Day 180. Christmas Cruise: Passau, Germany

P1010439Saturday, December 28th we got to visit Passau, Germany.

This was our last stop on the cruise. We had a leisurely morning because the ship didn’t arrive in Passau until around 8am. The tour began at 10 and we got to see the town hall, another river, and a far off view of a fortress. We also got to listen to the largest Catholic organ play a few songs. Only two other organs in the world are larger than this one, and I believe both of them are in the U.S. It was a nice concert but the church was so immensely cold that I was fairly glad when the concert ended.

P1010462We went back to the ship for some lunch after that and then headed out toward the fortress. This one was free to walk around so we wandered a bit before heading back down. Yet again, at the top of the hill, where the fortress was, we were greeted with such lovely views. All of Passau was below us and with the sun shining down on it, it was beautiful. Passau is such a beautiful town, our Program Director thought this place was very livable, and I think she was right. There were so many cute buildings that I took pictures mostly of them and not of anything else.

P1010473We strolled through the older part of the town and window shopped. The shop windows here are so intriguing because most of them are just overflowing with items. Half the time I had no clue what the store was all about because there was so much random stuff in their displays. There was one store that had a lot of oddities in its windows, including a German version of our jackalope. Their version is a beaver-like animal with bird wings and antlers. It was a very creepy-looking thing and I wish I knew the story behind it. Gene found out what it was called but it was a long name and I’ve forgotten it by now. Needless to say it was cool to learn that other countries have the same kind of mixed animals folklore.

This day was the coldest day we had experienced and the problem is that when in town, it’s even colder because the buildings block out the sun. I’m sure it’s nice in the summer but it was not too pleasant at this time of year. So we decided to head back to the ship once we got to the edge of the older part and were starting to get into the more modern part, including a mall. We walked along the river until we got to our ship. Our lovely ship that we had stayed on for a week. It was a bit sad knowing that this was our last evening.

The ship crew had planned a nice last night for us and had booked a children’s choir to come and sing before dinner. They sang some German Christmas songs and two other songs in English. It was cool to be able to hear what they sing. Singing in German is actually pretty nice, I enjoyed listening.

We had our last dinner shortly after that. I don’t even remember what I ate but I’m sure it was good. Everything was good on that ship. Our waiters were awesome and friendly and usually very prompt when giving us food. If I had one complaint I think it would be that there was too much food.

It was an amazing trip and I’m so grateful and glad I was able to go. The next morning we got up early and Martha, Ben and I got on a bus that took us to the airport. It took me over 20 hours to get back to Colorado but I made it. I’m glad I’m back home but I do miss the awesomeness that was the Viking Tor. I will always remember this wonderful time and everything I got to see. Thanks Lydia and Dave for making this happen!

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