- Starting our European Cavalcade – leaving England
- European Cavalcade – Amsterdam
- The Rhine Cruise
- Heidelberg in about one hour
- Now for a walk in the Black Forest
- A quick photo opportunity at the Rhine Falls
- Lucerne for a few nights
- Our landmark in Lucerne
- Ascending Mount Stanserhorn
- Loving Lake Lucerne (plus a great little shop in Picton)
- Lichtenstein is not what Frankenstein does with his tongue!
- The Wilten Basilica, Innsbruck, Austria and the Bon Alpina Hotel
- Innsbruck in Austria
- Fair Verona
- Apologies… and into Venice
- The paths through Venice: September 2015
- The courtyard of the Doge’s Palace, Venice
- Inside the Doge’s Palace, Venice #Venice #Costsaver #Trafalgar
- The Museum in the Doge’s Palace, Venice #TrafalgarTours
- Our first day in #Rome
A brief note from me
Before I describe my Rhine Cruise to you all, I will just say something briefly about the appalling events of this weekend: Beirut then Paris. I am not some genius. The ebbs and flows of human misery and joy in their totality are beyond my meagre ability to comprehend let alone offer much insight upon. So I will keep it simple, and this is purely my opinion and I am not seeking to convince anyone of anything. I just want to express my thoughts.
Humans really need to start loving one another. Not loud, passionate love. Just simple care, concern, and compassion. Ignore the superficial differences. Focus upon the similarities. Don’t worry about it on a grand scale, just do what you can for who you can. If enough of us do this then, just then, evil will not flourish. Sure,Â evil will always lurk in the hearts of many, but without inequity and prejudice and fearÂ feeding it then it will have a harder time striding the landscape.
The guide of the Trafalgar Costsaver Tour (European Cavalcade) was a delightful lady who would always awake us at dawn (if not before) to be on our way. Hence we left the Netherlands even as the sun’s raysÂ were creeping into the country.
Now if I have not said this before, and if you have never been to the Netherlands before, let me just say this: the land is flat, really flat,Â as inÂ “by damn this is flat” type of flat.
I guess that I grew up in Sydney where the western horizon always had theÂ low faded turquoise of the Blue Mountains. Here there was nothing like that. Yet over the hours as the coach crept towards the east there was a promise of greater heights, albeit it we were well into Germany when the promise was hinted at and then made real.
All of a sudden we hit the hills and with them the Rhine River. The tour guide rushed us off the coach and onto a Rhine boat. She warned us that the cruise would last a certain time (was it two hours) and that we had to be ready to get off it when it ended or else face the likelihood of being trapped on its next journey. Apparently the docking period was very brief. So above all, DO NOT GO TO THE TOILET NEAR THE END OF THE CRUISE.
Once on we found ourselves in a largish room with a bistro and large windows. The former would satisfy our stomachs while the latter our desires for experiencing our environment.
By the way, in this photo Nicole is holding what looks like a green lolly. Thing is, we discovered that this trip was so crammed full of experiences that our memories simply could not hold everything that we saw and did. I recommend that others doing such travels keep a journal to avoid this. I wish I had because whatever the reason Nicole did this, it was obviously funny.
The Rhine itself was a beautiful river. And we had beautiful weather for it too.
Houses, churches, inns and towns littered the riverside.
And castles, always castles, upon every other hilltop.
The geology of the place also fascinated me. The rocks looked squeezed and crinkled. I took a photo of this (below)Â and told myself to research it once back in Australia. Naturally Wikipedia answered my unasked questions about this:
The region’s rocks were laid down in the Devonian period and are known as Rhenish Facies. This is a fossil-bearing sedimentary rock type consisting mainly of slate. The rocks underwent considerable folding during the Carboniferous period. The gorge was carved out during a much more recent uplift to leave the river contained within steep walls 200 m high, the most famous feature being the Loreley.
Just as the tour guide warned us, the cruise came to a very sudden end. And, just as we had been told not to do, my wife and daughter went to the toilet close to the docking. I freaked as we docked. I thought to myselfÂ “we are not getting off”. Just as I thought all was lost, Nicole and Rhiannon appeared and we rushed for the plank, disembarked and headed back up to the coach. It was very close though. Be warned.
I have to say that this was an excellent part of the Trafalgar Tour and one that I think everyone enjoyed.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading :)