A Travellerspoint blog

Rudesheim Germany

sunny 27 °C

A few days break from the blog has done me the world of good but now I find myself sitting in the lounge at Amsterdam Centraal (sic) Railway Station updating the last few days. Today is Mandy's 50th Birthday, I really know how to spoil someone......

Rudesheim was last Sunday on 1 July. It started with us intending to do some laundry (Some passengers thought that we we're off on a picnic. Not likely with what we had in our bag let me tell you. Ripe is an understatement and as Mandy say's "Rain or shine, snow or sleet, we do the laundry" or famous words to that effect.

Off on the picnic with our washing

Off on the picnic with our washing

Found a spot in the nicest park thus far and tried even to hide the washing for a photo opportunity

Found a spot in the nicest park thus far and tried even to hide the washing for a photo opportunity

The one "wasch-en station" was shut. Excellent, I got to have a cup of coffee or two in a fabulous cafe and watch the world go by.

The goddess watching the world go by

The goddess watching the world go by

This coffee shop had the best looking waitresses.

Not often that I get waited on

Not often that I get waited on

Rudesheim is a fairly small town with wine growing and tourism as their main work. It is located at the point just above the Rhine Gorge.

More cobble stone streets and beautiful houses

More cobble stone streets and beautiful houses

Even with it being a Sunday the crowed was very small. The town is on both banks of the Rhine and unfortunately we only had time to go on the moored side. The other looks less touristy and would have been probably more interesting. Anyway with all the uneven stones and walking, its not long before Mandy is starting to look for a WC after the 2 coffees.

Is that pain, concern or relief on her face.....

Is that pain, concern or relief on her face.....

It probably wasn't such a smart move in that I suggested at that point of time for us to get on the cable car which goes to a point overlooking the town. The 15 minute journey did not help Mandy.

Mandy knows what is waiting at the top. A WC.

Mandy knows what is waiting at the top. A WC.

A walk up would have been good but we were limited with time. Mike and Lorretta did the walk and because of the vineyards it was a little like hiking through a maze. Even with a Sunday crowd it was great. The views were astounding.

The cable car was old but better than walking note Mandy was on the look out for a hair dryer

The cable car was old but better than walking note Mandy was on the look out for a hair dryer

Niederwald Monument top looking out over the Rhine

Niederwald Monument top looking out over the Rhine

The Niederwald Monument has a massive 32 ton bronze figure of Germania which was cast in in 1883 (the year nan was born) to celebrate the German Unification.

The photo shows Avalon Panorama in the foreground and the Rhine River to the south.

Spectacular views from the summit

Spectacular views from the summit

The statue Germania has nothing compared to this goddess at height

The statue Germania has nothing compared to this goddess at height

Farewell to Rudesheim and hello to the Rhine Gorge which our tour Director (big Hansie as I call him) says is the highlight of the cruise.

I thought that Rudesheim and its quaint coffee shops and lack of laundry was a highlight for me.......this place grows some serious quantity of grapes. Now I understand why Blue Nun is so plentiful.

Lots of castles

Lots of castles

Quaint Coffee Shops

Quaint Coffee Shops

Posted by mandt0413 02:46 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Avalon Panorama luxury afloat river style

overcast 26 °C

We never thought that a river cruise was something that we would do. Always thought that a cruise on the high seas would be an option but this is certainly worth the money. The vessel holds upwards of 150 passengers and 50 crew so the ratio is very good and this reflects in the standard of service. All the river vessels on the danube have very shallow drafts but are exceptionally long.

long but shallow carriers on the river systems

long but shallow carriers on the river systems

And sometimes there is very little passage space between vessels. More disconcerting is the fact that few rules of passing exist. Bridge navigation between vessels agree via radio who is to pass and what side.......scary.

We could shake hands with the passing crew

We could shake hands with the passing crew

Our vessel is about the same length as most of the passenger specific cruisers.

Avalon Panorama built and commissioned in 2011

Avalon Panorama built and commissioned in 2011

I admit to researching the cruise, vessel and details pretty closely before selecting the tour and cabin. I pick a cabin on the top deck of 3 and on the starboard side. I felt that cruising north, we would berth outboard on most occasions and therefore get better views. Turned out I was right and we've only once been berthed facing the nearest shoreline. Mandy thinks I'm a clever cookie......

It's an old saying that you get what you pay for and in our case it's true. The extra money ensured a larger cabin, better view and more personalised service. The cabin and bathroom are really spacious.

Bathroom has very good amenities

Bathroom has very good amenities

Three full length windows and large bed sitting area

Three full length windows and large bed sitting area

Writing desk and plenty of storage

Writing desk and plenty of storage

Everyday after our nightly turn down service and chocolate we have a work of art left in the room. Very talented.

What they can't do with towels. Gives the Poms a reason not to shower.

What they can't do with towels. Gives the Poms a reason not to shower.

Using more than one towel doesn't test them.

Sometimes there's two

Sometimes there's two

Sometimes a pet dog

Sometimes a pet dog

And sometimes I left with a goddess

And sometimes I left with a goddess

The common areas are anything but and very comfortable. The only downside is that the older travellers... can't seem to be able to work a coffee machine and it's broken more often than its not. How hard is it to read the screen. Bloody button pushers....

Lounge areas

Lounge areas

More lounges

More lounges

Lot's of places for the elderly to rest up.....after breaking the coffee machines.

Lot's of places for the elderly to rest up.....after breaking the coffee machines.

If I can find the guilty pensioner.....you know how they haunt me, we may be able to bring back keel hauling.

The upper deck has plenty of room for the keel hauling party to muster and work the lines

The upper deck has plenty of room for the keel hauling party to muster and work the lines

Well readers, it's 4pm and time for the coffee and cake to be served. The crew make the coffee thank god. Time for me to have a cup and start the investigation. Hell hath no fury like a coffee lover's machine being "tampered"..

Posted by mandt0413 07:25 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Miltenberg-today they celebrate 775 years to mark our visit

sunny 28 °C

They say that timing is everything and our visit today to Miltenberg in Germany coincided with their towns celebration of 775 years. Once in a lifetime opportunity (well once in 775 years anyway). The town is truly one of those Bavarian gems, not large and steeped in history.

We sailed through the night and continued transiting the many locks (32 in all) which make up the Danube/Rhine systems.

Typical Rhine River Lock

Typical Rhine River Lock

32 between Budapest and Amsterdam - 40 minutes each to transit

32 between Budapest and Amsterdam - 40 minutes each to transit

This part of the river systems is without question the most scenic and it is a shame that we;

  • travel it largely at night, and
  • sleep in late because of the night before......the food and wine is just superb and to make it worse they serve up Becks Beer (I've died and gone to heaven)

Fabulous Place

Fabulous Place

Scenery is so different to Oz

Scenery is so different to Oz

Castle on the Hill overlooking the Rhine

Castle on the Hill overlooking the Rhine

Mind you there is not much room for navigation on the river between passing vessels and I can tell you the distance on passing is making an old sailors heart skip a beat on more than one occasion. Not used to such close proximity to passing vessels and it makes me nervous that they have no formal rule of the sea in terms of passing e.g. port to port. Here it's a matter of communicating ones agreement as they approach......strange way to do business, it's so close I could read the title of the book that the Captain was reading in the bridge......what the, it was Harry Potter.

No room for error, give me the open sea anytime

No room for error, give me the open sea anytime

Arrived into Miltenberg at about 11am which gave us a much needed sleep in and rest. So tired.

The town spans both sides of the Rhine with the old on one side and new on the other. New construction on the old side cannot be undertaken and only refurbishments in the period structure can be performed to maintain the ambience of the town. Tourism is their biggest industry and they go to pains to outline that no souvenir shops are allowed to operate.

Miltenbergs only bridge

Miltenbergs only bridge

Old houses

Old houses

And even older visitors

And even older visitors

Well not every tourist anyway.

Well not every tourist anyway.

Great Paint designs - each house has inscriptions

Great Paint designs - each house has inscriptions

The houses are that old that each has the old method employed to identify who resided there. For example the date it was built and the design of the owners occupation. Real old.

Glad I didn't live here

Glad I didn't live here

And then the grand parade began and was that a spectacle with all the locals in the region attending in period costume. The parade went down the two main roads to bands, displays and animals. The crowd loved it and were really getting involved. The problem was we couldn't understand a word that was being said. Mandy is the designated linguist for the trip and she failed miserably....

The local RFS.......

The local RFS.......

Mandy wanted me to wear one of these outfits

Mandy wanted me to wear one of these outfits

P6300084

P6300084

Enough parades, couldn't understand a thing. Off to the castle we went, high above the township.

the castle has some great views, we love to climb up to them.

the castle has some great views, we love to climb up to them.

Looking out from the castle across the Rhine and Miltenberg

Looking out from the castle across the Rhine and Miltenberg

And that's where we went.

Love the climb

Love the climb

And so ended our day in Miltenberg. We had a cooling frozen yoghurt and ice-cream soda (pointed to the picture and hoped), so miss a decent latte, and then back to the boat for the baking demonstration "Vanille kipferl". As if I'm likely to go to that session. I'd rather watch the grass grow on the bank alongside.

Posted by mandt0413 08:19 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Wuerzburg Day 9 of the cruise

sunny 26 °C

The journey through Germany has been spectacular but what is so amazing, is that every town that we've visited is a " Something BURG". Regensburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wuerzburg and tomorrow Miltenberg. The only thing that changes literally is whether it's spelt erg or urg.....the towns have the same components e.g. next to the Danube or Rhine, has a town square, cobbled streets and love their football. Mind you it is a bit obvious given Germany has made it to the semi finals of the Euro Cup.

In summation, Wuerzburg had some great shopping and was really very active.

We arrived early after an overnight sail from Bamberg and decided to walk our way around the town and check out the sights for ourselves.

The Rhine and down town Wuerzburg

The Rhine and down town Wuerzburg

The locals love going to the beach??? Imported sand and all

The locals love going to the beach??? Imported sand and all

Walked for ages and got to see how the really live, accommodation styles, parks and general life. They have a thing for orchids and smoking. The rules on smoking are clearly more lenient than Oz with cigarettes sold from street side vending machines. Everyone seems to be smoking.

Every street has a few of these attached to the side of buildings

Every street has a few of these attached to the side of buildings

The streets wind around and it's very hard given the number of alternative routes to keep a gauge on were you are in relation to the vessel. The "where the F are we tribe" is big over here.......

Where the hell are we...might have been better to take the tour.

Where the hell are we...might have been better to take the tour.

And then Mandy had enough of my leadership (as if) and she took charge. We found our way back to the towns main attraction the Prince - Bishops residence and all was again at peace in the world. Downtown Wuerzburg anyway.

Mandy come back don't leave me here...... I'll never find my way back.

Mandy come back don't leave me here...... I'll never find my way back.

The main industry in the local area is wine making, beer making and tourism. All link together....

Graping growing right up to the walls of a fortress

Graping growing right up to the walls of a fortress

Avalon Panorama in the foreground of Wuerzburg

Avalon Panorama in the foreground of Wuerzburg

Tonight is a late sail and overnight journey through the Rhine to another berg tomorrow. After dinner tonight we have music again with Ivan......can hardly wait.

Posted by mandt0413 03:37 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

If they would only paint this vessel "ship side grey"

sunny 23 °C

Every time that we sail from a port the crew play the music from Hunt for Red October. Great music and I would be truly inspired to rejoin the Navy if only the vessel was grey, had some armaments and no yank tourists onboard. Mandy still can't get the same feeling, maybe its the lack of salt air in her face, the following seas and albatross droppings on the deck. If they start piping me onboard each time I walk up the gangway, I'm a gonner and Reginald Arthur Newman (RAN) time will definitely be back on the drawing board; that's if they'll still have me.

We visited Nuremberg yesterday and Bamberg this morning. Germany is a great place, clearly lots happening and our visit is coinciding with the European Cup which Germany is still a chance. they play in the semi finals shortly and there are flags, large screen displays and parties everywhere. Shame we can't speak German (Mandy's part of ship and we still can't get a decent cup of coffee or poached eggs) Peckish we need you and can't wait to get home for some decent coffee and eggs.

Arrived in Nuremberg early and had an excursion to the sites where Germany's Nazi Party used to hold their rallies pre WW2. Hitler had grandiose ideals of the 1000 yr Reich which included building the structures to hold their rallies.
Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg

Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg

The site of Hitlers speeches to the Nazi's

The site of Hitlers speeches to the Nazi's

In reality this was only used once every year and to make Hitler look good. The allies bombed the crap out of Nuremberg during WW2 as a consequence and now it's interesting just how much the German people treat that period of time. It is clear that such a repeat will be avoided and lessons learnt are being passed onto the youth. Too much knowledge given to us about this place to even begin writing here. Suffice to say that it's a very interesting place and people. They are less friendly here than in most other German cities as they are very serious and conscious of the past and means to make amends for future generations.

The Nationalmuseum was also really interesting, it provided a good insight and history of the Nazi party's rise to power, war years and following. Some great displays about the Nuremberg trials after the war and some of the "behind the scenes" information about why things were done the way they were. The court used at that time is still being used as the local Bavarian facility even though the crime rate is extraordinarily low.

Site of the Nuremberg trials

Site of the Nuremberg trials

I was that interested in this tour, that the guide came looking for me after I missed the meeting time on the bus. Good wife of mine made it though.

Talking about the good wife. The nights entertainment was the german fellow that I spoke about in the previous entry who joined the cruise for a show. He immediately searched out the youngest female onboard and when my back was turned moved in to cut my grass. He doesn't speak a word of english and gets by with the show and tourists by clicking his tongue. The women loved it.

It's not grass he needs to cut.......

It's not grass he needs to cut.......

That does it, Bamberg is the next stop and I'm going to buy myself some German shorts and start growing a moustache. In the meantime I showed Mandy how good I could dance and use spoons as clackers.......

Hope she's watching

Hope she's watching

Our group got setup and it probably had something to do with the wine that we'd had at dinner. We've met up with similar types to ourselves and as the youngest we seem to be able to piss all the oldies off. Small place Mike works for Water Corp in WA.

Couples 1 x VIC, 1 x WA & 1 x NSW

Couples 1 x VIC, 1 x WA & 1 x NSW

Bamberg was one of the prettiest towns that we've visited. Only 2 raids were experienced during WW2 and therefore the town remained virtually untouched. The architecture is nearly 1,000 years old and exactly what one would expect European towns to look like.

First days growth for the big moustache

First days growth for the big moustache

Bamberg

Bamberg

The doors here are small but check out the workmanship of the building

The doors here are small but check out the workmanship of the building

And then guess what we found. Pam and Jeff at last we found your European Outlet of Peckish.

whilst they have no loyalty card, check out the size of the latte

whilst they have no loyalty card, check out the size of the latte

We have a suggestion to make on our return.......we can't wait to taste the cakes in Amsterdam everyone has been telling us how good they are. Hope they go with the coffee.

Posted by mandt0413 09:22 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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