Rhine Cruise: Breisach

Rhine Cruise: Breisach

We visited Breisach, Germany for Day 1 of our cruise. After getting settled in our veranda stateroom and having dinner, we spent the evening and following morning walking around the city, located right next to where our ship was docked. Here are a few photos with brief commentary.

11063812_966094056745454_1573301792583333471_nThere were lots of swans near the riverbank (we counted over 30). Later we saw one fairly large swan really struggling as it managed to paddle upstream because the current was so strong because of the high water in the river.

10583871_966094036745456_213639558791523439_n This is a view of St. Stephens Church up on a hill overlooking the town, which you can see from almost every direction. We hiked up to visit the church, but it was not open that day so we weren’t able to see inside.

 

11150909_966094016745458_5973204803429883584_nThere were lots of narrow hilly streets and alleys between buildings, especially going up the hill toward the church. Some had cars on them, and others were just for walking.

 

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Here’s a rooftop view of the town from up on the highest hill near St. Stephen’s Church which offers nice panoramic views of distant Black Forest mountains which we visited later in the afternoon.

During the afternoon of Day 1 from Breisach, we went on a tour of the Black Forest. That was more interesting than I thought it would be. There were stories about the location of Hansel and Gretel.

Apparently, stork nests are quite popular in several towns in this area. There is a Stork Camera webcam on the Gottenheim steeple where you can see what’s going on in the nest. You might need to translate the German page).

There was lovely scenery during our ride through the countryside with  interesting houses, pretty fields, and wild flowers. We enjoyed a nice hike on a Black Forest trail along a stream flowing down the mountain as we crossed little bridges and zigzagged up the path.

11391412_966197616735098_5886710213244687340_n  11295847_966197590068434_2734465896836184247_n  11329848_966197633401763_6193486193706183225_n

Here’s a place where they make cuckoo clocks that has dancers appear every hour. The Black Forest Cake was pretty good too. Here are some cakes on display, and we had it for desert on the cruise that evening.

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There was a cute little outdoor cafe restaurant at the main intersection in town after we walked up the hill from where the ship was docked. It looked interesting, but we didn’t eat there since we had lunch and dinner on the ship that day. Also, there was a popular ice cream place across the street that seemed to attract a lot of people since it was such a lovely sunny day in the low 70’s.

Click on the following photo to view the Breisach photo gallery (about 15 photos) at my SmugMug photo web site, which also includes my Black Forest photos.

Rhine Cruise: Breisach

The automatic slideshow displays each photo for 2 seconds with a 1 second fade transition. There are options for full-screen mode in the lower-right corner, and a pause button in the lower-left corner. There are also arrows on the left and right sides to move manually forward and backward through the photos.

Rhine Cruise: Basel

Rhine Cruise: Basel

Recently, we enjoyed the Rhine Getaway with Viking River Cruises.

We arrived in Europe after flying non-stop overnight on British Airways from Austin, Texas to Heathrow Airport in London, England. The flight departed around 6 pm CDT (US Central Daylight Tim) and arrived at 9 am CEST (Central Europe Summer Time) after 9 1/2 hours all night; since London is 6 hours ahead of Austin, it was more like 3:30 am for the body. We didn’t get much sleep, but we had plenty of meals and snacks and enjoyed the in-seat entertainment with movies and music.

After a 6-hour layover in the London airport, we continued our journey with a British Airways connection to Basel, Switzerland, which was only about 1 1/2 hours, and an additional hour ahead in our destination time zone, for our Rhine cruise and extended Germany trip with visits to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Munich, Salzburg (Austria), Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Leipzig, and Berlin.

So we arrived in Basel, Switzerland late afternoon on the day before our cruise began. We celebrated my wife’s birthday with dinner there, and then several days later Mother’s Day in Koblenz, Germany followed by scenic cruising viewing castles on the middle Rhine. It was overcast with occasional showers during that evening and early next morning, but then the rain stopped and we walked around the Basel old town and city center. There were lots of bicycles and public trams with lots of pedestrians walking everywhere. I was surprised since there was quite a bit more there than I expected and it was interesting to see the town.

Originally the cruise was scheduled to start there, but the Rhine was extremely full from heavy rains for several preceding weeks in addition to heavy snow melt from the Alps. So our ship (Kvasir) was not able to reach Basel upstream in time, and even if it managed to get there it might not have been able to leave because of bridge height with the higher water and thus the cruise might not happen.

But Viking arranged to have us board the sister ship (Idi) just like it in Breisach, Germany which was going to be our Day 1 stop anyway. They scheduled and paid for a taxi to pick us up our hotel, bring us to the airport where they took us to Breisach from Basel in a Viking van (about 45 minutes) and we boarded there instead of Basel. Viking handled it well given the unusual river condition and our cruise departed as planned.

It was good that we planned to arrive a day ahead of the planned departure so we could see Basel, and it allowed a buffer for any unexpected situations.

I included a few photos below of the Old City Hall and Münster Cathedral. Click on any of them to see more photos (about 27) in a Basel gallery slideshow at my SmugMug photo web site.

Rhine Cruise: Basel

Rhine Cruise: Basel

The automatic slideshow displays each photo for 2 seconds with a 1 second fade transition. There are options for full-screen mode in the lower-right corner, and a pause button in the lower-left corner. There are also arrows on the left and right sides to move manually forward and backward through the photos.

Rhine Cruise

Rhine Cruise

Recently, we enjoyed the Rhine Getaway with Viking River Cruises. It was an 8-day cruise along the Rhine river in Germany, which includes Basel (Switzerland), Breisach (Black Forest), Strasbourg (France), Heidelberg & Rüdesheim, Middle Rhine (Castles) and Koblenz, Cologne, Kinderdijk and Amsterdam (Netherlands). This travel post kicks off a series about the cruise featuring my photos for each destination.

For another two weeks after the cruise, we extended our trip through Germany where we spent several days each visiting Amsterdam, Munich & Bavaria (Royal Castles), Salzburg (Austria), Romantic Road (Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber), Leipzig (wife’s grandmother birthplace), and Berlin (nephew and family). I will also continue the travel photo posts for our Germany Trip.

I wrote a poem as a limerick with alliteration about our journey for the Poetry 201 workshop in February when we were planning our trip:

Germany is a journey to enjoy that I would choose.
Flying overnight to Europe offers time for a snooze.
Oh, I am so excited …
so much fun …
now that we’re both booked aboard a Viking River Cruise!

It was a wonderful three weeks, with lots of opportunities for photos and travel blog posts. I took almost 4,000 photos, but have filtered that down to about 1,000 so far. Also, I established a photo web site to store, organize, and view my photos. It has taken me longer than expected to get it together, but now I think it’s ready.

Although I will continue working on further refinement, I didn’t want to delay my posts any longer. For example, I probably need to reduce the number of photos in the homepage slideshow, and maybe even the destination highlights too. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome and certainly appreciated.

Also, I thought it might be interesting to provide some additional information from the Viking web site for additional background on our cruise about the itinerary, longship, and experience.

Links

These links provide an overview of our itinerary and ship.

Videos

Here are some brief highlights of the Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel (reverse direction).

“Rhine Getaway” on Viking River Cruises – 45 sec

 

This provides a tour of a Viking Longship and the experience:

“Viking Longship Tour” on Viking River Cruises – 2 min 44 sec

 

This offers brief general highlights of Viking cruises:

“The World of Viking 2015” on Viking River Cruises – 1 min 32 sec

 

Bon Voyage

Over the past few months, I have been absent from my regular WordPress activity. I thought I would offer an explanation so followers didn’t think something was wrong with me. I’m fine, but just got very busy, and something had to give (and this was it).

First we were away for a several days. Then, I was finishing several books as technical development editor, and then I was asked to be technical proofreader for another book that was almost 600 pages. Finally, I was busy planning a trip and making final hotel, train, and other reservations.

Anyway, now I’m starting to catch up on a few posts that I had started but never published. We just returned from a 3-week trip to Germany. 

I took lots of photos on our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam with stops at Breisach, Strasbourg (France), Koblenz, Heidelberg, Cologne, Kinderdijk (Netherlands). Then our trip included visits in Amsterdam, Munich, Salzburg, Rothenburg, Leipzig, and Berlin. I will begin posting those daily over the next several weeks now that I have returned. 

Writing 201: Poetry – Journey

Writing 201: Poetry – Journey

Assignment #2 has a word prompt of Journey to be written in the form of a Limerick using the device of Alliteration. So here is mine:

Germany is a journey to enjoy that I would choose.
Flying overnight to Europe offers time for a snooze.
Oh, I am so excited …
so much fun …
now that we’re both booked aboard a Viking River Cruise!

Video

Here are some brief highlights of the 8-day cruise along the Rhine in Germany, which includes Basel (Switzerland),  Breisach (Black Forest), Strasbourg (France), Koblenz, Heidelberg & Rüdesheim, Cologne, Kinderdijk and Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

“Rhine Getaway” on Viking River Cruises – 45 sec

 

We will also be spending several days each visiting Amsterdam, Munich, Salzburg (Austria), Leipzig (wife’s grandmother birthplace), Berlin (nephew and family), as well as several other places. It will be a wonderful 3 weeks, with lots of opportunities for travel and photo blog posts. I welcome any recommendations and suggestions since we’re still finalizing our itinerary and activities.

I’m new at writing poetry. I decided to give it a try with the Writing 201: Poetry course over the last two weeks of February. Let me know what you think, and comments are appreciated.