Passau was great for Lillian because she had a playmate all week, her (fellow 3-year-old) friend, Raffi -- which shockingly made my job easier than usual. No need to constantly play one-on-one for hours on end, plus I only occasionally had to mediate meltdowns. I've discovered that kids this age are super emotional; every reaction comes from a sudden and strong emotional onset. For example, Kid wants Mama, so Kid yells up the stairs to find out where Mama is; Kid bumps head, so Kid starts crying from surprise/pain/confusion; Kid sees friend with ice cream, Kid suddenly wants an ice cream, too. Three-year-olds seem governed by their immediate impulses, which is both fascinating and immensely challenging for me to balance.
|Little house built into a cliff along the Danube|
|Dreiflüsseeck, or the meeting point of the 3 rivers|
|Old Town Passau|
|Some flood damage|
Now, though, the city is getting back on its feet. Some businesses are still under reconstruction, but mostly everything is up and running. A beautiful gem of a theater in Old Town was severely damaged and will need significant restoration, but the city is dedicated to preserving its arts and its history.
|Innstadt, the side of Passau along the Inn|
The three of us took a 45-minute boat tour (on a boat called the Deggendorf) up the Danube, around the peninsula, and partway down the Inn and back. It was peaceful and picturesque, as you can see from these photos. Then we headed up to St. Stephen's Cathedral for a half-hour organ concert at noon. I'm not a big fan of the organ, but this music was very impressive. It's also the largest cathedral organ in Europe, with 17,974 pipes, 233 stops, and 4 carillons! There are actually five different parts of the organ, which can be played separately or from the main keyboard.
|St. Stephen's Cathedral organ|
|Along the Danube|
We left Passau, sadly, early yesterday morning, and now I'm back in Vienna with a whole free weekend. While I'm starting to get much more used to my life/schedule here, I'm still not a person who likes being alone. I mean, I GREATLY value my Alone Time, but I prefer living with other people. And this is why, Susan, you need to keep working on your German, so you can talk to other human beings. I can hear my sister's voice in my head... I think the time has come to communicate and not worry about speaking everything perfectly. Seriously, if I worry about every adjective ending and every case declination, then I'm not even going to be able to order a cup of coffee!
|Along the Inn; the green domes are St. Stephen's Cathedral|