A Travellerspoint blog

Nurnburg 28th June 2010

Bavaria Germany's heart of darkness?

sunny 31 °C

Today we visited Nuremberg without any enthusiasm. The fact that this was the site of the Nuremberg race acts and the site of the massive Nazi Rallies from 1933-1938 did not engender much feeling for the people of Bavaria. We wandered around the old town in the 30 degree heat and tried to builb up some enthusiasm for the restored centre but could not so returned to Scenic Ruby to find one of our sister ships dcoked next to us. Tomorrow its offf to Regensberg and during the evening we will sail over a viaduct which passes over the highway. we also travel up a 25metre lock on the Main-Danube Canal.

Posted by acudoc 06:47 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Bamburg 27th June 2010

The fairytale continues with a hint of Grimm.

sunny 30 °C

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Today I joined the tour to Bamburg on my own as Celina decided to take a day off from the sometimes frantic moving on and from the ship. Today is our last day on the Main River which has wound its narrow and twisted way across Germany. In the morning we piled onto the buses as the old city - largely untouched by the War - is some distance away. It is a Sunday and the place is strangely quiet for a german city with almost all shops closed. We walked as a group to the Old City past the Messerschmidt hotel and up the Langenstrasse to the Rathaus which is situated on an artificial islandCIMG2875

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in the middle of the river which threads its way through the town. The architicture of the city dates back from 700 to 500 years in the Old City and there are parts of the city which remind people of Venice.Old City of Bamburg

Old City of Bamburg

The Rathaus (TownHall) is covered with Sgrafiito at least 4-500 years old which looks new.CIMG2870

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We wound our way over the cobbled streets to the Prince Archbishops Residenz and then to to a 500 year old brewery for a drink of the local dark beer. It was 30 in the sun today and we were all glad to be back on the ship to begin our way down the Main- Danube canal finished in 1993 which will take us by its 13 massive locks up over 200 ft and back down to the Danube.

Posted by acudoc 06:43 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (1)

Rothenburg 26th June 2010

A place from a fairytale - Not so Grimm

sunny 27 °C

Yseterday we had a bright sunny few hours of magic and humour. Our guide proved to have an instinct for comedy and kept us amused for hours with tales of her personal life giving the lie to the one about German's and the lack of a Humour gene. Celina keeps pinching herself and through gritted teeth admits she is enjoying herself. How could you not when you float for days on end through picturesque countryside which is immaculately clean - followed by birdlife of every description. The rive smells somewhat now that our noses are unblocked but the beauty of these medieval gems helps to offset the odour.

Rothenburg largely survived the bombing of WW2 and it is now considered one of the most authentic of these medieval villages and towns. It is is still surrounded by its 13th Century City walls and full of pastel coloured quaint houses full of colourful planter boxes with bright geraniums like we have never seen in Australia. Delightful old churches with their steeple gables and gargoyles abound. The Market was open as were the numerous cakeshops with their cannonball shaped snowballs and the shops selling sausage and christmas decorations. The beer here is wunderbar and there is plenty of it. Many brands and styles here in Bavaria and Franconia.

We arrived back at the ship for drinks with our friends and then off to a very good dinner with lots of chat. We find the people of our group very pleasant. Currently there is a competition to see how many pairs of earrings and tops Celina has brought with her. One of our ladies swears Celina's suitcase is the equivalent of the Magic Pudding. Today we visit another medieval town in Bamburg then it Nuremburg and Regensburg.DSC00751

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Posted by acudoc 03:24 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Rudesheim am Rhine

Magical Musical Toys and a chairlift ride over the Rhine Valley

sunny 25 °C

Yesterday was the warmest day so far with blue skies and fluffy clouds. We started off the day sailing down the Rhine Valley where in one short 50km stretch we were surrounded by vineyards and towering castles and delightful villages. Watching this roll by as we travel slowly down the Rhine has a dreamlike quality. The castles sit perched up on hilly prominences and craggy hills and vary in their state of repair. Everywhere in Germany flags are flying to support the Country's football team. In the afternoon we stopped at the small town of Rudesheim and were delighted by our tour of a wonderful musical museum with musical curiosities dating back to 1770 or so. Fairground Hurdie Gurdies and organs along with doll automatons in a 11-12th Century house have all been collected and lovingly restored by one man. I wish I could upload some of the video - particularly of the grand piano which through a paper roll reproduces some of the greatest pianist's performances exactly in som arcane manner. Then a ride to the late 19th Century Neiderwald MonumentNeiderwald Monument

Neiderwald Monument

built by Kaiser Wilhem to celibrate the unification of Geramany. A fabulous view over the Rhine Valley Rhine Valley

Rhine Valley

after a delightful cable car ascent. Back to the ship Scenic Ruby

Scenic Ruby

for the slowest part of our journey through dozens of locks up and down over the narrow Main river. Gently rocked to sleep at night.

Posted by acudoc 01:43 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (2)

Saint Emillon to Cologne

France Nederlands and Rhine Cruise

sunny 22 °C

Sitting on Scenic Ruby at the dock in Cologne. Just back on board and ready to continue our journey. Two days ago we travelled by bus from Paris to Amsterdam - a trip lasting over 9 hours and involving lots of sleep.Every time we woke up we were in another country. The highlight of this otherwise boring day was a trip to the unexpectedly delightful city square of Brussels with its wonderful buildings with gilt and statutes belonging to the old medieval guilds. We travelled through France from Paris into Belgium and finally to the Nederlands and to our boat in Amsterdam. Having had only 4 hours sleep after the 11pm show at the Moulin Rouge after our farewell dinner did not help our state of wakefulness.
The Moulin show was fabulous with lots of nubile and fantastic dancers wearing incredible costumes and fantastic sight acts including a wonderful ventriloquist, acrobats and a world class juggler. When we arrived in Amsterdam we were offloaded with our groaning luggage and boabrded the 138 metre long Scenic Ruby and unpacked in our small but comfortable cabin. We were exhausted following two weeks of frantic activity but exhilarated to be able to unpack and settle into ship board life. Shortly after we returned from our trip to the windmills of Zaanse Schanze in the morning we started sailing on a tributary of the Rhine through the night. Watching the country side slide past us with the boat being higher than a lot of the surrounding fields is quite an experience.
This morning we tied up in Cologne Germany with its wonderful cathedral and its 10,000 plus square feet of stained glass windows. CIMG2787

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Church Art in Cologne

Church Art in Cologne

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Not much else to see apart from Roman Ruins and we decided to leave these. 95% of city centre was bombed by the allies and the Cathedral only survived because of its use to the Bombardiers. Sailed afternoon down the Rhine when I was called late at night by the husband of one our ladies who suffered a Medical emergency and had to be taken from the boat at Midnight.

Posted by acudoc 09:37 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (2)

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