Yesterday we woke up in Wurzburg and drove two hours to Regensburg where we had originally planned on staying the previous night. Well, actually I think it took us a little longer than that because we had to drive so incredibly slowly due to the torrential rain and poor visibility that went with it. We never would have expected it from red skies we had the night before.
When we finally arrived the first thing we had to do was find a post office, somehow Dad had managed to bring the spare keys for Mum’s car and David’s only set of keys. When we looked up Regensburg we read about its gothic beauty, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We had a vague idea what direction we were headed in to find the sights, but no idea how much further or what streets they were down. So when we turned the corner and were met by this huge cathedral with dripping stone carvings we just had to stop for a minute to take it all in. It was so much more than the words had described.
However, our desire to get out of the rain and find some food led us further down the maze of narrow streets to the edge of the Danube. There we found the Stone Bridge that was built in the 12th century and was crossed by the Knights in the third crusade. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But we’re not there yet – we still haven’t eaten. Next to the bridge is the old headquarters from its construction that has since been turned into a sausage house where locals and tourists eat side-by-side on long benches. I have never been a fan of sauerkraut but it covered the menu so I decided to give it a try. It was good. We sat next to two elderly German women and a younger family next to them. They were engaged in conversation and showing each other pictures from their phones. I don’t know any German at all and I just sat there feeling guilty, having to order and thank in English. When the food came it was so good, on a cold, rainy day it felt like the perfect comfort food and it was quickly gone!
After we’d finished lunch we went to examine the bridge, there was a lot of restorations going on so it was hard to imagine it as it once was, the only bridge out of a now large city, with at least 4 other bridges now in sight; Crusaders crossing it as their final stop of known ‘civilisation’ before the thousands of miles to reach war at the Holy Lands. There was a small museum next to it and we spent a little bit of time looking around there before heading back into the rain. But what does everyone need during the rain…..
After ice cream in the rain, we headed back down the winding streets to the cathedral, from the outside it had a very bland, and almost creepy, colour scheme, the inside was another moment where we just had to stop and take it all in for a moment. All the dreariness from outside was lost as the light was transformed into beautiful patterns and colours that lay across the floor, pews, and walls. The nave was filled with light, and although the outer corners fell to darkness the light pulled you down the aisle to the altar of marble at the front. So carefully crafted, with such detail and precision, (despite my admiration for it, I didn’t take any pictures!).
By the time we were done in the cathedral we had been there much longer than planned so made our way back to the car, trying not to get distracted by the architecture that surrounded us, and made our way on to Vienna!