Dealing with the Devil in Regensburg

Regensburg, Germany
May 4, 2022

We drank coffee in the Aft lounge as our boat docked in Regensburg and where we watched from our perch as the city woke up to Wednesday. During these morning hours we contemplated how people along this canal seemingly emerged from nowhere as they headed somewhere with some purpose and thought about how soon enough we would debark and become one of those people.

It had been 17 years or so since we visited Regensburg and I was curious to see what we’d remember and what had changed. So with that in mind we started our walking tour around 9:00 am with a young chap who was eager to bestow upon us humorous stories. I estimated our guide to be college age when he mentioned that Regensburg was a college town with about 40,000 students out of a population of 160,000. It made me think about how cool it would be to go to school here with the public University of Regensburg so close along the southern edge of the old town. Someone in our group asked about tuition and he casually mentioned it was around 300 euros a year with additional expenses for books, food and housing. I was dumbfounded. Wow! I just couldn’t fathom this when you compare it with the high cost of tuition and the enormous burden of debt that students carry in the US. After a quick Google search this indeed proved to be correct with most colleges being tuition free.

We pressed onward until we stopped in front of the Regensburg Museum of Bavarian History and next to a hideous gold statue of what might have been a fish or a whale or some aquatic thing. Although I never got the gist of this golden glob, evidently there was money that needed to be spent so this was commissioned.

As we continued our walk along the canal’s boardwalk we came to “Garkueche aut dem Krarchen” which is a 750 year old Sausage Kitchen that our guide referenced as the “oldest fast food restaurant in the world” and told us that it’s not only a major attraction but where locals still dine.

The building was originally constructed as headquarters for the Old Stone Bridge, which we were near and also a good spot to see the twin spires of Saint Peters Cathedral.

Legend has it that in the 12th century the Master Builder of the Stone Bridge made a wager with the Master Builder of the Cathedral in that he would complete his project first. At that time the building of the church was progressing quickly while the construction of the bridge, with its many arches, was not. In order for the bridge builder to win his bet he made a pack with the Devil with one caveat, that the first 3 souls to cross the bridge would be his. In agreement the Master Bridge Builder was able to rapidly finish the Stone Bridge. Then when it came time for the Grand Opening of the Stone Bridge, the Master Builder cleverly arranged for a rooster then a hen and finally a dog to be chased across first. The Devil was so enraged that he unsuccessfully tried to destroy the bridge, which is why there is a hump in the middle of the bridge.

After goggling at the Old Stone Bridge and perhaps annoying a few construction workers nearby, we headed for the twin spires of Saint Peters Cathedral. It began to rain now and I was thankful that Allan had the foresight to bring an umbrella. Our group took shelter across from the Cathedral and our guide asked us if anything looked different about the church. To me it was just another large old gothic church with scaffolding for ongoing repairs. He then pointed out that it took over 600 years to build this church and with numerous delays due to financing, that only the bottom was constructed in expensive stone. The remainder of the Cathedral was completed in cement, which was a newer material for that period. Unfortunately cement has a tendency to crack over time, hence the scaffolding.

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About Marla

Allan and I are two frugal minded nomads from Orange County, CA. who love to write and travel. Our mission is to travel the world on a budget and so far nothing has been off limits. Our quests have led us to walking across Spain, hiking in Portugal, cycling through France, cruising Russian waterways and even riding a couple camels in Egypt. In so doing we’ve been introduced to a large community of travelers who thrive on diverse cultures and broader perspectives. The COVID-19 pandemic had put the world on hold as we burrowed down in quarantine, but now after tippy toeing out of our cloistered confines we’ve been excited to hit the road again discovering more new and unexpected places.

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