I'm waking up in a warm, cozy room with red walls and fluffy white sheets. It is still quite dark, and a ray of dim light is falling on my slippers on the floor. Even though I'm enjoying the warmth of the bed, I'm curious to look out through the window. I take a peek and say to Luka: "I don't think we'll be going anywhere this morning." The streets are frozen, and people are moving around like on an ice skating rink, except, without the skates. Some of them are taking mini steps, some are trying to slide, some of them are falling, and some are wearing socks over the boots to prevent slipping. A frosty rain and low temperatures came in the night and covered everything- pavement, trees, cars- with a thick layer of ice. Thank goodness we're in this cozy room, thank goodness we decided to take a break from our 1000 km long trip and spend a night in Regensburg, and thank goodness there's a breakfast waiting for us downstairs, in the hotel dining room. We are staying in Luis Hotel, quirky and wonderfully cozy former school. We like the hipster design with vintage furniture, dim lights and delicious breakfast, but most of all we like relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by young people that like what they do. We take our time, we can't go out sightseeing anyways, so we might as well linger on to this lovely breakfast, savoring German bread, butter and cream cheese, croissants and a cup of tea.
After the breakfast, we climb up to our room. Sometimes I love a good reason to stay in bed, especially in the winter. Around noon, the streets are already a bit defrosted, so we decide to take a walk. After all, we are curious about this medieval town, an Unesco World Heritage site, whose old center miraculously survived World War II almost intact. What awaits for us are narrow, winding streets with colorful houses, views of the frosted Danube river and fog that envelopes the town like a giant woolen blanket. A German theologian K.A. Baader wrote about Regensburg in 1797: "The city is quite large, but somewhat gloomy, its streets being very irregular." That atmosphere will always make me think of Regensburg as a fairy tale town, or better yet a setting for a Christmas story. A receptionist in our hotel talked enthusiastically about summers in Regensburg, about music festivals and meetings by the river, but for me, winter time was just perfect. We walked those irregular, narrow streets, every now and then a beautiful square surrounded by medieval houses would open up in front of us, we entered spice stores, lured in by the scent of cinnamon and cloves (I'm telling you, Christmas atmosphere), we stood on the bridge over Danube soaking in the winter landscape and watching people ice skating on its embankments, we escaped from the cold in a typical German pub, having beer and duck and sauce. Maybe next time, we'll visit in the summer, and my photos will be all blue and green and different kind of festive, but for now, these frosty, foggy, gloomy photos add a sense of mystery, and that's just about right for December, don't you think?
Here are some of my favorite Regensburg addresses if you happen to be visiting any time soon:
*This article was supported by Luis Hotel Regensburg. All opinions, as usual, are my own.