TOUR 5271 /0820

Trip Start Aug 06, 2007
Trip End Oct 07, 2007

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Flag of Switzerland  , Lucerne,
Friday, September 14, 2007

Hi all
We had a 6.15am wake up call and a great breakfast. Jackie as usual was a little slow moving - being an afternoon person etc. Todays travel was from Lake Lucerne to Cologne, Germany. A distance of some 500kms.

When we left the weather was fine and before long we were on the Autobahn. After 1.5 hours we had a 30 minute break at a very clean road house. Since coming into Austria the road houses have been extra clean. During the travel the countryside was lovely with many small village. Jackie fell asleep fairly early in the trip.

As we reached the German border, a heavy mist / fog came down and made traveling very boring for some time. Fortunately i had recharged my Ipod and had some great Sousa marching songs to listen to.

We had lunch at another roadside cafe and then the fog lifted brightening our day greatly. Even Jackie woke up.  We continued along the autobahn at about 100kms which was our maximum speed. Cars were able to travel at 130 although many were traveling at faster speeds than that.     

As we traveled north, I could not get over the the number of trucks traveling south. Yes Jackie is asleep.  At the German border there was a huge queue of trucks and cars lined up for many kilometers and i am sure this would not have occurred on the North Shore in past years.

The land was flat for hours of travel and a varied array of crops were grown. Still we saw no workers in the fields and wondered how all the work was done.

We crossed the Rhine River into Germany and continued to see grapes grown in the most unlikely places on hillsides and cliffs. the risks in undertaking this work must have been extreme. Another thing that impressed us was the number of tunnels we passed through and the length of them. I also liked the designs of the houses and their rooves in the area.

At 3.30pm we again came to the Rhine River and i can only guess that it winds back and forth across the countryside. Here we went onto a boat cruise along the Rhine for 1.5 hours. No it wasn't a slow boat - it was a fast river and just one of many tourist boats plying for hire here.

It was very picturesque and we passed many villages, vine yards, churches and castles. We of course were taking this all in with a pint or two of German beer or fruit juice which Jackie had. Yes - she was awake and loving the trip. We passed the legendary Lolelei Rock and many terraces vine yards. The weather was great and the river smooth and we all enjoyed ourselves, abeit noisily as many were Australians. The NZ' s all behaved perfectly. We then continued our  coach tour to Cologne and reached our hotel about 6.45pm.  Yes it was later than usual but this sometimes happens.

Our hotel is called the Holiday Inn (sound familiar) but this was near the Cologne Airport. Double glazing throughout - king size bed, bath and plenty of room. It was fantastic.

We had a lovely late dinner and retired to bed about 9.30pm after a lovely soapy bath.

Another hard day at the office i would say.
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