Saturday 15 October - Day 25
16.10.2011 - 15.10.2011 13 °C
Travelled overnight to Linz, 3rd largest city in Austria and 30 kms from the Czech border. Hitler used it as an industrial city. Was a Celtic settlement the Romans first noted it as a trade settlement in 799 AD. It has the usual array of churches, mostly rebuilt from bits that didn't crumble with age or get bombarded during Medieval times. Home to the astronomer Kepler and to Hitler for some time during his childhood.
Margaret has gone on a bus tour to Cesky Krumlov in Czech Rep and Colleen and Michael to Salzburg for the day. We chose to stay on board and float down the Blue Danube and relax and just let the small villages pass by. Only about 30 on board so it is very nice. Temp started at -2 and should get to 13. The sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky - the wind is cool but inside it is T shirt weather. We have to go through 68 locks to get to Amsterdam so each day we do the shuffle into the locks which so far have been quite large compared to the locks we moved through in the Midi Canal. As most of the boat movement is at night a lot of the slow moments going under low bridges and through locks happens at night. There is very little boat movement going into locks or when mooring so the boat is both very stable and well captained. The only clue that we are moving is the sound of the motor. Lots of river traffic as barges move cars, coal, gravel etc into these landlocked areas. The Danube continues to amaze us as it flows very rapidly and is very wide. This afternoon we docked in Passau which is back in Germany. As the others will still be on their day tour we will have several hours to wander before dinner. Tonight we dine in Portobello's fine dining restaurant. We are not sure who is going to buy food and cook for us when we return home!
Passau was a complete surprise. Located on the confluence of The Danube, Inn and Main Rivers it has a large fortress on the hill and a very large cathedral - St Stephens Dome which houses Europe's largest pipe organ. Houses are 2 or 3 stories with a flat facade. Some wonderful doors and doorways made of both metal and wood. The old town is very tourist oriented so we didn't see any signs of 'real' people.