Hot Day/Cool Day

Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2012

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Aboard Ship

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weather has changed a bit. It was hotter than blazes yesterday...35 degrees...Celcius that is...Almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We're learning this conversion from all our Aussie friends.

We slept in a bit yesterday and didn't eat much breakfast. They have a late, lite breakfast for those who sleep in...juice and a roll. We had a lecture from an historian on the European Union. I found it boring, but Sandy like it. Probably his best point was that Europe has only had two extended periods of peach in the last 1000 years and they were 1815-1915 and 1945 to the present. Having England, France, Spain and Germany as economic partners means they probably won't go to war against each other anytime soon. All I care about is why debt problems in Greece and Spain are hurting the stock market and our 401K.

We sat and talked with friends on the boat just watching the locks go by...I think we're about 40 down and 25 to go.
Then it was time for lunch. A great one as usual.

After lunch we pulled into the port of Bamberg, and unloaded to busses for a walking tour of the city. Once again the transmitters and receivers of our guide didn't work, so several of us made our way to another guide...once again the Green group...the "gentle walkers." But the guide was very good. Bamberg is German's Beer Capital, not unlike Milwaukee at home. They have nine breweries in the city of 70,000 people. They brew a special kind of beer which might be an acquired taste, called "Rauchbier." Translated it means "smoke beer." It's very dark, but not harsh in flavor. It has a true smokey flavor with maybe a hint of ham. They get this by roasting the malt over beech wood. As I recall, Budweiser back home claims to be "beechwood aged." Excellent beer. Our guide said if you don't like the taste at first, keep drinking!!! LOL! Good advice. Had a pint with some Aussie friends and then toured around on our own and found the shopping area. We're finding Hummels here, but not as many as we did 38 years ago. Prices appear to be about the same as in the US. We have yet to invest.

Back to the ship and had to shower before dinner as the heat was unbearable in the city and I'm not sure anyone would have sat with us if we hadn't! Great dinner and then what Dragan (Cruise Director) called a "rock and roll band" would be playing at 9:00 pm. The rock and roll band consisted of an organ player, a clarinet and drummer and their music was much more swing than rock and roll. Of course the combined ages of the three members of the bad was 246!!! Yep, average age...82! Lots of people dancing. There's a couple on board who are teriffic dancers, but they are not very friendly...oh well! Sandy and I even danced one.

To bed as we sailed on and up early for breakfast and disembarkation at the city of Nuremberg. Much cooler today (18 C - 66F) and a good chance of rain. Nuremberg has lots of history, but not all of it pleasant. We had a bus tour of the city. They showed us the mideivel city with castles and structures dating back to 1050. Then they showed us what I wanted to see, the place where the Nuremberg trials were held after WWII. Good movie...Judgement at Nuremberg...Spencer Tracey. Anyway, it's where they had the Nazi war trials of people like Herman Goering and Albert Speer. Pretty sobering place. They also showed us where the famous Nazi Nuremberg rallies were held. You probably remember seeing them...torchlight parades with all the Nazis in the form of a swastika holding torches. Hitler wanted to make the place his signature building achievement. And his chief architect, Albert Speer designed it. It truly was a gigantic building modeled after the Coliseum in Rome. Then they let us off to shop, but it was raining, so we headed back to the ship.

Sandy read for a while and now she's "resting her eyes!"

We're departing for Regensberg and the Main-Danube Canal...last of our three European rivers as I write. More either tonight, or tomorrow. As we get under weigh each time, they play a great song. I think it's called sailing, but it's not a light tune. It's more of a "we are under weigh and heading out to conquer the world" song. And it has stopped raining!

The trouble we had in Amsterdam seems like a distant memory...not a good one, but a memory nontheless. We're enjoying everything there is to enjoy about this trip.

All the best to you back home!

Dave & Sandy
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