Today is our last day and we have planned to take the guided walking tour, look around a bit on our own, and then return to the ship to pack. It is very cold and foggy today and even though we are equipped with coats and gloves and warm scarves, we are happy when the guide tells us that she will keep it short and we will spend some time in the cathedral where it will be warmer. She mentions various places as we pass through them but I am too intent on getting to somewhere warmer to take pictures. Sarah and I agree to retrace our steps and take pictures a little later in the day when I can imagine taking off my gloves.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is on a site that has had a church on it since the early 8th century. A Gothic cathedral stood here until it was destroyed in a 1662 fire. You can still see the Gothic eastern wall from the outside. This church is Baroque in style. Its organ used to be the biggest in the world and is still the biggest in Europe. The U.S. has captured the biggest organ in the world race.
After leaving the cathedral Sarah and I backtrack to take some pictures of Passau. The big thing about Passau is the fact that it is on a peninsula where three rivers join to create the lower part of the Danube. In fact the city is also known as Dreiflussestadt or City of Three Rivers. In June, 2013 the city experienced the worst flooding in 500 years. The height of the flood waters throughout history is recorded on the sides of buildings.
In the town square a market was being held. It was still fairly early and not too many people were out braving the cold to buy their winter produce.
As we head back towards the boat we finally are able to see the castle/fortress across the river. Until now it had been totally hidden by the fog.
We spend the rest of the day having lunch and getting organized for the trip home. We need to retire early since we must meet for our bus ride to the Munich airport at 2:45 AM.
The trip to Munich airport takes about two hours and we manage to arrive before anyone is manning the desks to checks us in. We have two flights on Air France. The first is to CDG in Paris and then the longer one to SFO. We have one and a half hours to make our connection at Charles de Gaulle and we need every minutes of it. It seems like we walk miles, go through a scan, and think we are finally to our destination gate when it turns out to be a bus stop where we will ride to what seems like the next town to get to the international terminal. It is all very stressful but at least we have comfortable seats on the plane and some excellent food and wine!
The best part of coming home is knowing that John will be waiting to pick us up. I think this is the longest time we have ever spent apart. It was a really enjoyable trip but it is good to be home!