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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Off the Boat at Last

Saturday, 12 August, 2017 – weather: Grey and Rainy, but improves

We have signed up to go to a castle tour and wine tasting today in Wrzburg. The weather is again dismal and it is tempting not to go, but I do it any way. So after brekkie I hop onto the bus. Julie walks into town.

Arriving at the Bishop’s Residence

I hope you noticed the weather conditions by the state of the umbrellas with the group. We are not allowed to carry water bottles, hand bags, umbrellas etc. which we put into a large locker before starting the tour. Additionally, we are not allowed to take any photos so there aren’t any. To summarise it is a huge place with the usual excess in terms of fittings, tapestries, etc.

When that tour is over and obligatory stop in the souvenir shop, we go to another part of the “residence” and down into a wine cellar for a wine tasting.

In the wine cellar

They set that room up for a wine tasting, but not for us

The secret passage to another part of the wine cellar

About to enter the tasting room

In the tasting room

Pouring the first wine a muller thurgau – not my favourite

Our tasting list

The Second Wine – a Sylvaner, again not for me

The third wine was a Riesling and was advertised as semi-dry which I was assuming to mean sweet.

The Riesling was actually quite good, I actually liked it, not bad for a white

One point about the bottle shape is that it is “reserved” for use in this area of Germany, only, except Mateusz Rose.

I return to the boat on the bus and relaxed. In the mean time, Julie is prancing into town. Some of her photos.

from David and Kate

Ducks

Julie returns and it is time for lunch.

Good soup

Meat and sauce

We had an electric violin concert. The guy was quite good but when I asked him about “The Devil Goes to Georgia” he had never heard of it

It is a quiet afternoon after that. Slowly the weather improves a little bit but you would hardly call it great. Any way, by special invitation we are dining in Portabello tonight. It is an Italian restaurant in the river café area.

We start with a bubbly (Prosecco, of course)

Our menu, part 1

Menu, Part 2

Our Hosts

Some of the guests

Other guests including Julie

Chianti for the red, OK

Pinot Grigio is the white

Antipasto “platter”

Marinated prawn and arincini – my favourite part of the meal

Rocket soup for Julie, quite good but very sweet

A little pepper for Julie

Large ravioli – filling was good

Fish

Beef in Barolo sauce. I managed to get a half glass of Barolo, my favourite Italian wine

Dessert

Cheese for Dessert

All in all, Italian is not my favourite cuisine and this meal largely represented what I don’t like about it. Plus I had to dress up Plus they were serving Duck, one of our favourites, in the main dining room although we are able to do something about that.

There is music in the lounge and some raucous dancing, I go to bed when they start playing rap crap.

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Still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain

Friday, 11 August, 2017 – weather: Grey and Rainy

For those of you that wanted more details about the special Rudisheimer coffee of yesterday:

Recipe for world famous Rudisheimer coffee

We get up and face another ugly looking day weatherwise. It is just grey but alternates between grey and rainy all day. There is a scheduled Oktoberfest on today but my enthusiasm is getting watered down, again pun intended.

After breakfast, we hang around in the lounge. After 11:00 we have a Zither concert by Tomy-the-Great.

Tomy-the-Great

Tomy played a number of Zither favourites culminating in the Third Man Theme

As we proceed down the Main, I take a number of photos, here are some.

A very low bridge

The backside of that bridge

Arrived at Miltenberg

Miltenberg is the jump off point for all of those going to the Oktoberfest. It has been described to us as beer, bratwurst and entertainment. Julie does not like sausages and does not drink beer, often anyway. I can’t drink beer because it cases me pain. Plus it is raining. So it was an easy decision to stay on the boat. However, there is time for a short prance for Julie. Some photos.

After everyone leaves, lunch was put on in the River Café. We had some quite satisfying fish and chips. I take some photos about our progress up the river including a sequence on the Lock action.

Sailing into the Lock with our little Hero on duty

A difficult lassoo from 10+ feet and he did it first try with ease

Our hero returning with the water pouring into lock

We moved to dinner below

Cucumber cocktail

Rissotto

Broth

Mushroom Cappuccino

Vegetarian

Lamb main

Cheese

Dessert

Relatively early to bed tonight/

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The Rhine Gorge

Thursday, 10 August, 2017 – weather: Rained all day

We are to enter the Rhine Gorge at around 6:00 AM so we are encouraged to get up then to view the entry. I wasn’t going to do that but since I am awake I put on some clothes and go out. Well, it is pouring rain and it is hard to see anything, so I go back to bed.

After I get up we have a good breakfast, similar to yesterday, and go out to see the sites, especially the world famous Lorelie.

Its out there somewhere – the rain makes it very hard to see

Refer to this link for the Lorelei

As we travel along the Rhine Gorge, there are lots of old castles and towns. So here are a few photos of some of them.

We dock at Rudesheim. There is to be a tour around various parts which starts with a small train ride into town to the Music Museum. I was going to go but all the rain dampened my spirits, pun intended, I decide to stay on the boat, maybe I will never leave it. But Julie goes on the train. There is a long queue to get into the museum so she prances around town. Following are her pictures.

From the cable car

From the cable car

A special way of making coffee

The special coffee – the following are the steps

The finished product

All those ducks

It continues to rain all day. Eventually the troops start arriving, walking back from town rather than waiting for the return train. Julie eventually is one of those. Around dinner time we turn off of the Rhine onto the Main River. From here we pass through a number of locks, of various sizes, I think there was the mention of 68 or something like that. We pass by the towns of Mainz on Main and then Frankfurt

Dinner tonight is downstairs but there is an ala carte menu.

Turkey fajitas starter

Pumpkin soup

Leek Broth

Julie’s Salmon, again overcooked

Larry’s (double) serve of sauerbraten

A regular serve of sauerbraten

Cheese for dessert

Lots of folk, including Julie, danced to disco

The dj played such outstanding songs as YMCA, Macho Man, Nutbush City Limits, etc. I stayed up fairly late until he started playing rap, rap, eat my cr*p. It was time to go.

Somebody stopped by with an Irish Coffee.

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Lazy day on the Rhine

Wednesday, 9 August, 2017 – weather: grey, again

Lazy for me any way. For some reason we are up early and have to wait for breakfast. It was worth the wait.

Smoked Salmon for Julie

Freshly made Bacon, mushroom and cheese omelet for me

We are parked near Cologne (Koln). There is a walking tour of Cologne which Julie goes on but I stay back on the boat. Some of her photos.

In the mean time, a girl comes around and informs us that there is another event on board that had not been mentioned. It is a lesson in taste and aromas.

Our “Lecturer”

Our tasting experience opportunities

The colours are test tubes that have hidden odours in them. we were supposed to guess – I could not identify any of them

Our ship proceeds up the Rhine to our next pick up place. The buses from the Cologne tours are there waiting for us.

The troops awaiting the Pearl arrival

Scenic Pearl arriving to pick up all the bus people

Julie boarding

Then it was pretty much straight to lunch downstairs,

My plate of veal casserole etc.

Julie has the usual slug of salad

The plan for this afternoon / evening is to go to Marksburg Castle for tour, food and entertainment. I decide that I do not want to go on a 90 minute bus trip so stay back as does Julie for the same reason. All in all around 25 passengers stay behind and enjoy the cruise down the river.

The Remaining Troops

They invite us in for dinner at Portobello which is the converted River Cafe

One good point about this is that the meal is ala carte rather than the frequent smorgasbord.

Some of the rest of the troops

Salad starter for Julie

Beef and asparagus starter

Potato croquette starter

Broth good, dumplings not so much

Salmon and salad for Julie as a main

Vegie Main Course

Steak main course – just OK

Fruit dessert

Cheese

The main body of troops gets back around 11:15 and Don Roberto starts playing music. I stay up too late until after midnight.

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