If you’ve been hanging out here at all over the past 32 days, you know I’ve been on a European Vacation (EV) to London and Italy, and now I’m on to the last two weeks – a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, hitting 5 countries (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary) in 14 days, via the Rhine, Main, Main-Danube Canal and the Danube.
The reality is, I’m home now. Because of internet issues, I was unable to post every day while we were gone, so now I’m “catching up.” I may slip in a few “non-travel” posts, here and there, but I’ll continue with the travel saga, as well, and then wrap up with a few observations about traveling abroad, types of travel, and the impact it has had on me. And somewhere along the line, I hope to get back to doing some art, and posting about it.
Thanks for hanging out with me!
So, Day #33 of the big adventure is day #1 of the river cruise. And it begins in Amsterdam. We got here a couple of days early because we knew we wanted to spend more time in Amsterdam than the cruise alone offered, but it still wasn’t enough. We’re going to need to come back.
This morning we took a canal trip with our group. It was a quiet day on the canals so we got to go a little further, through some different routes than normal, and spend a little longer, so that was nice. I don’t think I ever knew there were canals in Amsterdam. Where have I been? The city center is ringed with them, and they face some interesting problems as a result.
Just love the architecture in Amsterdam.
Once we finished the tour, we had about an hour or so to wander on our own before meeting up with the group to head back to the bus. We’re glad, because we hadn’t made it to this part of town when we were on our own.
In Amsterdam, if you want a cup of coffee, you go to a cafe (which we did!) and had a lovely espresso served with a little spice cookie (nice touch!)
If you want weed, which is completely legal, you go to a coffee house.
That just cracked us up.
We had been told you just can’t leave Amsterdam without trying their maple syrup waffles, so of course we’d been on the lookout, but never found them until RIGHT before we left. It’s probably just as well. I could live on them, I think.
I also picked up the waffle cookies. You’ve got to try the things these areas are known for, right?
Turned out I didn’t care for the cookies so much, and Mr. Tattered was glad. He liked them a LOT and didn’t have to share!
So, while we were touring and wandering, the boat left port and headed up-river a ways, and we met them up there.
I thought it was a little odd, but we got to see some of the countryside outside Amsterdam, including a real live windmill, so the oddness was worth it.
The skies here are soooooooo dramatic. I love that.
So, we’re now cruising. We’ll be going through something like 67 locks (I had no idea!) so that should be interesting. I think there are over 80 from the North Sea at Amsterdam to the Black Sea at Istanbul, but we’ll be ending our portion of the cruise in Budapest. I’m kinda wishing we were going all the way to Istanbul. Neither one of us remember why we aren’t. Silly us.
The boat we’re on is really nice. It’s called the Amacerto (pronounced aw-maw-cher-toe.)
It seems to have a lot of amenities, but is waaaaaaaaay smaller than ocean cruise ships. Although there are many fewer people, as well, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interior “get-away” space. Quite intimate. Not sure yet what I think of that yet, but time will tell.
I love this photo of the hallway.
So, tomorrow we go through the Rhine Gorge. We went there the last time we were in Germany just for a little day trip on the river and loved it, so we’re excited to return.
Oh, and you know my white wine saga in Italy? Well, it’s continuing in Germany. Seems I’m a real fan of German Riesling…Good Lord. Just what I need! At meals it’s pretty much a bottomless glass at no charge. I didn’t need to know that. Oh, my poor aching liver!