Munich and Regensburg itinerary
We visited a number of ‘recommends’ — a trendy bar on Reichenbachstraße, furnished with 50’s/60’s furniture, an Italian restaurant where we had a great pizza and another restaurant that was full by 7.30 serving very large helpings of traditional food. We had a drink outdoor in the Viktualmarkt and others in a pub called Wasserman’s, near the Pensione on Frauenhoferstraße, very hearty and probably not on any list of recommendations.
We also visited a shop that specialised in wooden artefacts, including brushes of every conceivable shape and size for every conceivable purpose, near the Rathouse. We went to the Kaufhof department store on Marienplatz, which had a top-floor restaurant offering cheap beer. In spite of the rain we had a good time in Munich — obviously a prosperous city, supporting numerous art galleries, museums [check out the Museumportal: www.museen-am-muenchen.de] and a multitude of specialist shops. In fact, throughout our week in Germany, we did not see any empty shop premises. The integrated public transport system worked to the minute. If you visit Munich, look out for the very useful little leaflet on places to visit by Tram [Münchner Sehenswürdigkeiten mit der Tram].
We love Regensburg!
The mediaeval core of the Altstadt is genuine, only the railway station was bombed in the 1940’s. Round the south of the city centre is na linear park, along the route of the old city walls that continues [if you cross on various bridges] to the islands in the Danube between the Altstadt and the Stadtamhof, the continuation on the north bank. Most of the Altstadt is pedestrianised after early morning deliveries and refuse removal. There is an Altstadt [A] bus every ten minutes on a circular route to the Hauptbahnhof — and hordes of cyclists — some had little trailers attached for children, or dogs in some instances! But this did not detract from the charm of the Altstadt, the islands and the footpaths along the banks of the Danube. And they have a Kaufhof department store too, with a top-floor restaurant overlooking the cathedral [Dom] and a basement supermarket selling bottles of prosecco at bargain prices. Prosecco and Aperol [like Campari, but lighter] is now our cocktail of choice!
Eating and Drinking
Lorenzo’s Pizza and Pasta: enormous thin-crust pizzas and good wine at reasonable prices. Regensburg has a plethora of small breweries — most of which are now on industrial estates on the edge of town, but with a considerable presence in the Altstadt and on the Jahninsel island and Stadtamhof across the ‘Stony bridge’. Still brewing on the premises is the Spital brewery [as in hospital, a charitable institution built round it’s own chapel] that has a great beer garden by the river too. On Jahninsel is the Alte Linde beer garden, a bit smaller than Spital, offering Kniepsbrau beer that had a flavour more to our taste.
The original Kneitinger brewery on Arnulfsplatz [www.knei.de] is now a charismatic pub/restaurant in the old town ["people are jolly and feel at ease"] and the Zum Augustiner, serving Thurn & Taxis beer, has a charming beer garden in Neupfarrplatz. These establishments serve typical German food, served by young people in traditional costume, that, if you can decipher the menu, is usually good value for money. If you like wheat-beer, the city established it's own Weissbräuhaus brewery in 1620, still brewed and served in Schwarze-Bären Straße.
The Thurn and Taxis family have a palace, several museums and their own brewery/restaurant/beer garden on Waffnergaße in the parkland surrounding the Altstadt. Check opening times. The traditionally decorated Bischopshof hotel and restaurant, on Krauterermarkt has a charming courtyard and serves lunches [from 11.30am!] and drinks to an older more conservative clientele. The café/bar of the Art Academy in Stadtamhof also has a pleasant terrace overlooking parkland with lighter Italian style food at lunchtime and an intriguing retro decorated interior. The Pernsteiner cafe/confectionery shop on Von-der-Tann Straße produces the most amazing cakes and their own range of exotically flavoured chocolates [www.pernsteiner.net]. Another good location for a drink and some contemporary cuisine: salads and paninis, is the Neue Filmbühn Cafe at the upper end of the Bismarkplatz, a two-level square with a fountain and large basin on each level.
Down River to Walhalla
We we wanted to make the most of ithe wonderful weather and climb the hill to Walhalla, home of the immortals, overlooking the Danube, down river from Regensburg. We resisted the temptation to pay to see the interior, but we did find an alternative route down: a meandering path through woods to the outskirts of Donauschift village and along the long-distance cycle/footpath beside the Danube, back to the landing stage.
There were certainly plenty of tourists, mainly German and of a certain age during the day, taking inthe many cultural highlights, including is the ancient ‘sausage kitchen’ started for the medieaval builders of the ‘stony bridge’ and still selling sausages and beer everyday from 9.30am; Prinzess the oldest pastry shop in Germany in Rathausplatz and Andreas Nuslan's handcrafted hats at the Hutkonig shop in Krauterermarkt.
Prices were reasonable, self-catering would be very economical: we were asked several times if we wanted to split the bill! We’re looking forward to returning to ‘mittle-europ’ again, to see some of the other cities on the Danube, maybe return to Vienna, another city we visited on our first trip all those years ago, maybe do the cycle route or a longer river trip, they both looked fascinating if the weather's right.