The Devil is in the Danube 6/20/15

Regensburg, Germany

Regensburg, Germany by

Hoax alert:  the Blue Danube is murky green.  Never trust a song writer.

Regensburg’s old bridge—or Devil’s Bridge is another sketchy Danube tale.  The bridge’s 12th century builder hurried construction by promising the Devil ownership of the first three souls to cross the finished bridge.  On dedication day the builder preserved the souls of the highest officials of the church and city by sending three farm animals across first.  Furious, the Devil tried to demolish the bridge but only made arches where his back pushed up from the river.

The festival scheduled in Regensburg worried our cruise director that “happy” citizens would disrupt our tours.  We found that getting around was tight, but worth it.  Who wouldn’t be excited to hear the Bavarian musicians playing in the square and watch the folk dancers?  My favorite featured four couples facing off for a complicated Patty Cake-style hand-slapping routine that allowed no miss-slaps.

Speaking of miss-slaps, our cruise director is such a wizard that trip slip-ups are scarce as hen’s teeth.  Yesterday she pulled an extra-tricky maneuver to convert lock time to shore time.  Sadly a late passenger delayed the River Navigator’s departure.  That caused it to miss its lock time and get stuck behind barges which put it way behind for our pick up in Roth.  Roth a port—no services, no castles, no nothing.  We’d have waited in Nuremberg, but our buses were booked for other groups.  What to do with 90 passengers for hours on a riverbank?  Feed them!

Veronika headed up a troop of shoppers and hauled an abundant picnic to our refugee camp.  The beer, bottled with old-style wire-and-stopper-tops, popped festively as we sampled paprika potato chips, cheese, and chocolate mints.  A European Union lecturer, slated to give a talk on board, used our audio headset system to educate us dockside–which worked wonders in distracting from the chill breeze and primitive seating.  Still, after he finished and peddled away, I heard no complaints.  Maybe Veronika’s promise of a free happy hour aboard did the trick, but I sensed that the ability to take adversity in stride was a point of pride for these travel vets.


About breathtakebyways

Ann Williams’ travel articles have appeared in publications all over the country including The Washington Post, Roads to Adventure, and Jack and Jill. Between researching and writing books, she specializes in creative lectures.