One of my favorite parts of traveling is wandering through a new city and letting the destination find me. In the lovely town of Passau, Germany I had just that serendipitous experience.
Passau was one of the ports-of-call on my Danube River cruise that meandered through five countries in Eastern Europe. After an introductory tour of the city with my trip leader, we had some free time to explore on our own. I wound my way through the historic city center, which sits at the convergence of three rivers (the Danube, the Inn, and the Ilz). At every turn, I found new views of the church tower, the ivy-covered walls, and little hidden walkways.
I chose one cobblestone path to follow and it led me to Keramikwerkstatt Auer, a potter’s studio, where I met Thomas-Maximilian Auer, a young artist. We chatted about his move to Passau where he would open this studio, his dream shop, and I purchased an unusually shaped bud vase. Now, whenever I see it in my home, the vase reminds me of the easy, free feeling traveling gives and the fun of discovering new places and new people by chance.
–Text and potter’s photo by Shawn Oda, WT accountant, Romantic Danube