Great Couple of Days

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

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Flag of Austria  , Upper Austria,
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's see, where did I leave off? Oh yea, we were heading toward Regensburg on the Maine - Danube Canal. And a canal it is. The locks are as high as 24 meters...some-78 feet. We went through several, and a guy came on board to tell us how the locks worked. Very interesting.

Bed and up, ate a late breakfast before disembarking at the little German town of Regesnburg. Beautful city. As with most German cities there was a Roman history (about 300 AD) and a mideivel history (800 - 1500 AD). Most cities were bombed by the Allies in WWII, but Regesnburg was spared because it had no significant military value.

We loaded a bus for a short drive and another short boat trip through the Rhine gorge (beautiful) and a monestary with a fantastic cathederal run by the Benedictine monks. After the tour, we got some free pretzels and beer still made and brewed by the monks.

Back to Regensburg and a great tour around the city. Then Sandy and I got serious about shopping....well, Sandy did anyway. We bought some surprises for my brother and sisters back home. After that, back to the ship and after a "Bavarian Beer Tasting Experience," we had a a teriffic dinner on board. Then we started under weigh and they played that song from 1492 again...great song. They had some guy doing "slap dancing" in the lounge, but we decided to take a pass. Sandy worked out and I, well, I was tired, so I checked e-mail and headed to bed.

Up early on July 3. We were on an excursion to Salzburg. Got the busses about 8:15 and by 10:00 we were in Salzburg. Lovely Austrian city. We were there 38 years ago, but truly neither of us remember a thing about the city. On the way, we saw some great historical sites. First, we drove by the town of Braunau, birthplace of Adolph Hitler. The people in the town don't like to talk about it. Then we drove by the little town of Oberndorf where, in a little church one of the most revered Christmas songs ever was written and played for the first itme, Silent Night. Almost got a picture of it as we whizzed by in our bus.

Shortly thereafter, we got to Salzburg. Salz meaning salt and burg meaning town. The Celts knew of the salt mines before Christ. Then the Romans came about 300 AD and conquered the territory and received great wealth. When they left Salzburg became a principality and was pretty independent, except when Napolean invaded when they did the smart thing....surrendered immediately. Salt is where Salzburg gathered its wealth. Salt was used to preserve food in the days before refrigeration. It was as valuable as gold.

Lots of the movie "The Sound of Music" was filmed in Salzburg. We saw several of the movie sites. We also saw where Mozart was born. We left Salzburg after investing heavily in the local economy, purchasing two Hummel figurines. We headed for a little town in the Lake District called Mondsee but as we got ready to enter the cathederal where the actual Von Trapp's got married, we noticed a large contingincy of people attending a funeral. Sort of dampened the spirit. But the church was beautiful inside once we eventually got in.

Bus ride back to the ship and dinner....a fiddler for late night entertainment...he was OK, but we left early.

Hard to believe the cruise will be over Sunday and we'll be back home on Wednesday. It's been awesome! All the best!

Dave & Sandy
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