tightest bridge clearances of our journey. All upright elements on the sun deck including railings had to be lowered down along with the wheelhouse itself to pass under bridges like this one.
Painterly scenes passed one after another before we picked up the rest of the ship’s guests to head towards Nuremberg, where we are today and where we will leave from to return home tomorrow.
Stay tuned for our next post with impressions of Nuremberg.