May 13, 2017

Regensburg

This is a delightful little town with a huge cathedral.  It is hard to not believe in God when you sit in this cathedral.  The windows are unbelievable .  The photos do not do them justice.

We wandered through the quaint streets with a real mixture of very old and new buildings.  We found some great little shops, cafes, and shoes.  Bought a pair of soft handmade leather shoes that are closer to art than function.  I can’t wait to wear them.

The walking is really tough on Linda.  I convinced her to purchase a walking stick  .  She says she is happy to have a club.  If someone does something she doesn’t like she plans to hit them .  She said her grandmother had a cane and would shake it in the air.  I am glad to see her a little more stable on the cobblestones.

We had coffee and a pastry in the famous coffeehouse Cafe Princess and found wonderful Shoes from Germany and Austria. This is home to St Peters Cathedral, nbegan in 700 ad, then rebuilt due to fire in 1320. It was full of beautiful 14th century stained glass.  This town is known for its cuckoo clocks.

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May 11, 2017

Germany, Franconia,and Bavaria

I thought I was visiting Germany. Come to find out that when in Franconia do not mention Bavaria and visa versa. A pristine example of generations being unable to forget the past. How can we ask God to forgive us when we cannot forgive?   It was sad that a whole country was given away as a gift but it was hundreds of years ago.

The houses, villages, and cobblestone streets are right out of a storybook. So sweet. I want so much to be able to explore a few of the attic rooms. They have the cutest little windows way up in the peak. The cobblestones are very tough to walk. We have been losing the old folks daily to falling. There is currently a shortage of wheelchairs on board. There are lessons here. First if this type of travel interests you find a way and do it before you pay for this expensive tour and are unable to get off the boat. Even being able to walk hills would be nice as many of the fortresses and castles and churches are built up the hill. So many cannot go.

The water is high on the river as it is spring. The bridges are quaint and low. They closed the Sun deck days ago and the wheelhouse retracts into the deck. We clear many of the bridges by inches. There is a bridge ahead that we will not clear. Today we pack up say goodbye to the Aegir and bus off to a different boat on the other side of the low bridge. Our Captain said he would like to blow this one up. The people on the other boat are doing the same. Called boat swap. Other than a bus ride and packing both boats of people just continue on.

We are in Nuremberg. I did not do the tour to the courtrooms where the war trials were held. I just couldn’t find peace with that but I am going to walk the city and see it.  It was mostly destroyed but rebuilt after the war.

May 11, 2017

Being prepared

As a seasoned traveler and lifelong worrier I really thought I was prepared.  I travel with a pill case of just in case medications, raingear, warm gear, shorts and sandals, suntan oil, bug spray, needle and thread. Traveling with Linda is a whole new dimension in being ready. She has all of the above as well as a kit to fix a filling, two bags of beef jerky, sewing kit, ear cleaning and drops kit. It takes being prepared to a new level.

The ship of course, has everything. They stand at the door wish us a good day. Give us an umbrella on Rainey days and cold water bottle everyday.  They meet us back coming on board with a treat or appetizer and a welcome. Such service.

May 11, 2017

Bicycles,Giants, and Gentleman Friends

In Amsterdam the bicycles have the right of way. Always; and every little red sidewalk is filled with wheeled maniacs trying to kill pedestrians. It is hard to look around and stay alive. Linda was scared most of the time, she got really jumpy after almost getting run over multiple times. If you get run over by a bike it is your fault.

I am not sure what they feed the Dutch but they are skinny and tall. Like really tall, like all of them. I never thought of how short I really am until I find the mirror in the bathroom is above my head. I think they are skinny cause they are all running around on them damn bikes.

Linda thought she had a new gentleman friend when this nice guy followed her into the ladies room. She described him as good looking and just a little younger than her.  He spoke a whole bunch of something Dutch and disappeared into one of the little rooms .  She left before he came out.  We discussed over dinner if she had just witnessed a gender challenged guy, a progressive society, or a seduction in progress.  When we left the restaurant we found a sign showing the men’s room out of order.  We think it was a guy with a case of “Tootle Loo”.  She missed her chance.

 

May 8, 2017

Castles and Boats

We ave travelled through the Rhine Valley. It is a picturesque area of lovely old German towns and castles. The call them ABC.  “Another Beautiful Castle”. I have thus far heard beautiful substituted with Bloody, Blasted, Blooming, and a Bountiful. We walked and crawled through one that was totally original. Most have been attacked and are rebuilt versions of twelfth century castles but we actually saw one as it began. The scale is so much smaller than one would think. The privy in this one was in the main room. It was so seldom that there was indoor plumbing that they wanted to show it off for guests. Indoor plumbing means a toilet seat in a closet that opens to the outdoors where waste drops into the gardens below. It’s no wonder they drank the wine rather than the water.

Our boat is quite lovely. The Viking personnel are very trained in the art of customer service. It is immaculate with smiling happy crew, great food and tons of activities.  Good choice for seeing the countryside. Highly recommend this excursion.

May 4, 2017

Viking Aegir

This is a lovely boat 186 passengers, 56 crew.  The ship is beautiful the crew is friendly and cater to every whim.  The wine and cheese cocktail hour was followed by a lovely three course meal. Beautiful and tasty food. The ship has thirty Canadians and they seem a lively bunch. This is going to be fun. Tommorrow the windmills of Kinderdijk.

May 4, 2017

Canals and Red Lights

We took a canal ride on a boat today. The canal houses date from the thirteenth to seventeenth century. They are quite lovely. On the way we had the taxi driver detour through the red light district. Wow it really is just what the books say a room with a window a chair and a price. The area is huge. The women naked. We took a rickshaw     To our hotel. Fun zipping around the streets on a bicycle. Off to the ship this afternoon.

May 4, 2017

Wasteful American

I never thought of myself as particularly wasteful until you get some place like Amsterdam. I am sitting in the bathtub when the auto light turns itself off. This motion sensitive light saves at least a kilowatt a day. I am waving my towel in the dark and doing whatever to get motion so I am not in the dark, to no avail. Really the only option was crawling out of the extra deep extra long tub (which uses way too much hot water).  It is really dark and I am not real sure of the location of the switch.  I knew then that this saving electricity was not so great. The hair dryer has to have the button held to stay on. This of course, is because we leave our hair dryers running in the bathrooms with out us??

May 3, 2017

Bicycles,Giants, and Gentleman Friends

In Amsterdam the bicycles have the right of way. Always; and every little red sidewalk is filled with wheeled maniacs trying to kill pedestrians. It is hard to look around and stay alive. Linda was scared most of the time, she got really jumpy after almost getting run over multiple times. If you get run over by a bike it is your fault.

I am not sure what they feed the Dutch but they are skinny and tall. Like really tall, like all of them. I never thought of how short I really am until I find the mirror in the bathroom is above my head. I think they are skinny cause they are all running around on them damn bikes.

Linda thought she had a new gentleman friend when this nice guy followed her into the ladies room. She described him as good looking and just a little younger than her.  He spoke a whole bunch of something Dutch and disappeared into one of the little rooms .  She left before he came out.  We discussed over dinner if she had just witnessed a gender challenged guy, a progressive society, or a seduction in progress.  When we left the restaurant we found a sign showing the men’s room out of order.  We think it was a guy with a case of “Tootle Loo”.  She missed her chance.

 

May 3, 2017

Tulips and Things

After sleeping in and missing our tour today we decided to go to the Kuekenhof. They plant seven million tulip bulbs in the exquisite gardens. There are restaurants, fountains, statues and flower displays. Very lovely. It is only open a few weeks a year but we were here at the right time. Feeling fortunate for the tulips and pondering the    Dutch people

On the bus trip to the gardens we passed through the small red light district and yes there are naked women in the windows. I only saw one and Linda missed it.  We did however, have some interesting events.

Upon exiting the bus at the end of the garden tour a nice British gentleman bids us a cheery Toodle Loo and hurried exits in front of us. Leaving behind the most horrible stench of gas. We have decided that we will announce the passing of gas as “Toodle Loo” for the rest of our trip

i think these people have taken recycling to a new level. The restrooms have cotton rolls of towels in dispensers. The rolls are sent out and washed. The Kleenex is recycled. No plastic or paper disposables in sight. Thank goodness they have yet to find a way to recycle toilet paper. I think there are bright Dutch boys working on that right now