North America, Europe · 26 Days · 74 Moments · July 2017

Perri's adventure on the Viking River Cruise

2 August 2017

My final note on this trip. I left the hotel on Amsterdam at 6:30 am to go to the airport. Halfway through getting baggage and passport stuff done I realized I didn't have my phone. Oh my ..... I felt naked. I did have my iPod so I wasn't totally out of contact with the world. I thought I had left it on the bed at the hotel and Carole would find it and bring it home cause she flew later than I did. At least I hoped that was the case. Finally got to Phoenix after a layover in Minneapolis and FaceTime ,Carole who was just about to get on her second flight and found that she DID have my phone. I just got to her house and she just pulled up from getting her dog, Foxy and I got my phone. I am whole again. This was a wonderful trip that I will always remember!! And we met some great friends from Australia And all over the states. πŸš’πŸ˜„πŸ·

31 July 2017

We then took a ride through the canals of Amsterdam and saw the beautiful houses and the houseboats. Finally stopped to have lunch at a quaint little restaurant. I don't know if you can tell... but we had lunch of first a Caesar salad then mashed potatoes and a giant meatball. Dessert was a piece is apple cake with coffee. Then our guide started out on a walk that I hadnt known about. I walked for the first part to the flower market but then I got a cab home

30 July 2017

Some photos of our room and the scene out the window.
No problem getting into the Anne Frank house. Quite a bit different from when I saw it years and years ago with Michael. The tour of the house is really well done with many steps but I did it with no problem. It was quite crowded even in the book store after. You can't help but feel depressed when you realize how the Franks and others hid here for two years and then were taken to their death at the concentration camps...all except the father who survived. The photos show the line outside to get in. I got our tickets two months ago online but if you didn't already have a ticket you could wait in line until 3:30 and then you could get in. As you can see there were hundreds of people in line....some who had been inane for many hours. We came back to our hotel (the Okura) and are now resting.
Lunch. Look at this hamburger. It's vertically the size of West Virginia!! And delicious!!we ate at the hotel. The weather here is hysterical. One minute it rains and the next it is sunny. We are going to the Anne Frank house at 2:15. I didn't print out the tickets so I'm hoping they will have my reservation and let us in. It's a way from here and we will have to take a taxi.
We are now at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam. Our room isn't ready yet so we had an iced coffee on the terrace and the second picture is of the lights in the lobby. It is a five star hotel and is really nice. We are going to the anne frank house this afternoon and wander around the streets.
OOOPS. Not gteyere cheese.....Gouda

29 July 2017

Dinner last night was surf and turf with a wonderful chocolate dessert.
Visiting the cheese farm. It stopped raining and the visit was super. They make great Gruyere cheese and we saw how they do the whole process. There was s wonderful Rottweiler farm dog who was so friendly and lots of cows.
Yesterday....windmill country. Beautiful but it was raining which was hard for me.

28 July 2017

This is the huge cathedral in Cologne. It is one of the largest in Europe.
The crew is restocking They have been loading from a huge truck all morning. I caught them unloading some of the good stuff.
View of Cologne from the breakfast table this morning. Carole and I slept through the tour that left at 9:15 this morning but we are going to go into Cologne this afternoon.

27 July 2017

Tonite for dinner we had typical German food. The part I liked the best was the bratwurst and the beet salad. And lots of beer, although I drank scotch and for dinner, Diet Coke. We also had some guest accordion player and a kind of music box, organ grinder. Also lots of the staff wore typical leiderhosen (sp?). Carole had a terrible cold and feels miserable and so far I'm doing ok. I'm taking the antibiotics that dr. Ronan gave me.
This is the Mosburg castle that is the tour this afternoon. I am not doing it because there are about 100 steep steps. It is the most challenging tour of the trip and I am going to sit in the boat and knit.
We had a mass suicide of flying bugs on our veranda. We held a short ceremony for them.
Here are some bad pictures of some of the old castles. I'm taking them from inside the boat because it is gray and chilly up on top. So my pictures have reflections from inside. I'll try yo get better pictures but no promises.
This morning we are on the Rhine river. Here is s wonderful camping site! We have seen them often on the sides of the rivers. We are coming to castle country do I'm getting ready to take pictures of castles

26 July 2017

Here are a few photos of wertheim taken thru the windows as it is rainy outside. I am probably one of a select few who feel good and not hacking. There are probably lots who haven't gotten sick but the ones coughing are the loudest. After lunch we came back to the room to have a nap.
Woke up this morning to a windy snd gray day. Carole feels horrid and is staying in bed. I think half the group are hacking and feeling rotten. It just spreads like wildfire. I am feeling pretty good but I'm not going on the excursion. It's only a couple hours and is mostly for shopping, which I don't want to do.

25 July 2017

We had a man who was a glass blower come and do s demonstration. He and his family have been blowing glass for scientific instruments for almost 70 years. Much different glass blowing than I am used too but he also is s great fan of Dale Chahuly and does have s furnace and makes larger objects. We will see their shop tomorrow when we go into town.
When you feel like you may be getting a cold, you do what my ex did.... you drink scotch
We went on a tour of the residence. Actually the first picture is of some fortress on the hill from the ship that I thought was where we were going. But no. The second picture shows the bishops residence. It is raining which always make it unpleasant especially on cobblestones. We could not take pictures inside. It reminded me a bit of Versailles but much smaller and not quite as elegant Only 400 rooms. Versailles has over 1000 I think. Incredible tapestries and murals on the ceilings. There was one room aptly called the mirror room with over 600 painted mirrors in it. Much of the castle was hit during the war but most of the furnishings and decorations that could be moved were saved and after the war much was redone. The residence is used today for everything from tourist tours to offices and even some apartments that can be rented.
We both slept til almost 10 this morning. I feel so much better. Today we go to Wurtzburg's Bishops residence which is one of Germany's largest and most ornate palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But first I have to get some coffee and in a little while lunch.

24 July 2017

Today I really took it easy. I had been coughing a lot and feeling punk so Carole went on the tour and I stayed on the boat and mostly slept. I feel much better tonight so I did listen to my body which was good.
This is the Aquavit lounge which has its own buffet and tables inside and outside. It also has comfy couches and chair to use to watch the world go by. Carole and I eat most our meals up here. The dining room is great but noisy and often the food up here is great.
We are outside the city of Bamberg. We are sitting still waiting for the lines at the lock to get smaller. It's drizzling and gray. After lunch there is a walking tour but to tell the truth I'm not feeling that great and the thought of all those cobblestone streets doesn't appeal to me. So I am going to miss Bamberg and stay on the ship. I'll take dome pictures when we get closer to the city.
Phooey. I've caught a cold. First one in yearsβ˜ΉοΈπŸ˜’πŸ€§

23 July 2017

This is in the lounge..we have a piano player who played about 5 instruments and a singer who also plays the piano. And here is Carole enjoying her wine and the music.
Now we are having cocktails before dinner. I am hooked on Moscow Mules. Notice the level of vodka before the ginger beer even gets in.
It was really impossible to get pictures from the bus... we were sitting on the wrong side. But we passed the wall that had been originally around the city and there are miles of it left. We also saw the building where the trials took place and the place the prisoners were kept. We ended up in a square where there was a mini craft show going on. It had some shops open and we wandered around and drank iced coffee. Back to the ship at 5:00.
Driving into Nuremberg you see the differences between old and new buildings.
On the way to Nuremberg we went through a lock that took us down to river level. Very interesting. After lunch we are in busses heading to the city.

22 July 2017

At the end we sat down and ate our sausages along with a great sweet mustard (I bought some) pretzels and a large glass of wheat beer. I loved them!!! And the beer was great too. There were only 6 of us from the ship who went to this experience and the rest missed out big time. It was fun and as we were eating our guide talked slit about Bavarian history which was quite interesting. We took a cab back to the ship. The streets and sidewalks are cobblestone and tough to walk on. I figure I did the long walk there and that was enough.
Here we are adding ingredients to the huge grinding and mixing machine. Then the mixture was put into a machine where we attached the casings and filled them. Then finally we had to twist them into sausages.
Here is the recipe and the steps taken to make the sausage.
Ah....regensberg. I did not go on the morning walking tour but this afternoon walked to a restaurant where we had our sausage making class. The building was built in the 1600's and as you can see they had prepared tables for us and a cold glass of wheat beer was waiting. Also waiting were the ingredients that we had to weigh and prepare. Veal, pork, pork fat, ice, onions, lemon rind, parsley, salt, baking soda, and many spices.

21 July 2017

We then got on our small boat (on the Inn river) and took s 30 minute cruise eating pretzels and drinking beer. Our guide was a wonderful woman who actually lives in schvarding. All of the guides we have had are very knowledgeable and fun to be with. After the boat ride we had to get off and walk over a bridge to get back in our bus. Back to cocktails and dinner. I'm really getting hooked on Moscow mules!!!
Then we drove through the countryside to a wonderful little town called Scharding. On the way we passed a horse driven carriage with two women who had just gotten married. We stopped and spent some time in the city square. I had a coffee and relaxed. All the streets and sidewalks are cobblestone and very difficult to walk on.
These are pictures of the organ pipes. One I took and one from the entrance ticket
We are now in St Stevens cathedral where we are going to listen to an organ concert. The organ has 17,974 pipes and 233 stops. It is the worlds largest organ. It was built in 1928. All five parts of the organ can be played from the main console. I took the easy walk but I'm very happy to say that I'm doing the walks with little trouble. Building muscles in my shoulders.
We took the "easy" route to walk. The large round white building stored salt, which in roman times was used for money.
We left out ship and walked along the Inn river.
Oops I put in pictures from dinner the other night. Just ignore

20 July 2017

Yesterday we sailed thru the beautiful Washau valley. I skipped the morning tour to the Abby in Melk because I was just too pooped. I'm feeling better today. It rained last night and is cool and cloudy today. We have a morning walking tour and an afternoon boat ride. More later.
We were awakened this morning by an announcement that we were entering the wachau valley with its villages, terraced grape vineyards, and very old churches. So up we jumped and found coffee. It's a beautiful day and even with all the wine last night feel good

19 July 2017

Off to our dinner. I've got pictures of the salad and the main course (ham,chicken and Pork with sauerkraut and fried veggies and some potato loaf). What I font have pictures of are the hor d'oerves which were three types of spreads and wonderful crusty bread and the dessert which was three types of pastry dumplings, plus, chocolate and apricot. The hor d'oerves and desserts were the best. As you can see by the plethora of glasses we had6 or 7 different wines to try. There was an accordion player and a fiddle player and they played songs we could all sing to...and as the wine flowed more freely...people wee dancing to. Carole and I are way too full of good and especially wine and are off to bed. After three excursions today I am really feeling pretty good. I used the walker on the first two and it really helps my back!!
Now we are back on the sip and getting ready to go out for a Heurigen dinner which toasts this years wine at a local vineyard.
Then back to the ship for lunch and then our trip to see the Lipizzaner stallions. Except the stallions are on summer vacation so we got to see the mares and foals. We couldn't touch them (boo hoo). The babies are black when born and turn white as they mature. We saw the ring where they do their show but alas no show.
We also went to another famous coffee house before the horses and with the coffee we had a rich cake which we had packaged up and brought back to the ship.
Morning tour. The Ferris wheel is the oldest in Europe. It takes 18-20 minutes to go around once. Picture of a famous church ( I forget the name) and lastly s picture of a coffee at the famous central Coffee House. We saw lots of beautiful buildings that once were homes to one family. The Austrians actually moved the Danube river so there is a smaller "river" and then the large Danube. And the amazing thing is that it was done by hand. Vienna is also the home of Klimt (the artist ) and I had to get a mug with his art in it.
We have a really full day today. First this morning we have a tour of Vienna by bus and some walking. Back for lunch and then behind the scenes with the lipiaazzan stallions. The we are going to a heurigen dinner where we toast this years wine.
Breakfast this morning. I am posting my food for my granddaughter Jenny!!

18 July 2017

Every day we get a little paper that tells us what's up for tomorrow. Inside are facts about the city or today they had facts about Mozart, a page about the Hapsburg rule and a whole page telling you about coffee houses and how to order coffee.
We are docked in Vienna. This is the view from my veranda...modern Vienna
We had a demonstration of how to make strudel this afternoon. A couple volunteers helped roll out the dough and make the filling. Then we got a taste of the strudel. (I think mine is better).
Today is a lazy day sailing to Vienna. They have many talks planned from composers of Austria to how to make strudel. I just really would like to sleep but I have to find out if the chef makes strudel as good as I was taught. Quite a few guests are going to a concert tonight but Carole and I voted not to. Because they have to travel to the venue dinner is early (5;30 instead of 7:00). But of course they don't want anyone to go to bed hungry do the have planned a late night snack for 10:30. I'm taking this day as a mini down day as tomorrow will really be busy
Look what I found at the breakfast buffet.....passion fruit. YUM
We went to breakfast and found we were going through a lock. So here are picture of when the water started to rise and when we were almost at the top. This is the first of 157 locks we will go through on this trip.

17 July 2017

Carole on our veranda watching us cruise into the sunset.
The menu for dinner tonight
We are sailing and this is the parliament building in Budapest. There are 187 guests on the boat. We dock in Vienna tomorrow night The weather forecast for the next day is 87. ( very hot).
Cocktails and appetizer in the bar. We were introduced to the cabin and heads of departments.
Cocktails before dinner. The green nuts are wasabi and the orange ones taste like ham. We set sail tonite while we are having dinner
This is our ship... the Viking Magni.
Some of the sights we saw today on our bus tour thru Budapest. We did do some walking and I'm doing better today than I did yesterday but my legs hurt like hell!! But I'm getting stronger every day. It's amazing to see some of these buildings that were originally built in the 14th century and have been rebuilt because if the war bombings. One of the pictures is of the synagogue that is one of the largest in Europe and seats 3000 people.
We were on a scenic tour of Budapest this morning and here are a few pics. The sun is shining and this is a beautiful city. I knew very little about Hungary and the guide was very smart and taught me lots. They are part of the European Union but do not use the euro. They have their own currency and no other country speaks Hungarian. The church pictured is the Matthias church and is on the Buda side it was founded in the 13th century and has been rebuilt in 1886.. if you want more info on Budapest I got a great little book. Back to ship for lunch and s rest.
Ooops. The photos before were from s church. Here is a photo of the synagogue
So tired that walking from the ship to the bus tired me out.
Our stateroom and the view from our veranda. Nice breakfast and now for a tour of Budapest .

16 July 2017

What a day ... actually two days. At the airport in Phoenix the guy from delta I talked to one the phone Wednesday did fix the problem that I had two reservations to LA BUT he cancelled both of them. And... the wonderful folks who give approval for my oxygen concentrator didn't let a delta know. It got fixed by a very helpful woman. Flew to LA and then on KLM for a 9 1/2hour trip to Amsterdam. That is the largest airport ever. Luckily for me I got a woman to ride me to my next plan in a golf cart. I swear it was 5 miles. Take off for Budapest get served lunch ( love first class) and about 50 minutes into the flight we had to turn around and go back to Amsterdam because of a technical problem. Then we were put on another plane. Finally got to Budapest and out ship 3 hours late. Found Carole in the bar ..had a few drinks and listened to the crew explain stuff. Only about 150 people on the ship and it's great. Dinner at 7..,garlic soup, Hungarian goulash Tatted and lots of wine. 🍷

14 July 2017

Here is a map of the trip along with a list of where we are every day. I leave tomorrow morning and now am try to pack and not forget something.

7 July 2017

I'm getting ready for this cruise that I'm taking with my friend, Carole Chalinski. I have one week until I leave and still have lots to do. I'm lucky that I don't have to be on chemo for the trip and I think I'm a little nervous about my stamina level. I might miss my naps. πŸ˜€I fly from Phoenix to LA and then to Budapest. I leave here on Saturday and get there on Sunday. I'm writing just to set up my journi trip and hope you will follow along. I'll try to include lots of pictures and tell you what we are doing every day. So see you next week!!