Catch Up

Still floating on the Rhine and taking some wonderful excursions. Yesterday was Heidelberg and Mainz

The Gutenberg Press

Today, Wednesday, we go through the Rhine Gorge with castles along the shore of the river.

So many castles along this stretch of the Rhine. Weather is much cooler – high of about 62. We sat on the upper deck for a couple of hours just enjoying the beauty. This is really the only beautiful part of the river as the rest is quite industrialized (but it is still great to see). This stretch is protected as a Unesco World Heritage site. So thankful it is!

Tonight we stop in Koblenz

All Aboard

We boarded the Avalon Vista in Basel Switzerland and on it we will be for the next 7 days. Beautiful boat and great services (except for the slow wifi).

The Vista is the dark ship next to shore. In many ports the ships tie up next to each other to allow passengers get to shore.

Sunday morning we woke up in Breisach, Germany, on the opposite shore is France. We chose to take a tour to Colmar in France- also known as the Venice of France. Lots of interesting history of this L’Alsace region of France.

We toured Old Town Colmar, great architecture and beautiful flowers. This is also the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi- the man behind the Statue of Liberty. There are markings in the cobblestone roads commemorating him.

Another lovely day. Sunny skies and in the 80’s!

Carl and Lin headed off to a local castle this afternoon. The steep hills are a bit too much for me. I am very happy to hang back and enjoy the views and watch people!

Colmar…

We had to wait to cross the street because of a marathon/road race through town.

On a Mountain Top

Once upon a time 3 ‘mericans woke up in Zurich Switzerland, refound the train station and boarded a train to Lucerne. These same ‘mericans then found the boat station (actually right across the street from the train station) and boarded a boat to take them to Vitznau where we would then take a cograil train to Mt. Rigi, “Queen of the Mountains” 

This foray was not without incident…..on the ship to Vitznau, we felt lucky to find three seats on the stern of he upper deck . After enjoying the weather and views for over half the trip our tickets were checked only to be politely ejected from the 1st class seating down to our ticket 2nd class ticketed area aka steerage! Oops.

The train ride to Lucerne took about an hour and then another hour on the boat followed by about 30-45 minutes on the cog rail road to finally reach the top. It was well worth the travel as the views were spectacular and the skies clear and bright. Temperatures were probably in the 70’s….an all round beautiful day.

On the cog rail train

Mt. Rigi https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigi

On the way down from Mt. Rigi we got off the cog rail at the cable car station and took the cable car down to Weggis where we caught another boat to take us back to Lucerne. I would like to note the cattle car…I mean cable car, packed people on it like sardines…I had it in my head that it would make for great photo ops however we were crammed in so tightly there was no room to raise a camera.

We had about a 10 minute walk downhill to the port of Weggis to board the boat back to Lucerne.

We ended out day in Zurich at the local Coop- a grocery store chain where we grabbed items for dinner in the room. Huge pretzels, cheese and popcorn were the order of the day.

We did find a cheese very similar to one Carl enjoyed as a kid however this was was not as blue. It is a hard cheese that his family would grate over butter bread. It is a very pungent cheese and not one that I particularly enjoy.

Oh, I almost forgot this pic….Lin outside her Paradise.

Tomorrow we head for Basel

FYI…. cardboard tube to the rescue!

Come Fly with Me

….and so it began

First flight from Grand Rapids to Atlanta was a tight squeeze. No leg room, thankfully it was only a couple hour flight.

We boarded our flight to Zürich and found just a couple of inches more room. Not the most comfortable ride. We left Atlanta at 5:30 pm and arrived in Zürich at 8:30 am.

I was surprised by the services provided on Delta, a constant supply of drinks, water, soda, juices and “free” alcoholic drinks , beer and wine. Choice of 3 entrees for dinner and a box breakfast just before landing. Sadly none of us slept, but we made it to Europe!

We found the train station and figured out how to buy tickets and then a little more challenging…..find the correct train to get us to the main train station in Zurich.

We found our hotel and dropped off our baggage….(all ready know I packed too much even though we are doing carryon only. Lesson learned! ) and then set out to explore old town while waiting for our room.

Lots of cobblestone roads- beautiful but hard to roll luggage over.

Everywhere we look is wonderful architecture and we are hearing church bells often.

I wanted to try some true Swiss cuisine for lunch so we found the Raclette Factory (rated #1 on Yelp)

Check out Raclette

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raclette

We each chose a different menu item so the 3 of us could get a taste of the different cheese dishes.

Very rich but delicious.

At this point in the day we were all exhausted so we found our hotel, checked in and naps were taken. We had originally booked a triple room…we were pleasantly surprised when we were given a double and a single instead……until the phone rings and we had to change rooms….now in the triple. A bonus in the hotel is cold bottled water and ice cream in the lobby, breakfast in the morning, and free in room bar with a limited amount of water, coke and beer. Also, if we refuse housekeeping tomorrow we get a free bottle of wine!

Lin and Carl took off to head back to the train station to buy tickets to Lucerne for tomorrow’s adventure while I stayed back to rest my legs.

FYI……My pool noodle invention is now in the garbage…..back to the drawing board. But so far I have managed without too much trouble.