Tag Archives: Viking River Cruise.

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 12

8 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

After breakfast, we began a partial bus-and-walking tour of Vienna, Austria. There’s just so much to see. It seems strange to have an ultra-new building with the old buildings, but they seem to fit together rather well. For the entire six years we lived in Germany, I hounded Fred about taking me/us to Vienna. Never happened! So this trip finally put us in that beautiful city.

 

I’m not a terribly good historian, but I have heard of the Hapsburg Dynasty. Austria was the home for that dynasty. The ship’s info sheet stated: The rise and fall of the House of Hapsburg began along the Danube’s banks in 1276. With Austria firmly in their grasp, the family gained new territories by marriage until their serial nuptials put most of Europe under their power. As their wealth and territory grew, few royal families remained to help them acquire more kingdoms. Their solution to this problem may have also been their undoing. While the dynasty actually had its beginning in 1020, it wasn’t until 1273 when it moved to Austria.

The info sheet also said: The Hapsburgs sought to retain their massive power through intermarriage between cousins or uncle and niece. “The best spouse for a Hapsburg is another Hapsburg,” went the proverb. The last of the Spanish line, Charles 2, was disabled from birth, perhaps from a genetic disorder typical in children born from siblings, and died. It’s likely that the Austrian Hapsburg line ended for the same reasons.

While there are still living relatives of the Hapsburgs, for all intents and purposes, the dynasty died out in 1918, at the close of World War 1.

We walked through Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, which has a really dark interior. I was unable to get any good pictures there.

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But the outside is remarkable. There is even a bronze model of the cathedral outside, that is to scale.

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We then walked through some of their Christmas Market. It was still rather early in the season for the Christmas Market to be up and running, but there were a few booths set up already, and we enjoyed seeing them.

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At 12:45 we met under the clock on the square and headed back to the bus and into the ship for lunch, which we had with Richard, Judy and Lucy.

At 2:00 p.m. we took a tour of the Schönbrunn Palace. It’s very opulent, but beautiful.

On our way into the Palace, there was a man on the sidewalk, covered in gold. He was standing on a box, and was singing some Mozart – advertising a concert. I just thought it was cute. I gave him a short curtsy, and he replied with a small bow.

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We had an early dinner (6:00 p.m.) with Richard, Judy and Lucy. At 7:00 p.m. some of the group left for a Mozart and Strauss Concert, that was free to all who wanted to attend, since we had to change ships again. Fred and I decided to stay onboard and pack. Then we read some, and then were in bed and asleep by 9:30 p.m.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 11

1 May

 

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

November 16th, Monday- We were up at 6:00 a.m. to shower and dress. We had breakfast at 7:15 a.m., with Richard, Judy and Lucy joining us (they don’t get up as early as we do). By 8:00 a.m. we arrived at Emmersdorf, Austria.

 

At 9:30 a.m. we took a bus to the 900-year-old Melk Abbey. It is situated on an outcrop rising above the Danube, crowned by twin towers.

While the abbey was founded in 1089, and given to the Benedictine monks, the current abbey was renovated between 1702 and 1736. It was originally a royal palace with ceremonial courts, guest apartments, grand halls and a library – which contains around 80,000 medieval manuscripts.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

The abbey has a blue room,

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a green room,

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a marble room, and the mirrored room.

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Many of the floors have beautiful wood-inlay.

 

This beautiful stairway is the beginning of the grounds. However, since I still couldn’t maneuver stairs very well, we walked down (and later up) the ramp.

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By 12:10 p.m. we were back on board the ship, and had lunch in the Lounge with Janice and John from Ontario. We were also joined by the couple from Los Angles (originally Denmark) but we still did not get their names.

At 2:00 p.m. we sailed through the Wachau Valley.

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The countryside is stunningly beautiful. Both banks are dotted with ruined castles and medieval towns and are lined with terraced vineyards.   The Wachau is described as “an outstanding example of a riverine landscape.” Noted for its cultural importance as well as its physical beauty, it is described: “The architecture, the human settlements, and the agricultural use of the land in the Wachau vividly illustrate a basically medieval landscape which has evolved organically and harmoniously over time.”

At 4:00 p.m. we docked in Krems.

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Fred and I decided to stay on board the ship because it would be getting dark soon and it was cool and windy. Before dinner Fred and I watched the Monuments Men movie in our stateroom. Really good movie, and gave us some insight into the Nazi greed and stupidity.

At 6:45 p.m. we went to the preview of tomorrow’s Vienna excursions. Carl West told us we have to change ships again. Following much groaning from the passengers – during which he remained silent – he said, “thank you.”

At 7:15 p.m. we had a traditional Austrian dinner. We had our first schnitzle with potatoes, a small piece of chicken, wurst, and dessert. Richard, Judy and Lucy ate with us.

We sailed to Vienna overnight.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 10

24 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

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This is the day we would be transferring from the Gefjon to the Skadi.

Therefore, we were up at 5:30 a.m., dressed and finished packing. We had breakfast at 6:45 a.m. with Richard, Judy and Lucy, and Danny who is retired military. Richard liked to tease Danny, so we had a lively breakfast conversation.

We had to have our bags outside our door by 8:30 a.m. We were also to have our room keys turned in by 8:30 a.m. We boarded bus number 3 and left at 9:00 a.m. along with three other buses bound for Passau. We rode the bus for one-and-a-half hours to Passau.

We checked into the Skadi. It was essentially the same ship, just a bit older. We even had the same room number, 325. We unpacked our tote bags (they would bring our suitcases later), then at 11:30 a.m. we went on a one-and-a-half-hour walking tour of Passau.

Passau (pass-ow) is known as the “City of Three Rivers.” It lies at the confluence of the Inn, the Danube and the Ilz rivers. It was originally a settlement of the Boil Celtic tribe, and later the site of the Roman fort, Castra Batava. Passau was an important medieval center for the salt trade, the “white gold.” It was transported from the Alpine salt mines to Passau, where it was processed by entrepreneurs called Salzfertiger. The salt imports to Passau were forbidden in 1707, and that trade was lost.

During the Renaissance, Passau became famous for making high-quality knife and sword blades. Local smiths stamped their blades with the Passau wolf, and superstitious warriors believed that the wolf granted them invulnerability.

When fires ravaged the city in the 17th century, it was rebuilt to reflect the baroque character that survives today. Today, Passau is home to 50,000 people.

We were back on board the Skadi by 1:30 p.m. and had lunch in the lounge with Richard, Judy and Lucy. By the time we had finished lunch, our suitcases were in our room, so we unpacked them. We hoped this would be the only transfer we would have on this cruise. One nice thing about a cruise – you usually get to stay in the same room for the duration, which makes it quite nice. This was just a small disruption.

After we had unpacked, we went back into town. We saw St. Michael’s cathedral first,

and then Saint Stephen’s.

It is one of the town’s foremost baroque landmarks and boasts the largest pipe organ outside the United States. Beautiful. It has 17,974 organ pipes, 233 stops and four carillons. All five parts of the organ can be played from the main keyboard, one at a time, or all together.

The Skadi sailed at 5:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. we had dinner with John and Denise from California, and a couple from Los Angeles who were originally from Denmark (never got their names). He was a German teacher in a high school in Los Angeles.More interesting sights in Passau:

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 9

17 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

Saturday was a sailing morning, so we slept in a bit, and went to breakfast at 8:15a.m. We had our breakfast with Richard, Judy and Lucy.

We are now on the Danube River. We went through the last two locks on our journey during breakfast. These are the first locks that lower the water level rather than raising us up a level. Most interesting process to watch.

We spent time with the Richard, Judy and Lucy until lunch, which we shared with them. They are such fun people to be with. Still reminiscing about Albuquerque.

Carl West had informed the passengers that we would be able to purchase a flash drive with all the pictures he had taken on this trip. Fred purchased one for us. I had taken quite a few pictures, but thought that the ones Carl had taken would just add to our experience and memories. NOTE: Carl West followed each day’s excursions, and was snapping pictures all the time – usually of the groups and what we were seeing.

We docked at Regensburg at 1:30 p.m.

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At 2:00 we began a walking tour of Regensburg. Regensburg is the oldest city on the Danube, and one of Bavaria’s most beautiful, best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. The Roman Gates of 179 AD are still standing. It was a very cold and very windy day, so we were back on the ship by 3:45. As Fred’s Mother, Kitty Wills once said when we were with her and Charlie in Edinburgh, Scotland, “I’m just about as cold and wet as I care to be!” So we returned to the ship.

There is an area in Regensburg that has brass plaques in the bricks with people’s names and dates on it. They were murdered by the Nazis during World War 2. Their relatives never wanted them to be forgotten, so this was their way of memorializing them.

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Occasionally the Danube overflows its banks, and the river water floods the city. Here are a few markers with dates – about 15′ to 20′ above the river’s normal level: February 1893 and June 2013.

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Oskar Schindler (of Schindler’s List fame) lived in Regensburg from 1945-1950 in the Goliath House.

Notice Goliath's left arm around the window frame

Notice Goliath’s left arm around the window frame

He immigrated to Argentina in 1950. He died in 1974, and at his request, is buried in Jerusalem.

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A point of interest: Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013) grew up in Regensburg. He was the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.

We stayed on the ship the remainder of the afternoon, since the weather was not too good. We had a short nap, and just rested.

At 6:45p.m. we were in the lounge where Carl West gave us all the information on the ship transfer the next day.We had dinner with Jane and Steve (Colorado) and another couple.

By 9:00 we were back in the room to pack is much as we could of our clothes for the transfer the next day. Because we would have to get up early the next morning, we took our showers before we went to bed.

Some interesting pictures in Regensburg:

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 8 (continued)

10 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

Nuremberg is considered to be Bavaria’s second-largest city. It attracts tourists with its varied history, medieval Aldstadt (Old Town) and grand castle. It is surrounded by massive walls, and boasts an abundance of 15th and 16th century art and architecture.

Courtesy Google

Courtesy Google

A bit of history about the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal: It is a little over 100 miles in length, and was started by Charlemagne in 793. While this original canal was abandoned, a second attempt was made by the Bavarian king Ludwig 1, beginning in 1846, and included 100 locks. With the advent of railroads, this water route was also abandoned. It wasn’t until the late 1950’s, after World War 2, that planning began again. The current canal took over 30 years to complete (1960-1992).

 On our tour, we passed a beautiful cemetery where, among others, Albrecht Dürer and his wife are buried.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

Albrecht Dürer was an artist from Nuremberg (1471-1528). While he is known for all types of painting, etc. and is considered Germany’s renowned Renaissance draughtsman, he is known to Fred and me as the artist of the “Praying Hands.”

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

 

 

We lived on Albrecht Dürer Strasse when we lived in Wiesbaden, and became quite familiar with his story behind his “Praying Hands” painting. His residence and workplace is now a “museum,” and some special exhibits include a painting and printing shop, where various techniques are demonstrated. Unfortunately, we were unable to stop and look.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

Sandra Bullock, the American movie star, had lived in Nuremberg for quite a while, and speaks fluent German. Her father was a U.S. Army employee, and her mother produced German operas. She lived in Nuremberg until she was 12 years old, when they moved to the United States. Years later, when she visited Nuremberg, she gave an interview. At the end of it she called her niece by name and said, “it is way past your bed time. Be a good girl and go to bed.” Sandra’s grandmother still lives in Nuremberg.

By 1:30 we were back on the bus, going to the ship for lunch in the lounge. At 2:45 we took the bus back into town and walked around and took pictures. We saw a cathedral,

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an open-air market,

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and the beginnings of a Christmas Market.

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Beautiful city.

We were back on the bus by 3:45 and back on the ship. We noticed a cute decal on the back fender of the bus: a flying carpet.

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We sailed for Regensburg about 6:00 p.m.

We had supper at 7:15. Our table mates were Denise and John from Half Moon Bay, California, Barbara and a friend from Massachusetts. Carl told us that we would have to change ships, because the river did not have enough water in it to support the ship with all its passengers. We had been alerted prior to the cruise that we might have to change ships because of the recent drought. Although we had hoped we wouldn’t have to change ships, it looked like we would be doing it, anyway.

 

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 7

27 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

Thursday, November 12.

Since we hadn’t reached Bamberg yet – scheduled to arrive about 1:00 p.m. – and it was another sailing morning, we slept in, getting to breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Before we finished, Richard, Judy, and Lucy arrived. They got their breakfast, and we visited until 9:30.a.m. We went through several locks, which was fun to experience.

Carl West, Program Director for the Gefjon, gave detailed information about the tours in Vienna, Budapest and other cities, which Fred attended, followed by lunch in the lounge.

At 1:30 we left the ship on a bus transfer to the city of Bamberg.

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We went on a walking tour of Bamberg, seeing many beautiful and unusual types of architecture and statuary.

We saw beautiful churches and buildings, including St. Michael’s Abbey for the training of the clergy.

We even saw a “Green Goose” pub!

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It always seemed funny to us to see English words in a German town. We even found a Kätie Wohlfahrt Christmas store in town! We walked through a garden, with a few flowers still in bloom.

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According to the info sheet from the ship: “One of the few cities in Germany not destroyed by World War 2 bombing, Bamberg is the largest Old Town to retain its medieval structures…Along with its Gothic, baroque and Romanesque architecture, the city was laid out according to medieval planning rules as a cross with churches at the four cardinal points.”

Ever since we lived in Germany, I have been fascinated with the hotel/store/restaurant signs. Back in the days when the “common” folk were more or less illiterate, the signs were posted so everyone would know just what the establishment was. If it was a bakery, there was a pretzel within the sign.

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The butcher could have an animal within the sign. The drug store or apothecary usually had a mortar and pestle within the sign.

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You get the picture. But the signs were usually quite ornate and beautiful. I looked for them above each store and took as many pictures of them as I could.

While in Bamburg, we stopped in a Karstadt department store (comparable to our Dillards, and one of our favorite places to shop when we lived in Germany) to purchase some socks. I walked up to a saleslady and said, “Entschuldigen (excuse me).” She smiled at me, and then I said, “Ich habe nur ein bischen Deutch. (I have only a little German) Haben sie….?” and pulled up my pant leg to show her my knee socks. She immediately took me to where the women’s socks were. I thanked her profusely. They were lovely, soft socks, and I enjoyed wearing them.

Here is a picture of a plaque with a date.

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Our guide asked if we understood the date. It looks to be 1867 – but we are told that’s not correct. The “8″ is not complete – and therefore is actually a “4″ or half of the “8.” So the correct date would be 1467. Interesting.

We were all to meet at Neptune’s statue, to get back on the bus for the return trip to the Gefjon. While waiting to get to the bus, I was “baptized” by bird droppings while sitting under a tree.

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We had dinner in the ship’s restaurant again, and to bed by 10:00 p.m.

 

 

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 6

20 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

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After we found “the door,”

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we walked some more of the town and found a Jewish area that included a garden and some tombstones. We took pictures of some of them. We had never found this area before in all the times we had visited there.

When we lived in Germany, we were occasionally stopped by Germans on the street and asked for directions – in German! Apparently we looked the part! Made us feel pretty good, not to be ugly Americans. All that to say that, as we walked out on the “Pinocchio” part of Rothenburg, I heard “Entschuldigen…Entschuldigen!” (Excuse me…excuse me!). A German couple wanted directions to a café. They seemed a bit put-off when I said – in German – that I only knew it a little German. After they moved on I turned to Fred and said, “we’ve still got it!” Yea!

Rothenberg is part of the “Romantic Road” through southern Germany…”linking a number of picturesque towns and castles. In medieval times it was a trade route that connected the center of Germany with the south. Today this region is thought by many international travelers to possess “quintessentially German” scenery and culture, in towns and cities such as NördlingenDinkelsbühl  and in castles such as Burg Harburg and the famous Neuschwanstein.” (courtesy Wikipedia)

Again from Wikipedia: In March 1945 in World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes, killing 37 people and destroying 306 houses, 6 public buildings, 9 watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet of the wall. The U.S Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. Battalion commander Frank Burke ordered six soldiers of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division to march into Rothenburg on a three-hour mission and negotiate the surrender of the town. When stopped by a German soldier, Private Lichey who spoke fluent German and served as the group’s translator, held up a white flag and explained, “We are representatives of our division commander. We bring you his offer to spare the city of Rothenburg from shelling and bombing if you agree not to defend it. We have been given three hours to get this message to you. If we haven’t returned to our lines by 1800 hours, the town will be bombed and shelled to the ground.”  The local military commander gave up the town, ignoring the order of Adolf Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops occupied the town on April 17, 1945. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world.

We walked back to the bus and drove back to Würtzburg.

As it had been a rather long day, I decided to go back with the bus to the ship, while Fred toured the Würtzburg Residence. Fred said later that, while it was most interesting, there were a lot of stairs, and I would have been uncomfortable. So, again, it’s a good thing I did not go on that excursion.

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Dinner with the Richard, Judy and Lucy again. 10 o’clock to bed.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Here are some interesting shots of Rothenburg:

 

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 6

13 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

 

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

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Wednesday, we arrived in Wűrzburg, Germany.

We were up early, showered and dressed. At 7:30 a.m. we went to breakfast in the restaurant. Richard, Judy, and Lucy joined us just about the time we had finished our meal. We stayed and talked with them for a while. Judy and I compared piano stories, such as when I was playing for Margaret Nikol (concert violinist; see my post on October 7, 2012) and my sheet music began to fall. I had to stop playing and place both hands on the music to make it stay up. Margaret was on a long note, and just continued to play. When she was ready to move on, I was ready, as well. When I apologized later, she told me that no one noticed. And she was right! Even Fred, who had heard me practice so many times, didn’t notice. Judy said that happened to her, except that the piece of music fell to the floor and she just looked down at it and kept playing!

We had some time before our first excursion, so I transferred the pictures of Miltenberg from our camera to the flash drive I had brought with us. And it’s a good thing I did – we took a LOT more pictures!

At 9:45 a.m. we boarded a tour bus for the 75 minute ride to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

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While on the bus, the guide told us about part of Rothenburg’s history. Rothenburg has always been one of our favorite German cities. It is a medieval walled town, and there is a 1.5 mile walkway at the top of the wall that encircles the town, that is still walkable. According to the info sheet: “The wall connects five medieval gates, complete with guard towers that date from the 13th to 16th centuries.” Fascinating!

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When we arrived in the town center, there was an impromptu brass concert going on, with the players all dressed in German outfits. They were quite good, and we enjoyed their music.

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At 12:00 all of those on the Viking tour that had taken the Rothenburg excursion, met for lunch at the Gasthof Glocke.

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It was a neat old eatery, and they were open just for us.

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Unfortunately, they only had one menu: bratwurst, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I know it was easier for them to only serve one menu for that many people, but we were really looking forward to schnitzel. Fortunately, since Fred doesn’t touch sauerkraut, he was able to get his without the sauerkraut. It was still a good meal. We sat at a table for four, kind of in a booth. We didn’t get the names of our table mates.

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After lunch, we were on our own to explore Rothenburg. We found a shop we had seen on the tour, and purchased a Christmas table runner. We found Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas shop – a favorite place to shop for Christmas ornaments. We purchased three Christmas brass ornaments for Christmas gifts.

We walked around and found “the door” that we had been looking for (please see my post on December 13, 2015 titled “The Door”)

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~~~~~~~~~~Part 6 – To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 5

6 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

After sailing all night, we have moved onto the Main River (pronounced mine). Today was a sailing morning so we slept in. We got up, showered, dressed and went to breakfast. We were joined by Richard, Judy and Lucy, better knowing as Lucy B.

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We went through one lock during breakfast. We had gone through many locks overnight. It is a fascinating procedure to watch…and sometimes a bit nerve-wracking!! The ship is designed so that, when we go under a low bridge, all the chairs on the top deck are flattened, the sunscreen is collapsed, and the “bridge” is banished to its hiding place, so that everything up top is “flat.”

At 10:00 there was a glass blowing demonstration in the Lounge. The glass blower did the traditional demonstration in the Chilhuly style. He makes his products like Pyrex. According to the info sheet: “(he) creates an exquisite work of art from industrial glass in this captivating demonstration.” He displayed his wares, and they were fascinating. He had oil and vinegar bottles that I would have loved to get for myself and our girls, but we had to think about shipment, and so didn’t. He had jewelry – earrings and such. Really beautiful artwork. Below are a few examples of Chilhuly glass works.

(Credit to: By Patche99z – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5328589

After lunch in the restaurant, we began the walking tour of Miltenberg, “The Pearl of the Main River.”

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It is a neat old town. Fred and I thought we had been there before, when we lived in Germany, but we didn’t recognize anything we saw. Here are some good pictures of the town that we took.

 

We had a good guide. (NOTE: all the guides that Viking uses are locals, and they really know their stuff about the towns we visited. We were impressed) There is a red sandstone that is used locally as well as sent all over the world, as it is quite desirable. We walked and walked the town. Quite unique.

We were back on board the ship after a bus ride from the foot of the Red Stone Bridge. The ship had traveled farther up the river, and we caught up with it and re-boarded.

We had dinner in the ship’s restaurant, and our table mates were Velma and Jeff from Australia

and two others, whose names we didn’t get. Velma suggested a way that she designated her pictures: She would take a photo of the daily information sheet that is given to each cabin, with the date visible, and any photos following that photo belonged to that day. I thought it was a good way to keep track of the photos I was taking, and began doing what she suggested. It seemed to work out quite well. I was impressed with her suggestion, and told her so with my thanks.

We were really tired and so to bed early. Our old age is showing!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

The Cruise of a Lifetime~Part 4

28 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

2After the excursion to the Marksburg Castle, we were scheduled for a cruise up the Middle Rhein River (from Koblenz to Mainz), and to see all the castles along the way. Unfortunately, the area had been having a drought for some time, and the river was low.

Let me explain about the ship we were on. It is a “long” ship (443 feet), only two passenger levels, since it must pass through some “locks” along the way.

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A larger, deeper, ocean-sailing ship wouldn’t be able to navigate those locks. Therefore, because the river was so low, we were unable to traverse the Middle Rhein River on the Gefjon. All the passengers (185) – and a few of the crew – were transferred to another ship for the Rhein River cruise. While our luggage and most of the crew stayed with the Gefjon, they were forced to dump of all the fresh water they had on board (over 100,000 gallons). In spite of all that, there were spots along the way where there was only 12″ of water below the ship! I guess it was a good thing we were off! Didn’t want to get grounded!

So, instead of seeing the castles from our ship, we all were transferred to the Konigsbacher – a tourist/sight-seeing boat – for the remainder of the day.

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We played “cat and mouse” with the Gefjon all the way to Bingen – we would be in front for a while, then the Gefjon would be in front. Fun to watch, with the crew waving at us as we passed each other.

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We did see some castles (we counted 31) while we sailed, and Carl West described them to us. However, as it was beginning to get too dark to see any other castles, Carl announced that it would be another 90 minutes before we could board the Gefjon again! Many groans!! I looked at Fred and vehemently said – “where’s my Kindle???!!!” Unfortunately, it was locked up in the safe in our room. It was a rather boring 90 minutes, for sure. Billie (our concierge) and the boat’s crew brought out cake and tea for us – charged to Viking, which was nice.

 

There was a flag flying on the Konigsbacher and I wondered what it represented. When I asked the crew, they said it represents their home town.

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We finally stopped at Bingen, and both the Gefjon and the Konigsbacher were lashed together, so there were only a few steps to get across to get to the Gefjon.

We were finally able to get to supper at 7:30 p.m. Our table mates were Nancy and Jim from Arizona (they formerly lived in Metro West in Orlando), and Rachael and her mother, Carol, from Sacramento, California. Rachael earned her law degree from UNM (the University of New Mexico).

Bed by 10:00 p.m. and we were very tired!

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~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

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