Monday, November 23, 2015

AmaWaterways River Boat Cruise

I've missed so many days that I can only post a few highlights of the past 7 days. We boarded in Basel, Switzerland and it has been a very interesting time of sightseeing and history lessons. Just wish I could remember all that I've been taught! Now it is Sunday at just before noon as we approach Amsterdam. This is the first time we have seen people fishing from the shore. We are now on a tributary of the Rhine as I recall.

We began our river cruise on a man made channel and traveled on this somewhat narrow portion until we moved onto the Rhine River. We have had to go through 13 (I think!) canals as we travel to Amsterdam. I have seen many castles and cathedrals! The Christmas markets are being assembled and we are sad to have to miss most of them because they won't open until tomorrow

The Christmas decorations likewise have been in various stages of installation. We have had fall decorations on board and when we went up for breakfast this morning it was all decorated for Christmas. The weather has been very nice through the our adventure but it began raining 4 days ago but only for 2 days. The past 2 days have been VERY cold!

After going through Switzerland, we observed France on one side and Germany on the other side of the river. I was surprised at how narrow the Rhine River is. Cars seem to be able to travel quite freely over bridges from France to Germany and vice versa. We did have armed patrols as our tour busses crossed into France but it seemed lax compared to USA border crossings.

I have drunk beer and some has been tolerable. Since this is a wine tour, I have had champagne when we boarded, mimosas for breakfast a few times, and wine with lunch and dinner most of the time. I've eaten French food and German food, neither of which are my favorite. Two nights ago we ate in the "special" dining room and I had lamb which was good. I have gone on a gondola ride up to the top of a Vineyard but since it was raining I skipped the rest of the talk and went right back down.

We ate at a German restaurant in Cologne last night but Sharon and I left after a few bites and wandered through the streets back to the tiny market by our boat and bought a glu wine for €2.50 which is just a hot mulled spicy red wine. While in Rudeshime we were served a Rudeshime coffee which is wonderful. They drop 3 sugar cubes in the bottom of the "cup" and add some brandy and then burn off the alcohol. Then they add hot coffee, and add whipped cream on top it off with shavings of chocolate. Oh my, was that good!

The Cathedral at Cologne was stunning. It has 3 pipe organs. We learned that Eu de cologne was first created in Cologne was called Farina, but it was quickly copied and called 1411, but it does not ell nearly as wonderful as the original.

The Mouse Tower
Streets of  Cologne, Germany
Inside Cathedral at Cologne, where there are 3 organs.
Huge Cathedral of Cologne

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