So much of how you look at a city has to do with your guide. Today’s guide was a young man named Sebastian who had us laughing immediately.
Where are you? he asked.
Germany, says I. Austria, says someone else. (we are right on the border)
No, he says. We are in Bavaria. Saying we’re Germans is like telling Texans they’re Americans. We are PROUD to be Bavarian. We don’t like Germans. And we are PROUD to be Catholic. We don’t like Protestants. And we don’t like students (and we have a lot because of the university) but we do like tourists because they come on big ships and leave us some of their money.
And how many of those Catholics still go to church? About 3 %.
As Sebastian led us around the city, it was clear that this was one smart, progressive, imaginative young man who was pretty frustrated with the stodgy, conservative, narrow minded people of Passau.
We had a flood in 2013, he told us. And we saw how high the water rose. When it was over, we were trapped in our houses and the streets and houses were filled with mud. Then the university cancelled classes and the students spent two weeks helping us clean up the town and our homes and brought us food and water. At the end of the two weeks, when we were back to some kind of working order, we had a party to thank them. We had to stop partying at 11:00pm…The elders of the town said we were too loud.
Imagine, he said, they come, they save us and we can only thank them until 11:00pm. That was two years ago and we’re back to hating the students because they drink too much beer and are too loud.
He was marvelous and his stories were great and we loved Passau. (although we wouldn’t want to live here!) There was an organ concert at the local Cathedral at noon…magnificent. And great sausage and sourkraut and beer at a local beer garden for lunch.
Now we’re back on board with the sliders to our deck open and watching the world go by as I write this. We’ll be leaving Germany in about an hour…on to Austria. Weather is just perfect. I think we’re heading into HOT weather for the next few days (but nothing like what you had, Trevina!)
Love to all…