Friday, July 06, 2012

To Passau (07-06-12)

5:15 Awakened by a slight jolt, peeked through the drapes to see we'd bumped into the side of yet another lock. Thought about trying to get back to sleep, decided against it. Got up, checked email, decided to post the Melk blog and photos. I've decided that captioning and posting photos takes a lot of time.

7:15 Got the photos captioned, the blog posted to Facebook and my web pages, then went to post the photos only to find we've apparently entered a zone where internet service is interrupted (they told us this might happen). Breakfast is half-hour late this I think I'll eat before trying to post again.

8:32 Back from breakfast. Joined by Barbara, a vivacious widow from Wilmington, Delaware, who has sort of taken me under her wing. Still no internet, so can't post the Melk photos.

9:00 Passed through yet another lock, but this one different in that it was a lift gate as opposed to an “opening doors” gate. Took some photos of it, and of the captain operating the controls from one of the “Weber Barbecue Grill-looking devices on either side of the ship. We will apparently be encountering some low bridges, since they have lowered all the flagstaffs, radar masts, and covered areas on the sun deck. Cool, foggy earlier, beautiful sunshine and temps now. A relief from our past 90+ weather.

Was talking with Rumen, my very nice (in every meaning) cabin steward. The crew is assigned cruises from the Viking home office in Switzerland for each “season,” which runs from May to December. They also get a couple two-week vacations during that time. At the end of each cruise, it is suggested that passengers leave a “gratuity” of 12 euros per day, which is then divided among the staff and crew. They certainly earn their money, and of course I'll leave Rumen a little extra. (Hey, charm works!)

10:02 Trying to post around 75 photos to Facebook. All was well, until it stopped after 55 had been transferred...out of internet range again. I do hope the photo transfer will pick up where it left off when we get internet back. If not, will have to start the whole thing over again.

10:14 Thought internet was back on; photos partially transferring, then stopping and giving me a note saying “Max number of upload retries exceeded” so I may lose a few or several, depending on how much longer the internet is out.

1:42 Back from a shortened (due to our unexpectedly late arrival) walking tour of Passau, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube, Inns, and Ilz rivers and an organ concert at St. Steven's cathedral. The organ is the largest cathedral organ in the world, with 17,974 pipes in five parts, and all five can be played from the same keyboard by one person. Impressive. Passau's a picturesque little city which claims to be 4,000 years old, despite being given to constant flooding due to the three rivers. We leave here at 3:15 for another docking some distance away, though why we're moving wasn't explained, then leaving for Regensburg at 6:30. Just finished lunch—1/3 bowl of potato soup, a shredded radish salad (about a tablespoon full), a ham-and-fresh-vegetable salad (same amount), an interesting apple and mint lemonade, and a strawberry tapioca parfait.

3:24 Getting ready to leave downtown Passau for our new berthing a short distance away before leaving again at 6:30.

4:05 On our way to our new (until 6:30 docking) and just entered yet another lock, which is different from any of others: not a lift lock, not a two open-close doors, but like a sliding door from one side to the other. That's probably why we moved, so at 6:30 we could just get underway for Regensburg. And it's raining!!! Wonderful (really).

9:15 Just back from dinner...2 hours! I am not a 2-hour dinner person, but when you're with a group of people it's hard to just get up and leave (well, I always excuse myself, but...). So another day draws to a close. I ate with Terry and Pat, from Oklahoma City, and Barbara. Terry doesn't say much, but then he doesn't have to with Pat around. Pat and Barbara, who just met tonight, make a great pair.

Thanks for coming along with me. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Dorien will be posting regular blogs (though at odd hours due to the time difference between Europe and the U.S.) of his trip, and will be posting tons of photos to accompany each blog, on Facebook and Google+. Please come along and share the journey.


Mollie said...

Thanks for my river cruise fix! Are you staying on in Amsterdam for a few days or flying back to the States right away? See any rabbits on the riverbanks? xx

Dorien/Roger said...

I'll be staying in Amsterdam for three days before flying to New York for 4 days, then home. Hard to believe the cruise is almost half over!

Dorien/Roger said...

Oh, and no bunnies...though I'm keeping an eye out for them.

Kage Alan said...

Be thankful you'll be arriving in NYC when it's cooled down. Just returned from 4 days of 96+ degree weather.