Trip Start Jun 26, 2011
Trip End Jul 30, 2011

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Flag of Germany  ,
Monday, July 25, 2011

More of Switzerland and its quaint little villages, farms, and chalets before crossing into Germany to use its Autobahn on the journey northwards to the shores of the Rhine. Today's highlight is the included Rhine cruise past the legendary Lorelei rock, hilltop castles, terraced vineyards, and half-timbered villages. Overnight in the Rhineland. (B,D)

Hotel: Ramada Bruehl Bei Koeln Roemerstrasse 1 Bruel Bei Koeln D-50321 Germany

Tel: 492 232 2040

Lucerne to Rhineland Germany

What we did:

Up at 6:15 to be gone at 7:35. The AC didn’t work so well but enough sleep was had and the huge "shower room" was wonderful. The dining room on the 7th floor has a greenhouse ceiling with views looking down on Lucerne and is quite nice. The staff served coffee so you didn’t have to line up and waste time pushing buttons on another incomprehensible foreign coffee machine. The front desk staff are pleasant, efficient, and helpful, taking only a few minutes when I paid my bar/phone bill during checkout. We passed from Switzerland to Germany, and like usual it’s so seamless you wouldn’t know it unless Chiara mentioned it. Our morning rest stop was our first German one and the efficiency is impressive with coin operated automatic turnstiles that make change as they allow access to the bathrooms for 70 cents. You can then use your issued bathroom break receipt chits against store purchases so it’s effectively free. Everywhere else I’ve been there’s someone to take the money or monitor a machine that takes it. We stopped briefly across the river from the Loreley rock, drank some pilsner before returning to the Rhine cruise location which we did from 4-5. Superb experience under perfect weather and it’s now #2 behind the Island of Capri for the trip. We went directly to our hotel arriving at 6:40 with supper just a scant 20 minutes later at 7:00. The included buffet supper was quite good, but there’s no hotel AC. Kay at the front desk was quite nice and helpful explaining about the free wired internet, where’s the ATM machine etc. ATM is just 200 meters down the road by the grocery store, the free wired internet works, but is slow and there’s just one wire, so you have to take turns.                      
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