National Geographic : 1965 Jul
and candy, eyed Dave Donnelley in wonder. This strange Amerikaner wore blue-jean shorts, T-shirt, and sneakers-yet carried a briefcase! Where expedition treasurer Dave went, our traveler's checks went too. The big Kachlet Hydroelectric Station just above Passau blocks the Danube with the first of four major installations which, over the next 100 miles, harness the river to pro vide power for homes and industry. At Passau the Danube swept us along to its union with the Rivers Ilz and Inn, the lat ter rolling in from Austria's Alps (pages 40 41). As guests of Mayor Franz Kern, we dined on Zigeunerschnitzel, or gypsy cutlet, smoth ered with a Magyar sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and onions. Stonecutter's Task May Take 30 Years Dan and I climbed a wobbly scaffold 125 feet up the facade of Passau Cathedral to talk with stonecutter Matthias Blochinger. He was replacing weathered blocks and chip ping out new Kreuzblumen (literally, "cross flowers") with a chisel and a wooden mallet earning $1.00 an hour. Matthias, in his mid-forties, told us he had been at the job for eight years. How soon would he be finished? He rubbed his chin. "Maybe thirty years." Leaving Passau, we crossed our first inter national frontier into Austria, whose cele brated "blue" Danube flows a pastel brown. Linz we recall for the view from the crest of Postlingberg of the distant snow-capped Alps, and for its giant complex of steel mill and oil storage tanks. Here, too, for the first time we saw barges from Russia and Rumania. Dick Durrance, proud of his German, helped read the menu in a Linz restaurant. AUSTRIA Like the brim of a peaked hat, striped grain fields rim a tortuous bend below the German-Austrian border. Here at the Schlo gener Schlinge-or loop--the Danube swings 180 degrees, from southeast to northwest. Thirsty musician pauses for refreshment during a village concert at Pochlarn, Austria. Swimming sports car, West Germany's Amphicar plows upriver at 10 knots. Front wheels act as rudder; twin screws churn the wake. On land the vehicle can speed at 70 miles an hour. "Gypsies call the Danube the 'dustless road,' " Chris Knight said, "but we never dreamed we'd see a car drive up it."