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Tuesday June 12, 2007


        I woke at 8, 10:45 and got up at 11 to do email and take care of many issues needing attention.  As can be seen our room here at the Sofitel is not very huge but it was nice.


        After an hour of that I was doing my run to Mariehilfergasse.  On the way, I got some shots of some of the beautiful architecture here in Vienna.


        As I wended my way around the Ringstraße (ring road,) I came across the beautiful and impressive Austrian Parliament Building. It was built based on plans of the Danish architect Baron Theophil von Hansen (right) in the years 1874 - 1883.  The two Houses of Parliament ("Nationalrat" and "Bundesrat") meet here.  It followed the classic Greek revival style, being the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the first such parliamentary building in Central Europe.  It certainly is impressive.

        I finally got to the shopping area of Mariehilfergasse and it was fun looking in the windows.


        At 12:25 I went into a Kelly store and bought myself this unusual orange shirt.  Then I went into the large Saturn electronics store (below) and found the phone section.  I bought a little Nokia cell phone for Marcia for less than €100.  I then found some marking pens to write on CDs without damaging them and a electrical outlet plug. 


        Saturn is a German chain of electronics stores, found in several European countries.  It is known for its slightly coarse German-language advertising slogan "Geiz ist geil!" meaning "Stinginess is cool!" but "geil" can also mean "horny."  They have 128 stores; 11 in Austria, 12 in Poland, 4 in Hungary, 8 in Spain, 11 in Italy, 25 in France, 2 in Belgium, 4 in Holland and 2 in Greece.  They are similar to Circuit City or Best Buy but they are unusual in that they only except cash.  A thing to remember before shopping.

        At 1:15 I sat for a cappuccino at a Segafredo for €3 which is $4.  After relaxing awhile, I started walking back then realized it was much to far and wee needed to get traveling so at 2 PM I caught a taxi to the Sofitel.  We packed up and check out of the hotel at 3 PM.  The business lady at the hotel had helped me cash in my Accor Favorite Guest Card points but they have to be mailed from Paris to a specific address.  So I had her have them sent to Dima in Italy.

        At 3:25 we were on the road back to Germany.  Because Marcia's back was still killing her, I drove the 178 miles to Passau.

        At 4:40 we stopped for gas at a BP station and the full tank cost €71.30 ($90) which comes to $7.00/gal.  At 6 PM I noticed a detour warning on the GPS and later learned that the satellite GPS connection sends down a warning when there is a traffic jam coming ahead and offers alternate routes.  We finally crossed the border back into Germany thus entering the large state of Bavaria whose capital is Munich.  The Bavarian flag (right) is rather unusual.  The map on the left shows the various states of Austria (yellow) and those of Germany (green.)


        As you can see Bavaria (or Bayern in German) is a very large chunk of the country.  The map (above right) shows that the little city of Passau is right across the border and sits on the juncture of three rivers (known as the "Drei-Flüsse-Stadt",) the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz rivers.  The Ilz (dark green) enters the Danube (light green) from the north which then flows into the Inn (gray): amazing those are the actual colors.  The land point where they meet is called the Eck (or the point.)


        As can be seen (below) the city spreads out from the Eck.  We enter the city from the bridge and the GPS takes us to our Hotel (A above and below.)

        At 6:20 we check into the Hotel Passauer Wolf (Rm #201) [Rindermarkt 6, +49-(0)851-931-510] but have take the car all the way around to park in their garage below which fronts on the river parking area on Fritz Shäffer Promenade.

        As can be seen (below) our room was comfortable and spacious with a wonderful view over the River Inn (the same river that flows through Innsbruck, Austria.)  Marcia rested her back and after getting settled I headed to the tiny bar in the entry.

        At 7:15, I ordered a Hacklberg urhell fresh from their tap.  I chatted with the barman and he recommended a good place to eat.  Marcia ultimately joined me and he gave me another ½ glass while she had a wine.


        The Hacklberg beer was pretty good.  It is brewed in the little berg of Hacklberg just across the Inn River (below right.)


        We headed out for dinner and walked to the Fußgängerzone (pedestrian area) (below left) and at 8:30, we found the place the hotel recommended, the Heilig-Geist-Stiftschenke Keller [4 Heiliggeistgasse, +49-(0)851-2607] in the St. Anna Kapelle (below right.)  How's that for an easy name to remember.  Heilig Geist means "Holy Ghost", not sure on the rest.  The place goes back to the year 1358 and is today run by Fritz und Sonja Mayer.  We were told to to have dinner in the cellar () area underground rather than in the main dining room.


        When you first enter, you are in the main dining room (below left.)  But we need to climb downstairs into the "Keller."  Boy, was this place really neat.


        Here are some PhotoStitch shots of the dining area down here.

        You can see Marcia sitting over in the right corner (above.)



        Their menu was fairly uncomplicated and we took a chance ordering a couple of items off their English menu.


        Marcia started with Wasser (water,) then began with Pfannkuchensuppe mit Schnittlauch (beef broth soup with shredded pancake and chives) (below left) followed by an entree of Frischer Inn-Zander ausgelöst mit Kräuterbutter am Rost gebraten Petersilienkartofferl und buntem Salatteller (grilled pike-perch filet with parsley potatoes and salad) (below right.)


        I had a local tap beer with my baked garlic French bread and a dinner of Unser Schwabentöpfle  mit Schweinerückenlendchen und Filets (filet of pork and pork loin) in würziger Champignonrahmsoße (with mushroom-cream sauce) und hausgemachten Käsespätzle (homemade spätzle with cheese) (below right.)  Boy, was that a mouthful.


         It was all very good and we finished off sharing a pancake (crepe) with apricot jam flambé.


        After dinner we wandered around and noticed this old stone plaque dating back to 1608 (MDCVIII.)  We got back to our room at 11:45 and went to bed.

KJH                                                   Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #7 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD


Passau, Germany

Sent 3/4/2009

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