Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day weekend in Regensburg, BY, Germany... Part 1

After our trip to Hamburg in January, Bill and I went back to the champagne bucket for another draw.   Rothenburg ob der tauber ended up "winning", but after asking around about that famously well preserved medieval town, we decided we'd rather go somewhere a little less touristy.  Don't get me wrong.  I still intend to visit Rothenburg.  I just want to do it at a time other than February.

Someone on a local travel Facebook page mentioned Regensburg, which is a lovely city in Bavaria.  Bill and I had both visited Regensburg before on separate occasions.  Bill went during his first German assignment back in the late 80s/early 90s, long before we knew each other.  I went on my month long train trip after my stint in the Peace Corps.  I think Bill decided to visit because he was posted in Ansbach, which isn't too far from Nuremberg or Regensburg.  I went because I was on a train with a Eurail pass and wanted to get off.  I knew nothing about Regensburg when I got there and, frankly, didn't spend much time looking the place over.  If I recall correctly, I only spent a night there and then got on the train south to Passau.  I did, however, remember that it was a very beautiful city.

I asked Bill if maybe he'd like to visit Regensburg again.  He said that would be alright.  I booked us a room at the ACHAT Plaza Herzog am Dom Regensburg via Expedia.com.  Bill got us first class fare saver train tickets on Deutsche Bahn.  Away we went for our long weekend in Bavaria!

We were originally going to park our car at the Herrenberg train station, but it occurred to me that it might be more convenient to drive closer to Stuttgart.  A ride on the S1 to the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof takes about 40 minutes and tends to be crowded and obnoxious.  We ended up parking at Osterfeld, which has a generous parking garage and is just a few stops from the main train station, which can be reached via S1, S2, or S3.

By the time we got the train station, it was early afternoon and I was getting very hungry and cranky. The main train station offers plenty of dining options.  We had a choice of everything from McDonald's and Burger King to Thai food and seafood.  We ended up eating at a place called Sylt, which had really nice seafood dishes and plenty of beer and wine.  After almost getting run over by a janitor who wasn't watching where he was going (and who got a death glare from yours truly), I was definitely ready for something to fuel me for the four hours we'd be traveling.


Beer makes everything better.


Zander filet at Sylt.  This was very good!


Bill had sort of a mixed grill pasta dish.  Nice to find good eats at the train station!

For some reason, there was no ICE train from Stuttgart to Regensburg.  We took an IC train-- which is older and less plush-- from Stuttgart to Nuremberg.  From Nuremberg, we enjoyed a 55 minute ICE train ride to Regensburg.  I think, from now on, I'm going to make a point of using ICE trains whenever possible.  They're faster and somewhat more comfortable than the older IC trains are.


Bill settles in for the journey from Nuremberg to Regensburg.


I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Beer makes everything better... especially on the ICE train after a long ride on a less well-equipped IC train...

We probably pissed off at least one German dude on the IC train.  He and his daughter were in our compartment and was sitting in one of the seats I reserved.  He got up and it looked like he was moving, so I claimed it.  When he came back to the car, he tried to take it back... but then Bill showed him our seat reservation.  So he and his daughter split.  Sorry guy.  If we hadn't reserved the seat, I wouldn't have sat there.  Later, another guy joined us and rode with us to Nuremberg.  The guy who shared our compartment on the IC train came prepared with a can of beer and some chips.  Next time, I'm doing what he did.

The journey was pretty uneventful, though the weather in Regensburg was the kind of damp cold that seeps to your bones.  I had considered wearing my big down coat but ended up deciding against it.  That was a bad decision.  It was COLD in Bavaria.  Because it was so cold, we ended up doing a lot of beer drinking.  The good news is, if you're going to drink beer, Bavaria is not a bad place to do it.

Part 2.

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