One Night in Regensburg
Dult, Marathons, Delays
After a few days in Prague, We were off to Regensburg, Germany for a one-night stop. But first, before we left the Czech Republic for good, we had to stop at the town of Plzn to visit the Pilsner-Urquell Brewery.
This brewery is famous for inventing the pilsner on November 11, 1842. We didn't have time to tour the brewery proper, but we did eat a snack and have a tank (as they call it) of the famous brew in the Pilsner-Urquell restaurant. I'd never had one of these before (oddly enough) and found it to be pretty good stuff. We resisted the temptation to have a few more and got back on the road toward Regensburg.
We arrived in Regensburg, once a free city in the Holy Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof), in the early evening and made our way to our apartment.
One of the challenges with driving a car through Europe (especially a station wagon) is finding parking—especially parking that is free. But in Regensburg we totally lucked out and found a spot across the street from our apartment. And since it was a Saturday night, the period for pay meters had passed and parking was free on Sunday. So, score!
One of Samantha's friends from college was living in Regensburg with her family, so she invited us to join them at Dult, a regional celebration that so happened to be going on over the weekend. Naturally, we agreed.
On the way to Dult, we walked through the old historic core of Regensburg, which was filled with many interesting and historic buildings. One of the most striking buildings was Goliath House, first built in 1260 and recognizable by the huge painting of David versus Goliath on the wall. They say the painting was done in 1573, but it's really well-preserved (so it's likely had some work done).
The Goliath house is so-called because it's thought the goliards, a minstrel-like member of the clergy would stay here when they traveled through the region in the 12th century. The term Goliards has many competing derivations (e.g., the guardian angel Golias, after someone named Bishop Golias, from the Latin for gluttony, or for "gay fellow"). But no matter how the term was derived, because the goliards stayed here, it was called "Goliathhaus."
We walked across the bridge over the Danube River, then on down to experience Dult.
Regensburg's Dult, which they hold something like three times a year, was pretty much like any county fair we've ever been to—if everyone attending hte county fair was decked out in their best Spieth & Wensky.
The first order of business was food. We were a group of ten, and it as a challenge to find a table with ten open spots in the very busy beer hall, but we managed (it helped that we had a German speaker in our midst) and filled up on schnitzel, sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels. And, of course, German beer.
After we ate we bought a few tickets we went on some rides—the bumper cars especially were great fun—and Frankie won a stuffed turtle (now named Toby) at an archery game before we called it a night and walked back to the apartment.
In the morning, we walked over to our friends' house for breakfast. Unbeknownst to us, we had arrived in town the day before the Regensburg Marathon. But even more surprising—the route went right in front of our apartment. So as we walked through town, we had to dodge groups of marathoners as they made their way through the course.
After breakfast we ambled back through town and back to our car. But, as we were parked on the marathon route, we weren't allowed to leave our street until 2:00 in the afternoon after the last stragglers were through the course.
Near the end, there were really long intervals of time between runners, so we kept hoping they'd let us out a little early, but in Germany, 2:00 means 2:00.
And sure enough, at 2:00, the barriers came down and traffic started flowing down the street again. We jumped into Persephone and drove out of the gateway that marks the barrier to Old Town Regensburg and headed off toward Luxembourg.
I've written before how great the autobahn is—and it is great. Unless, that is, there's a traffic jam (stau in the local parlance), in which case it's about as fun as any highway with stopped traffic. And the particular stau we found ourselves trapped in lasted for a long time. After eight hours of being stuck in the car, we didn't get to our hotel in Luxembourg until 10:30 at night. At which point we promptly went right to bed.
This post comprises days 269 and 270.