The Mustard You Must Buy in Germany For One Euro

 

Regensburg, Germany, to be exact. At The Historic Sausage Kitchen by the river, or "Wurstkuchl." We knew on our Danube cruise that we needed to try the mini sausage sandwich here, to compare it to the one in Nuremberg, our next stop. Apparently there's a long-standing friendly rival on which sausage is better. I couldn't quite figure out if that was just a tour guide thing or actually true. Nonetheless, we went to Wurstkuchl and tried a mini sausage sandwich, with sauerkraut and mustard. It tasted like Germany in one fantastic bite-sized sandwich. What made it so good was the mustard. And they sell small jars for ONE EURO each. I stocked up on these great gifts and had a great time exploring Regensburg on a gray, overcast day.

Danube River Cruise - Passau

The best thing we did in Passau (after Melk) was rent bikes for a couple of hours and do a long ride along the grey Danube. We wanted the fresh air and exercise (and needed it after eating strudel at Cafe Simon - a must-have in Passau) and it felt so good to take a long ride off the boat. Highly recommended! I have bike trips on my mind and really want to do one this year in Europe. In Passau, I also loved the beautiful Baroque Cathedral and seeing Europe's largest pipe organ.

Returning to Passau from bike rideCozy Cafe SimonMust-try apple strudel at Cafe Simon

National Geographic: Cruising the Danube

"It’s no secret that the Danube isn’t blue, despite the name of Johann Strauss’ popular waltz. (It’s more of a murky gray.) Still, there is a fascination and draw to the mighty river that has been the heartbeat of central Europe for centuries. River cruising is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the travel industry, and drifting through the tiny towns and villages of HungaryAustria, and Germany is a dream trip for many."

More on National Geographic Urban Insider here

Danube River Cruise - Melk Abbey

After Vienna, the next day's port of call was Melk, Austria for a few hours. I had actually been to Melk before but we had a great guide this time, which makes all the difference. Melk is a sleepy little town with a grand, famous Benedictine Abbey. Today there's a school with 900 students, but we didn't see any of them. We had some free time before returning to the Viking Embla and for me, the highlight was stopping at Hotel Restaurant Zur Post in the tiny town and enjoying a drink with Andy. At around 4:00, groups of Austrian men started to come in, ordered espressos, and went back to their days. A slice of real Austrian life amidst the tourism of Melk.

Hotel Restaurant Zur Post

Arriving at Melk Abbey

The Viking Embla docked in Melk

Feels Like Home in Vienna

In college, I lived in Vienna one summer and fell in love. On the cruise, we docked in Vienna on the second day.

We only had one full day here but packed it in doing THIS:

  • Enjoying original sacher torte at Cafe Sacher (my favorite dessert on Planet Earth)
  • Seeing fabulous new rooms and suites at Hotel Sacher
  • A fantastic tour at the Spanish Riding School
  • Cafe hopping from my favorite (Cafe Sperl, where I started "The Reluctant Empress," considered to be the definitive biography on Empress Sisi) to other classics (Cafe Central, Cafe Landtmann)
  • Shopping at Julius Meinl
  • Viennese-style tapas at Zum Schwarzeen Kameel
  • Seeing what's new in the 7th district behind the MuseumsQuartier
  • Strolling the Naschmarkt
  • Dinner at Figlmuller, known for the best and biggest wiener schnitzel
  • Doing some quick tours of other hotels.

The Christkindlmarkt at the striking Vienna Rathaus (funny name but means 'City Hall' in German) had just opened so we got to meander through the huts. I loved every minute of being back in Vienna and can't wait to return.

Cafe Central

Julius Meinl