A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14 Friday. Scenic Rhine and Koblenz

overcast 16 °C

We spent the morning sailing the most scenic stretch of our cruise in terms of churches, villages, castles, vineyards et al. And as our Cruise Activity Director says after the first week we will be saying ABC. She did a commentary and we did a military observation. On your right ABC, on your left ABC, and again on your left, now on your right. To your right again, now on your left. And we went to yet another castle this afternoon. But by far it was the best in a different way. It was not a palace, nor had it been reconstructed because of bombings, or belonged to the aristocracy. It was medieval in every sense of the word. The cobblestone steps leading up to the castle were treacherous. As were the uneven steps inside. The stairwells and doorways were narrow so that enemies in armor could not pass. The height of the risers were inconsistent to encourage their enemies to tumble down them should they make it past their fortified doors. The kitchens were as they were half a millennium ago, as were all the other rooms, smith shop and chapel (even what passed for a bathroom). It was a great afternoon and when we returned to the ship we took an hours walk into the city. Back to the ship for the Captain's farewell, and then a 6 or was it 10 course dinner? I lost track. Burp. Wheelbarrow anyone? And in case you were wondering, ACB stands for "Another bloody Castle, Church, Cathedral, Collection (museum). Nite nite 😴

Posted by GBallam 12:28 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 13. Thursday Wertheim

rain 17 °C

We woke up to pouring rain this morning and very low cloud. We headed off on our walking tour armed with rain gear and umbrellas. It was only an hour tour but it rained the whole time. Not complaining though as we have had magnificent weather up to today. As the tour ended and our 2 hours of free time began, the skies let up a bit so we retraced our steps, not an easy task (did I mention there isn't a straight street or consistent city block anywhere in these old cities. I think it was was to confuse the enemies if they got past the fortified city gates. Sure as heck confuses us. We managed to get some nicer photos once I wasn't trying to take pictures with one hand whilst trying to balance the brolley over top of the camera but keeping the strap and leading edge out of my viewfinder! So many challenges taking photos, while dodging people, trying to get a good shot with as few of the crowd in view, watching for people stepping in front of you, while all along trying to keep up with the guides and navigate serious cobblestone streets. But I have persevered without hitting too many people on the head or taking one too many steps backwards and falling over someone or something. We made it to the Glass Shop and got our Jagermeifter but haven't tried it yet. Our guide told us the if you start out your day with one you won't need a doctor but if you have too many you surely will. Gin says it tastes like medicine, but I think Scotch and some brandy does too so we shall see. Our ship is small compared to an ocean cruise ship but is as large as river ships can get and navigate these narrow rivers and locks, brand new and very well appointed. And they are feeding us far too well. I expect to be needing new clothes soon 😊. The crew sang HB to me at dinner tonight. Darn those passports 😊. Then our bed was decorated with balloons and streamers. A really nice touch! We danced after dinner and had fun with Dennis & Gin and newly made friends on the ship. It is bedtime now though. Nite.

Posted by GBallam 23:35 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 12 Wednesday Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Another lovely cooler day

semi-overcast 22 °C

We docked at Markbreit this morning for a few hours. Two bus loads of us left the ship for a tour along the romantic road to Rothenburg. The ship and remaining guests carried on through many locks to Würzburg where they went on a shore excursion in the afternoon. Ron, Gin and I spent an awesome morning in another beautifully well preserved medieval town. We went out for lunch, wandered the quaint little city and enjoyed our guided tour. After lunch we got back on the bus and headed through very pretty countryside, farmlands and vineyards to Würzburg. We toured the Würzburg Residenz which is a palace built between 1720 - 1744. Then back to the ship for dinner and after dinner a demonstration by a famous? 7th generation German glass blower. His father worked with Chihuly years ago. He was very entertaining and funny and told many stories. He has a shop in Wertheim and told us to ask his wife for a Yagermeifter if we bought something in his shop. All in all another great and exhausting day. We cast off for Wertheim and the promise of another nice day tomorrow.

Posted by GBallam 05:51 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Day 11 Tuesday Bamberg

A lovely, cooler day.

sunny 22 °C

We arrived in Bamberg around 11 AM and headed out for a shore excursion after lunch. As soon as we left, the ship also left heading through a series of locks to finally dock at Hassfurt. Bamberg is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage city as it is one of the few cities in Germany not destroyed by WW II bombing. It is the largest Old Town to retain its medieval structures. It really is unique and we enjoyed our afternoon there. We did a city walking tour, took lots of photos, drank a beer called ranchbier, literally meaning smoke beer. An acquired taste I assure you! We saw the last of the Danube Canal today and are now in the Main River. We were bused back to our ship, arriving at 7 pm where we were met with welcome signs from the crew. The day went according to plan and we all heaved a sigh of relief!

Posted by GBallam 05:45 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 10. Roth & Nürnberg

And we lost our ship!

semi-overcast 21 °C

It was an "ex" day; exciting, exhilarating and exhausting. The plan was, we arrive in Roth. We board a bus for some free time in town, then return to the ship. After lunch we board a bus again, go to town, the ship sails through a lock, docks in Nürnberg, we reboard and sail off into the sunset (or something like that). Well, it started out really well. We went into town, did the shops and the market square and soaked in the German city ambiance then came back to the ship for lunch. Then 4 bus loads of us were back off to town for a city tour. The history, ancient and current was so interesting. Our guides have been just awesome and this one was no exception. We then got off the bus and started walking around the grounds of the Nürnberg Castle and on into town. We had an hour and a half free time to soak in more sights on our own. That done we met back at the square at 6:15 which was the prearranged time. 3 bus loads of us waited in anticipation for our tour guide, our bus and dinner. And we waited. Suddenly a very harried looking Viking tour director appeared, took several cell phone calls before announcing that our ship was still in queue for the locks and had not reached Nürnberg and so the buses had been sent away and would not return until 7pm. There was a collective groan before she told us the good news. Beer and sausages at a local gasthaus compliments of Viking. Everybody was happy again! By 7pm we were gathered again to go back to the buses when it was announced that the ship was still upstream of the locks. The ship would not dock in Nürnberg until 9pm! Could you hear the even louder groan? The good news was that the captain gained permission from the harbor master to permit us to board in the lock! So we were bused back near Roth and passed a secure container area, walked along a long sidewalk (we thought our walking for the day was over in town, but no) and we walked and walked before we finally turned a corner and saw our ship. A very narrow and steep temporary gangplank had been rigged so we could all board our ship in the lock. It was very exciting. Apparently permission to permit doing this is rarely granted. We were very grateful as we had been out since 8:30 in the morning and had we had to wait until 9pm we would have been very grumpy! The ship had held up dinner for everyone on board until we arrived, so Dennis, who had not joined us for the afternoon, and the others didn't get their dinner until 8 pm. The crew welcomed us aboard like long lost passengers instead, I thought they were the long lost ship!

Posted by GBallam 01:49 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 20 of 30) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 »