The morning was cold and I spent a lot of it indoors festering, I felt like a day off. I was reading Robert Reich (American political correspondent for the Guardian Newspaper, and he was talking about what Biden needs to do to win a second term. I touched on how big corporations are making money by buying back their own share and how the lack of competition has allowed these corporations to keep raising their prices with impunity. Wealth are being redistributed upwards from the average working people (many who live from paycheque to paycheque) to CEOs and shareholders, billionaires have become $ 1.7 trillion richer during the pandemic. CEOs’ pay based largely on the stock value (and remember they manipulate it by buy backs) is now at a record 350 to 1 ratio relative to medium pay.
Robert has a new book out that I will buy when I return home, ‘The system: who rigged it -how we fix it.’ (it will be interesting to see how he gets around the fact that the people with the money are also the people that have the politicians in their pocket.
A video by an Irish YouTuber came up on my feed today and it’s just great. This is a fantastic reminder to stop and enjoy the magic that is all around us.
“If you don’t believe in magick, you will never find it…”
I hit the road again at around four in the afternoon by which time the wind had eased and it was a beautiful evening, strolling. I walked over the stone bridge,
and down onto the causeway that forms the mill run.
There were still the remains of old waterwheels and I could not help but wonder why they do not install modern water turbines in their place. You could have small propeller-driven turbines, that could be hydraulically operated enabling them to be lowered or lifted clear of the water at will.
How beautiful is that skyline, apart from the tower crane that is?
This old paddle steamer is now a museum if it is not too expensive I might go on board and see for myself its huge boilers fore and aft of the wheelhouse and if it has a compound engine or not.
And the sun sets once more (on the beautiful town of Balham, with its ever-changing lights, red, red and amber, green, amber, red) and another Sunday, in Regensburg. Two weeks in, where did it all go, I ask myself.
Monday, on fresh and well-rested legs.
I found several of my blogs stuck in ‘Save’ and since I was not sure if they had been published I published them if I have duplicated them sorry.
The temperature outside was 4C however the skies were as clear as a bell. Navigation is easy here, you just decided if where you want to go is upstream or downstream and follow the well defined cycle path in that direction, today it was downstream, for I was heading for the Walhalla in Donaustauf.
The cycle path like all cycle paths, it is two meters wide and a proper job, well-laid tarmac, running like this all the way into Vienna, and as far as I know beyond.
This is a floodplain so flat, and I was soon bowling along at 20kph.
and soon arrived at
Donaustauf with its old fort on the hilltop. this was handy for I wanted milk, bread and something nice for lunch, all of which I found in the little supermarket on the edge of town.
Well provisioned I headed up through the village and came across a park with a Chinesischer Turm or at least that is what the information sign told me it was.
Sadly the gate was locked dup so no way of climbing up inside it.
you really have to pass up through the village anyway to get to the road leading up to the Walhalla, I took the main road rather than the cycle path for it was gravel and I much prefer tarmac roads.
Something strange has happened over the last 24hours, it is as if mother nature had turned on a switch and caused everything to start turning green or bursting into bloom. Climbing the hill the woods were festooned with little white flowers, I felt it this was Scotland they would be bluebells.
Walhalla itself was worth the climb, spectacular, a great marble folly. If this was Scotland you would not get within 100 yards of this monument, not unless they spoiled it is placing safety barriers everywhere, here they have a white line that they ask you not to cross.
The sun was out and turning the Danube as blue as the waltz.
The steps down from the front were not for wee boys of 8 or big boys of 80 so I took the lame route down the path to get a view from below.
Inside was a bit special too,
again all marble and a notice that said no food, no bikes, now football, Oh, and no cameras. So I had to take these when she was not looking. I took one of Beethoven, (the only one I recognised out of what must have been dozens)
and of course holding court at the end of the hall the man himself again dressed as a Roman Emperor.
The temperature had been rising all morning and was now at around 10C but felt much warmer on this glorious spring day.
I found a park bench and brewed up, made some tomato soup, (from a packet) I love these soups to dip my crusty bread in. what a wonderful morning it has been.
I have in the past talked about how clean and tidy everything is in this country, below by the side of the Danube were allotments and they too were a master class in tidiness.
To sum up my morning.
I liked Donaustauf and the ruined castle, once the home of Prince of Thurn und Taxis until it caught fire in 1880. With all these fires, one could have made a fortune producing a fire-resistant preservative for wooden buildings.
Just downstream from Donaustauf the Walhalla a realistic copy of the Athenian Parthenon, or at least as it would have been. Commissioned by the great eccentric King Ludwig and opened in 1842, it contains some 130 marble busts and 665 plaques commemorating the great and the good of Germanic-Speaking peoples. Some, like Beethoven and Bismarck, are certainly heroes of Germany, but some more, shall we say, questionable, such as Alfred the Great, William 111 of Orange, van Dyck and Rubes. The name Walhalla you will remember from school mythology class was where Wotan, leader of the gods in Nordic legend, welcomed new arrivals into heaven.
It was well into the afternoon before I made it back to my billet, after lunch I intend to go into town in search of the Romans, but before I do, here is what a modern YH looks like.
Catch you later