Thursday 1 June 2017


Passau cathedral is pretty impressive from the outside.

But the real gem is inside – the second largest organ in the world.

Its design centres around having five separate organs which can be played independently, but which can also be played all together from the central console. Two baroque organs sit, one each side of the main organ.

At the east end of the church is the “choir” organ, to the left of the sculpture over the altar representing the martyrdom of Stephen, the patron saint of the cathedral.

Overhead there is a fifth organ in a chamber above the roof, with its sound cascading down from a grill in the centre of one of the frescos.

Half of the passengers on our ship attended the thirty-minute lunch-time organ recital, which was out of this world – Bach and Buxtehude, etc, as they could never have imagined it but, you have to believe, would have thoroughly appreciated.

Passau itself is pleasant enough, a place where the Danube is joined by other rivers, and where we pass into Austria.

The city relies a lot on tourism these days, and there are usually several ships tied up. Our ship had to double park, leaving us rather farther from the quay (and a much longer potential drop!) than when Erin Mae breasts up to another.

After leaving, we found ourselves being pursued and overtaken by the enemy, who were obviously going a bit faster than 4 mph.

However, we joined them in the next lock.

The name of the barge that we drew up behind was telling. I’d be calling out “Save me!” if I found the MS Charles Dickens bearing down on me from behind at a rate of knots.

Thereafter we have cruised down a wonderful section of the Danube's gorge. Just a sample of the shots from our cabin window…

As a certain radio station might put it – relaxing classics in the afternoon.

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