Market Tour

Saturday, 19 August, 2017 – weather: Rained all day

Today we are to do a market tour, one of 4 options, with Budi the Chef. After breakfast, we make our way through the gloomy skies to the bus and a knowledgeable local guide. We learn that the market is quite narrow but is around 2 km long.

Map of the market

At the market entry

Heading into the market

Seafood – note that those Tiger prawns are 75 euro per kilo

More seafood

Great poster for a seafood shop

A Fish Chart

Meat Shop and selfie

Barrels of Sauerkraut

A vinegar and oils shop

Samples

The guys making a purchase in the background with Chef Budi in the foreground

Various flavours of Hummus

Ducks!

Take away shop fare

Gotta have a schnitzel

Health food

and more

Meat shop, one of few

Sauerkraut and Pickles in Barrels

Olives – look at the colours in the right front

Comprehensive visual menu

The market seems to end on a busy street but there is another major shop across that street.

The guys crossing the busy road to the cheese shop

Cheese samples, one of those was among the best cheese I have ever had

The group splits up with Julie going to the flea market behind and Budi and two others return back to the boat. Rain has been threatening all morning and it starts coming down seriously. The market is not covered although most of the shops are but to walk down the aisle way means to get somewhat wet. I do that with Bill and Mary. We are to go to a coffee shop Mary had spotted earlier and we end up inside one which was an improvement over being outside in it.

The guys order Cappuccinos

I order something different – premium red wine and hot chocolate

The thing about the hot chocolate is that it was laced with Rum. I think the waitress must have poured in at least 3 shots of rum, it was quite an amazing burst of flavour and surprise. It knocked me around a bit.

As we sit inside the café, we can see the rain pouring off of the awning on the next shop. It is really coming down. We have to catch the bus so we make a dash for it, sort of.

Waiting in the rain to cross the street

Fortunately, the bus was there early and we were able to get out of the rain – it did not let up all day. We go back to the boat and have a small lunch. Then some of us have a decent nap. In fact, so long that we miss a Vienna Dance Course on board.

There were 4 unique groups on tours today. Including ours, there trips to Bratislava, Schonbrun Palace and the Spanish Riding School show. Everybody got back by the 5:00 cutoff which is when the boat starts its motors to make its last journey of our tour – to Budapest.

We then get a lengthy presentation in the lounge from Werney about the history of the company and his involvement right from the start. Then plans are explained for our departure on Monday. Very detailed and accurate plans but the main theme is that the boat is to turn around on that day and start the next cruise in the opposite way back to Amsterdam. Thus we need to make ourselves scarce in terms of getting out of the room early and suit cases ready very early. I guess it was to be expected, Scenic is a commercial organisation.

Then it is time for the Yummy and Tasty Farewell Gala Dinner.

Duck – one of the best that I have had

Green soup

Risotto

Crayfish and Pasta

A special presentation for one couple’s anniversary of some kind

Then they bring all of the Hotel staff, all 58 of them, in their uniforms to line up around the big buffet area.

Waiting and bar staff

The Front Desk staff and our Butler, Antonio

Our favourites from the waiting staff – note the size difference between Maya and Manin

Catering Manager, Head Chef and his assistants

They all break into a song “leaving on a Jet plane” only its “on a Spaceship” which is the name Scenic gives to its craft

Let me stop right now and say that the staff were absolutely brilliant. Sure they get paid more if they get good ratings from the guests, but they are genuinely friendly and good at service. They had Mr. Patrick picked from Day 1 the wines I liked. It is a pity that the 8 Sailing staff could not participate as they were very important too. The “Little Guy” was a genius.

The cleaning staff

Don Roberto or musician and Front Desk Staff

The Hotel Manager

Some of our favourite people

More

Had to include the youngsters on the trip (there were not many)

Ali insisted upon buying a top shelf wine, here it is

A selfie with the lovely (and short) Maya

There is more yahooing etc. upstairs and I miss-out on the “Asbach Uralt deluxe” but I had had enough. Tomorrow is the last day of the tour.

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Oh, Vienna

Friday, 18 August, 2017 – weather: Turned crappy again

We wake up outside Vienna

Looking back at other cruise boats

At 9:00 there is a Vienna City walk tour. I decide to pass on that. Julie catches the bus into town but does her own tour, we have been to Vienna before.

Salmon of course

and for lunch for Julie

Julie does not return for lunch but I soldier on with Larry and Ruth.

Austrian Boiled Beef – very nice

Julie continues her prance around Vienna. Her plan is to catch the 15:30 shuttle from town.

Looks suspiciously like a Julie 3 course meal

Julie does in fact get back around 4:00 on the town shuttle. This is important as we have an early dinner tonight at 5:00 PM. The reason for the early start as we have a formal event in town tonight. But first dinner.

Salad

Pumpkin soup

Fruit salad

Can’t recall its title but it was quite good

Salmon and salad for guess who?

Vegetarian

Weiner schnitzel for me, not that special

Real fruit salad

Strudel, of course

Cheese

The reason for the early dinner and the dressing up is because of a Private Classical Music Concert at Palais Liechtenstein.

The Palais

Julie entering the Palais

The huge square

Me in my new clothes

Julie and her new Chariot

Entering the main hall

Impressive ceiling

The 10 piece orchestra

The Mistress of Ceremony

The Soprano – I reckon that our La Stupenda is better

The Tenor

Together

The Dancers

Dancing with the audience

The Encore

The last piece they did, to which the dancers performed was, of course, the Blue Danube. I did not realise how much the French Horn was a part of the BD.

An easy bus ride back, it was quite difficult going there with traffic and street closures for some kind of bicycle parade.

After a long day, you would have thought that this would be all. No, there is food in the lounge, I had one small hot dog. Then that is enough for me.

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Barbeque on Board

Thursday, 17 August, 2017 – weather: Sunny and warm, near perfect

We wake up just as the boat is arriving at Melk. After a breakfast, with smoked salmon of course, there is a tour of the Melk Abbey which requires a bus ride. I decide to pass on it while Julie takes of on her own into Melk.

Fruit Sandwich?

Julie returning with me up on the sundeck

Larry and Ruth on the sun deck for the boat BBQ

Not many folks here yet

The BBQ area

The Hotel and Food Manager with Budi the chef

Raw materials for the BBQ

My plate

Lots of folk at the BBQ

There is now a bicycle tour for up to 50 people, they borrowed bikes from other boats. So the troops are lining to go out.

The bikes taking off

The boat was just pulling away from the shore when one of the bikies showed up with a flat tyre. Wernie chased down the trailer carrying the unused bikes and replaced the busted one. All this added another 20 minutes to our trip down the Danube. Some photos from the boat as we travelled.

Leaving Melk

From our Cabin’s balcony

One of the few times we used the balcony or the minibar

We are travelling to Duernstein where we will meet the bikers. Julie prances out as soon as we arrive.

Richard the Lion Heart’s Castle

I already have one of those t-shirts but another one has been purchased

Julie walked all over the mountain and occasionally got lost

War toys in a back yard

Houses built into castle remains

Richard’s Castle Ruins Close up

Looking down at the Danube

More castle ruins

From 5:00 we are scheduled for a Sundowner with local snacks and drinks at “Alter Klosterkeller” in Durnstein Old Town. It is a bit of a walk there but I make it with a couple of others. I meet Julie inside. She has a fair bit of sun on her face.

Wernie pointing the way

We are in the upstairs area

The “Band”

The snacks were quite good

especially the Horseradish

Various dances of varying quality

What else can I say about this experience? The accordion player is a champion yodeler. They did some comic versions of Australian, US, Canadian etc. songs e.g. Waltzing Matilda. And, amazingly, perhaps the worst red wine I have ever experienced.

Then it is back to the boat and dinner time.

Goats cheese dumpling,in the middle, with bloody mary jelly

The Restaurant Riva

Veal with mushroom sauce, quite nice

Sea Bass

Impressive dessert

A pretty full day and only a small amount of dancing tonight.

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The Grey Danube

Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 – weather: Rainy and grey but does improve

When we get up we see that the Danube is quite grey. This is caused by the heavy storms of last night washing clay into the river. As well it is raining, not hard, but raining and grey.

The majority of the group is going to Salzburg today to participate in a Sound of Music show. It is an early start, because of the two hour bus ride there, so the breakfast area is quite crowded. That does not stop Julie from getting her smoked salmon and once the crowd drifts off it is easy to get an omelet. The boat has recently arrived in Passau and Julie prances out for a look around, some photos.

Snags

A & M returning from town

The Red Van is from farmers exxchanging their empty buckets for buckets of leftover food from the kitchen to feed their pigs

Julie returns and it is time for lunch in the Pearl Dining Room. Buffet as usual.

Salad for Julie, of course

Pasta and calimari for me

In the afternoon we are sailing to Linz. We are due to arrive at 5:30 but make it an hour early. So we decide to go into town. I had a slight errand to run and when I got back, Julie was 10 meters in front of me. As we walked it became 15, then 20, then 50 meters and finally she disappeared up a side street – left me in her dust realistically. A few photos from me:

Town tour trains – I had forgotten my wallet otherwise I might have taken the tour

A big stage in the town square

Other cruise boats

Ali waving from his cabin

Our floating chariot

By this time, the weather had turned really good, quite different from the start of the day. Julie arrives back and after the usual summary of tomorrow by Werney, it is dinner time.

Duck Terrine

Tuna with Beef

Soup with a Horses Head

Mixed Seafood for Julie

Fancy dessert

Ice Cream

Fruit for Julie

More compulsory dancing and then sack time.

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The Assumption

Tuesday, 15 August, 2017 – weather: Great until late

Today’s headline is not about a presumption or supposition or any of the other such synonyms from Roget. Instead, it is about the Catholic Holy Day for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. Why does this matter? Because in Catholic parts of Europe, The Assumption, today, is a public holiday and, hence, (almost) all of the shops are closed when people take a tour around Regensburg.

Some time in the morning we left the Canal and entered the mighty Danube. It is certainly wider.

After breakfast, smoked salmon as usual, there is a cooking demo by head chef Budi.

Setting up the cooking demo

Head Chef Budi with “volunteer” Sharon, who did all the work

Serving the potato soup which contains lots of ingredients including chicken, bacon, herbs etc

My soup

Serving the Bread and Butter pudding, the other part of the demo

Today the boat is putting on a Bavarian Lunch.

The Hotel and Restaurant Managers in fine Bavarian Hats. Most of the waiters had their own unique hats

There is a 100% queue around the serving area for people tryin to get some of their Bavarian meal. There was quite some discussion about the merits and rudeness of pushing into the lines, I am quite opposed. I sat on the sidelines for over 40 minutes, waiting for it to thin out a bit. When I finally got there I was not that impressed with what was available.

My Bavarian lunch

I got some roast pork too

There are two choices of tours in the afternoon:
(1) A walking tour of Regensburg where we are berthed.
(2) A visit to Weltenburg Abbey. I had signed up for this but did not go.

Julie went on the first tour but mostly did it on her own. Some photos.

David and Goliath

Why wasn’t that place called David’s?

A.B.C.

Ducks

The Boys enjoying the weather. Apparently a number of them would jump into the river from the bridge

Viewing that last photo, one can see that it is a beautiful day. So I decided to visit the top deck where I had not previously gone.

Selfie on the deck – poor subject

Joe returning from carrousing in town

Impressive Building in the middle of nowhere

Julie returns and it is nearly time for dinner. The sky is getting more and more cloudy and off in the distance we see rain coming down.

Impressive presentation

Caeser Salad

Black Forest Ham with Pickled Vegies

Broth

Old fashioned Cream of Potato soup

Sea bass with white asparagus

No fancy for me. Old fashioned burger and fries

Strawberry ice cream a very popular dessert

Cheese

Impressive dessert

As the meal proceeded the weather deteriorated rapidly. Eventually an impressive lightning show started in the clouds and went on for a couple of hours. Only the occasional bolt went to the ground. There was not a lot of thunder heard, but there was some. Then it started raining heavily. Our burst of great summer weather had come to an abrupt end.

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Nuremberg

Monday, 14 August, 2017 – weather: Great

This morning we are in Nuremberg, a famous German town. I won’t go into the long history, turmoil, trials, etc. For more info:

Wiki info on Nuremberg

It is a beautiful day so that means there are no excuses not to do one of the tours. Those scheduled are:

1) Nuremberg WW2 tour
2) Tastes of Nuremberg
3) Gingerbread Cooking Class

We select the second tour and board the bus into town. Our local guide
is an absolute comedian. For example, when we disembarked from the bus, he pointed out a red area of the path where we should not stand as it is a bike path. The reason it is red, blood from all the tourists knocked over by bikes!

Any way, we arrive in town and seem to drive around in circles around the old wall that houses the old town. Lots of road construction everywhere does not help. We finally reach our landing spot.

Part of the Nuremburg Castle

We are broken up into two groups – those who want to go into the castle and those that want a “gentle walk”. It was an easy choice for me, since Glen Campbell has died all I can think of is “Gentle on my Mind”. Julie goes for the “into the palace” tour, not that there is any evidence of being in the palace in her photos. We have a young guy as the guide of the gentle group. He is very knowledgeable but his microphone does not work on our travel pods so we have to get up close to hear him.

Maps of the Old City are everywhere

Entering the curved tunnel into the old city

In the old town with our tour leader

The Rabbit – I never did hear the relevance of this statue

Tastings from a Gingerbread Shop – I passed

The Gingerbread Shop

Our guide indicated that there is no ginger in those gingerbread.

Nuremberg’s most famous hero

A church in the main square

It used to be Catholic before Martin Luther and the Reformation. Now Protestant

The few remaining original bricks after the Allied bombing during WW2.

Ornate fountain in the Central Square

We go into a Bratwurst restaurant where we are to have Bratwurst and beer. In there, we discover that the other group, including Julie, are already there and have been for a while having worked on their beer and bratwurst. So what did they get up to while we were gentling along? Some of Julie’s photos.

Overlooking the city

In the square in the old town

An ex-wishing well I guess

The poor rabbit from another view

Gingerbread I guess

Beer and bratwurst, long before we arrive

We arrive in the Bratwurst Haus

Others in our group

Bratwurst and beer for me, with Joe’s to my left and Brenda’s across the way

Julie leaves pretty much straightaway leaving one of her Bratwurst snags behind. Brenda’s is divided between Joe and I. We all head outside to the market in the square. Some photos from me.

Our restaurant

Overlooking the market

Nice looking fruit

Cranberries

Joe and Brenda leaving the market – we decided to have a drink while waiting for the bus

Joe waiting for service, which was shocking

Our dark beer

In the same time frame, Julie was wandering around the market and town. Some of her photos:

Ruth and Larry

I have to say that there were not many tastes of Nuremberg. Some gingerbread, a bratwurst, a beer and nothing else. I find my way back to the bus for the 11:30 return to the boat. The prodigal daughter, Julie, returns and finds me there. Our local guide has a few more funnyisms on the way back and then we get on the boat. Although we had a late morning snag, we decide to go to lunch.

Julie’s small salad

I had a nice soup and did not really need any more. However, the beef looked good.

My beef roll with horseradish

Julie’s smoked salmon with horseradish – I had pointed out the horseradish to her located with the beef

Then it is time for a nap after all that gentle walking etc. As a result, we miss the afternoon entertainment which was a tap dancing exhibition. Later in the afternoon we participate in organised tours of the galley.

The galley is quite small for the size of the operation. It is also quite warm.

Head Chef Budi holding forth

Then it is time for dinner, as if we have not had enough to eat today.

We enter the first of the big Locks

There is some yahoo dancing with the usual favourites until rap crap started again, driving me away. Therefore, it was off to bed after a long day.

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Decent Weather for a Change

Sunday, 13 August, 2017 – weather: Really nice

Yes, following on from the end of yesterday, the sky is sunny and it is to be 27c today. What a welcome change after over 7 weeks of dross. It is a sleep in day, not that we are very good at it but it did mean when we went for breakfast there was not a major crush which we had seen on other mornings. After the usual, smoked salmon for Julie, omelet for me, we bumble around for a while until there is a presentation by the cruise director on planning for the next week.

There are tours in the afternoon, so we have lunch as soon as the presentation has finished. Mine was pre-planned yesterday with the Head Chef:

Two duck legs I missed out on last night

A lady who was at Portobello last night also was interested in Duck so she and her husband both had a duck leg. I was able to organise another duck leg for dinner for our friend Joe.

We arrive in Bamberg and there are a couple of tours available. Julie chooses the walking tour, I stay on the boat. Some of Julie’s pictures.

Ducks

Rose garden

Julie returns and after a relaxing drink it is time for dinner. It is a special ala carte menu tonight. For first course I order:

Smoked Salmon starter. Guess where most of that plate ended up?

That is “Restaurant Riva” an upmarket stretch at one table in the back of the room

Horseradish and Mushroom Soup – could have had more horseradish

Pork

Julie’s fish

Cheese as dessert

Earlier to bed tonight.

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