Thursday, 7 April 2011

Regensburg: Oldest school sausages and the classics to boot


What you're looking at, in the photo to the left, is the kitchen of the oldest sausage hut in Germany. And how good are the sausages cooked in this kitchen, in a small hut in the city of Regensburg, sitting on the banks of the Danube (called Regensburgers of course)?  Served in a caraway laced bun with 'kraut and strong Bayern sweet mustard, they are absolutely delicious, good enough I had 'em twice!




A Roman arch from the second century CE (that'd be AD in old timey talk)
Regensburg is an old town, and by old I mean Roman-old.  Described in the Lonely Planet as a well-preserved medieval town, it was settled in the first or second century AD, there are still traces of that once mighty civilisation (like the archway to the left).  Regensburg was a significant site because it stands upon what was the only bridge across the Danube for miles in either direction.  While there are plenty of bridges now, even in Regensburg itself, one of the medieval bridges still stands, and it's always a pleasure to follow in the footsteps of centuries' worth of pilgrimage.    
I'm not sure why, but while I am tiring of old churches, ancient bridges always impress me.


Ye old sausage hut, just (literally) above the mighty Danube
Regensburg's not the largest city in Germany by any stretch (120,000 or so), but big enough that the fact the town centre feels really small is rather quite charming.  The overall vibe of the place is a nicer, more compact M√ľnchen - not quite as delightful as Rothenburg-ob-der Tauber perhaps, but definitely a place worth checking out if you've time to spare in Bayern. My sole regret is that we didn't really have time to queue for a seat in a dedicated Dampfnudeln (sweet dumplings, normally served with custard) cafe , but that was okay because we sacrificed my quest to eat random food for a trip out to Walhalla.


The right hand side of Walhalla, looking south over the Danube.

Walhalla is a reconstruction of Athen's Parthenon, about 10 km out from Regensburg, built as a memorial to the heroes of Germany, a neat mix of Greek (and so Roman) and German/Norse mythology.  It is 200 years old, but has a timeless feel to it, partially thanks to the stunning views over the Danube and eastern Bayern it provides, having climbed a small hill to get there.  The marble busts of the honoured heroes lie inside, but as late March means winter hours in Germany the interior was close by the time we got there (at 4 pm).  Nonetheless, it was stunning - tranquil with a sense of gravitas, and the 45 minutes or so we spent wandering about the exterior justified the 5 hours of train travel (plus another hour on buses) it took to get there.  Thoroughly and completely recommended.

Beautiful on a gloomy day, I can only imagine how pretty (and how busy) Walhalla must get in summer.

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