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Old 10-22-2018, 10:04 PM   #1541
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hi, after our one night stay in the Portland hotel, we were shuttled to PDX. [Portland Airport] There we went through security. I went through the machine several times. I didn't have to remove anything from my carry-on, but had to empty my pockets. I put my camera, pen, stylus, and car keys in the basket. BEEP "Are you wearing a belt?" Yes, belt off. BEEP Oh no, am I going to jail? I took my wallet and a plastic comb out of my pockets. Finally walk through and I was good to go. Well in my defense, I only fly about once a year and they keep changing the rules.

Finally we boarded our airplane. It was supposed to be a ten hour flight, but due to a head wind our plane was slightly late. And due to a tail wind, our flight was going to be about an hour shorter. So we were going to be in Amsterdam early. This was good because the line for customs was very long. Now after flying for nine hours, we had to transfer to a KLM airplane to Budapest, Hungary, which was another hour and a half. We finally made it to Budapest and now we have to take a bus to our ship. Due to low water levels our ship was about 30 miles outside of Budapest. So our bus trip was another two hours. Now we are really tired and worn out. By the way what happened to October 1st? Some how we lost an entire day.

We made it to our ship just in time to unpack and have dinner. Like all of our other cruises, Our room is small, but very well laid out and comfortable.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:47 PM   #1542
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Hi, this morning we got up fairly early and we were the first people in the dining room for breakfast. It was much more peaceful and quiet compared to last night's dinner. We needed that. Our first shore excursion was back to tour the city of Budapest. Due to our distant location, it was a long bus ride there. We had a walking tour in town and the main attraction was a church. I should know more about it, but I don't, We did get several pictures though. Next we were bussed all over Budapest and shown several items of interest. Then were driven to a floating restaurant for lunch. We were going to return to our ship, but Lee heard about a horse type show so we did a last second sign up. What we didn't know was that we were going to be on the tour bus for over an hour and a half to see the forty five minute show. after the horse show, which was great, it was supposed to be a two hour ride back to our ship. Due to traffic in down town Budapest, it was at least another half hour longer.

Now let me tell you after all of the hours sitting in an airplane plus all of the hours sitting in tour busses, it has literally become a pain in the butt. I can't stand for long periods of time due to a leg problem and now sitting has become a problem too. It's hard on these old bodies. Our ship is going to move tonight and hopefully the tours from now on will be easier on us.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:47 AM   #1543
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Nice car.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:58 PM   #1544
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Bob,

Good to see you are on the go again, if not on the road most of the time, and hope that further pain is buttressed by soft pillows. I too cannot stand in one place for long due to back issues (an injection for that comes in November) and sitting for a long time is not so good either. This leaves me with constant walking, but my feet start to hurt, so lying down works fairly well, but nothing gets done, well, almost nothing. Keep on trucking', or maybe cruising'.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:46 PM   #1545
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Nice car.
Hi, I don't know what that car is. It kind-of looks like an old Packard to me, but it's not. This car is huge like an old American car, but about 10 or 15% larger.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:48 PM   #1546
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Bob,

Good to see you are on the go again, if not on the road most of the time, and hope that further pain is buttressed by soft pillows. I too cannot stand in one place for long due to back issues (an injection for that comes in November) and sitting for a long time is not so good either. This leaves me with constant walking, but my feet start to hurt, so lying down works fairly well, but nothing gets done, well, almost nothing. Keep on trucking', or maybe cruising'.
Hi, standing for long periods hurts my right leg. Sitting too long hurts my tail bone. If laying down starts to hurt I'm in trouble.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:10 PM   #1547
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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hi, Last night we left Budapest, Hungary. About 2:00 AM we woke up to see that we were in a lock. We watched our ship slowly rise to the next level of the river. We are headed to Vienna, Austria. Later in the day we were headed for a second lock; This time it was daylight and I was on the ship's top deck. The ship's control room is on a hydraulic system and it lowers down into the main body of the ship to clear low bridges. We were in the lock with a much smaller river boat and a barge. It was interesting watching the gates close and the ship slowly rising. After the lock we had a few low bridges to go under; We could sit in our lounge chairs, but no standing.

Due to traveling on the river, we didn't have any day time excursions, so we lunch on the ship for the first time. The food is good, but unlike the ocean cruise ships, food is served at meal times only, not all day long. This might help with not gaining too much weight. I'm allowing myself to gain a few pounds, but not too many because right after we get back home, I go in for my surgery.

Today's excursion was to the Vienna Opera House for live entertainment. That was our highlight of the day. The show was classical, sometimes funny, and beautiful. There were some pretty girls too. No pictures during the performance were allowed. I di get some pictures of the building inside and out.

For tonight's dinner the specialty was Wiener Schnitzel; I haven't had this since I was in the Army around 1967. It was very good. Breakfast on the ship is always good.

WIFI is quite weak here. I got on last night, but it was short lived. I will be posting our story, with pictures, after we return home. So far I have been typing my story to Word Pad each night so I don't have try and remember what happened each day.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:31 PM   #1548
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Friday, October 5, 2018

Hi, today our ship stayed in Vienna, Austria all day long. We toured Vienna mostly by bus and had a walking tour of the shopping district. Of course we didn't buy anything except for a pastry and a cup of hot chocolate. Lots of old buildings and another church to visit. This pretty much covers our morning tour of the day.

Our afternoon tour was to the Schonbrunn Palace. This place is really huge and our tour was through twenty of the most interesting rooms. This Palace was very similar to the one we saw in Saint Petersburg, Russia a few years back with lots of gold leaf trim, huge chandeliers, statues, and ceiling paintings. The Palace has hundreds of rooms, but our tour is just a few hours long so we won't get to see them all.

After a long day in town it was nice to return to our ship and relax for a while. Tonight our ship will move to a new location for a new adventure tomorrow.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:20 PM   #1549
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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hi, well today was quite busy. We went through three locks today. They are all similar, but different. We watched the first lock on our in cabin TV because it was about four AM this morning. The second lock was in the afternoon and we went side by side with a sister Viking River Cruise ship. Later at Sunset we went through a smaller lock that just had enough room for us.

I know that I said there were three locks today, but as I write this we are going through the fourth lock of the day. It's dark out so I can't tell if we are alone or have company.

Today's destination was Melk, Austria. Our tour was a relatively short one, only a few hours long. Today's highlight was a tour of the Melk Abbey. It is located very close to the Danube, which is the river that we have been traveling on since the start of our cruise. This place is indescribable and no pictures were allowed inside where the really interesting things are.

Some of the local buildings that are along the river have markers on them with dates of when and how high the flood waters were. Pretty scary. A few days back we saw several houses that were built on stilts. Scenery has been great along the river and a nice Sunset was seen right after lock number three.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:57 PM   #1550
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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hi, this morning our ship docked in Passau, Germany. We will be docked here all day tomorrow too. Typical Germany everything is wet. It's sprinkling all day, but we brought rain coats and the ship has umbrellas. Today we had a walking tour of the old town. I wish it was more walking and less standing and talking. I can walk for quite a long time, but I get leg pain from standing in one spot for long periods of time. I need to keep moving or sit down somewhere. Of course there were no places to sit, so my legs were killing me.

[We noticed in Europe that all of the shops fold up their benches and chairs [and lock them] so no-one can use them until they open shop; And then, even if an old tired couple wants to sit down for just a few minutes they come out and chase you away]

Nice little old town, but most everything was closed because it's Sunday. Maybe we will go back into town tomorrow when everything is open. Lots of smokers in Europe and I can't get away from it until I return to our ship. Today I was going to have a hot dog and a banana split for dinner, but found out that that menu was only for lunch. Darn it!

We are still on the Danube river and at some point I believe that we will be traveling on the Rhine River since we are now in Germany. I saw a few Cuckoo clocks today. I wish that I could have bought one when I was here in the Army, but I couldn't afford to buy one. I wonder what they cost now?

[ One lady bought one for $500.00 shipped]

We didn't have time to find a clock shop to consider buying one.

We went into a huge ancient church today and we hoped to listen to a massive pipe organ. That didn't happen. The church was beautiful inside and out. These places amaze me with the details and massive size. I'm curious on how these were built and how long it took.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:19 AM   #1551
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Thanks so much for tge reports. Glad to see you are having a great trip.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:57 PM   #1552
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Thanks so much for the reports. Glad to see you are having a great trip.

Hi, happy to have you tag along with us.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:07 PM   #1553
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Monday, October 8, 2018

Hi, this morning we were fogged in so we skipped the morning tour in Passau. So we enjoyed our stay on the ship. We signed up for the optional shore excursion: Bavarian Open Air Museum. Open air just means that everything is outside. This was our most interesting and less painful tour because we were able to move around from building to building. Most everyone else felt the same way about this tour. I really can't describe what we saw so I will post some pictures to give you a better idea of what this museum was all about.

Due to low water levels in the rivers, we have been on a sister ship called the "Viking Ve". Tomorrow we will finally be transferred to our proper ship called the "Viking Gefjon". These ships are exactly the same so the move should be seamless.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:37 PM   #1554
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Bob,

Standing hurts a lot now too. I've thought of carrying a tripod stool with me to sit on, but so far have resisted. I absolutely don't want one of those electric chairs some museums have because I don't want to give in to it. Not only does it eventually become intolerable to stand in one place, when I sit down i have to do it very, very slowly or I'll plop down at high velocity. I'll have a shot of an anti-inflammatory next week into one area of my vertebra and hopefully that helps. More exercise should help too and I have been not good at that for a while. Imagine if we were together and there was only one chair—who would sit on whose lap? I hope you keep moving and the rest of the trip was good—I notice that Europe is two weeks behind here—I guess something to do with the international date line on steroids.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:46 PM   #1555
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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Hi, today we had to pack all of our stuff so we could change ship. Due to low water levels in the rivers we had one sister ship for the first several days. We took a three hour bus ride to reach a destination where our actual cruise ship by name was to be boarded and this should/ will be our ship for the rest of our cruise. We are now in Nuremburg, Germany for the day and will be traveling farther to reach tomorrow's destination of Bamberg, Germany. Today we saw a building much like the Rome Colosseum, but one and a half times larger. Nuremberg seems to have had a lot of Hitler history. We toured an ancient Fortress and visited a market place and several areas for shopping. We didn't buy anything. We just looked. My pictures will show more than I can describe.

Tonight there was a show on the ship and somehow I got involved. Lee wasn't there so she didn't see anything that happened to me. A young lady was looking for a volunteer and I was trying to not pay any attention to her. She walked right up to me, stepping over another guy and a table top get me. Next thing that I knew was that she put a microphone right in front of me and asked me for my name. "BOB" I said. Now mind you that a river ship has way less people that a ocean cruise ship and now everyone on the ship knew "BOB". The young sexy lady had me sit in a chair in the center of the stage for a seduction act. She danced all around me and run her hands through my hair Etc. Etc. Etc. When Lee finds out, I might be in trouble. [not really]

Now we have had meals with several people and knew their names so Lee and I had people that we recognized every day. After being on stage and before Lee heard what happened to me, lots of people who's names we didn't know said "HI, BOB". Lee said what's going on? At our dinner table a few of our friends told her about me being on stage with this sexy young lady. It's OK, it was all just in fun.

We have gone through several locks so far and we just went through the first "Down Lock". I was told that we could go through as many as 67 locks on this cruise.
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Bob 2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent" Small Silver Castle
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:26 PM   #1556
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hi. today we had a walking tour of Bamberg, Germany. I believe that they told us that Bamberg was the oldest city in Germany, or it had the oldest building in Germany. It was a very interesting place to visit and it is known for it's Smoked Beer. People said that it tasted like smoked ham or something. Four of us went into a beer house and ordered three smoked beers and one raw apple juice. We also shared two orders of German sausage with bread and sour kraut. I drank the apple juice. Another Cathedral was the focal point of this tour and this seems to be the theme so far. There is enough difference to keep it interesting.

Lee bought a little trinket in a small store in town and I have not found anything that caught my eyes yet. While we were on our tour, our ship moved without us to Zeil Am Main. The ship was moved so we wouldn't have to wait for it to go through several locks. Shortly after we all boarded our ship, it was moving again. Tomorrow will be another surprise. Each day we have a menu change with something that is a local dish for our location. My order was about fifty letters long in German, so I just pointed to what I wanted on the menu. Works for me. The main part of my dish was Bavarian Meatballs. It was a good dinner. I'm not much for experimenting with food, I like simple things.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:48 PM   #1557
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hi, this morning we made it to Wurzburg, Germany. We slept in a little longer than usual; We were tired. Our tour wasn't until 1:45 PM so we walked into town around 10:00AM. It was only a few blocks distance from our ship. This is a great town with virtually everything. Yesterday we were in Beer town, but today we were in Wine town. Lee tried some smoked beer yesterday and today it was white wine. We sat at an outside table where we ordered white wine for Lee and apple juice for Bob. After we were finished we asked to pay our bill. The waiter came back to tell us what we owed and asked if we were paying separately. Lee said no, we are married. The waiter then explained that he has to ask customers that question because it is very common for married German couples to pay separately.

While wondering through this nice town Lee spotted a clothing store and bought a few items. I was concerned that they might not accept our credit card or ask for a PIN number. I think Canada wants a PIN number, but we don't use a PIN number for credit cards, only debit cards. No problem, our transaction was smooth.

Our tour of the day was another Palace. This was the Wurzburg Bishop's residence. This was originally built as a home for one man. He never lived long enough to see it finished nor did his next family member. Outside it just was a block wall looking building, but it was a world of difference inside. Unfortunately you will have to only imagine what the inside looks like because cameras were not allowed. Of course the gift shop would be happy to sell you some pictures. Also note that almost all of these places that we toured detour you through the gift shop as the only way out of the buildings. Most everyone on our ship liked Wurzburg. Will as I type this our ship is on the move again.

Tonight's entertainment was an eighth generation glass blower. His items are very interesting, but we don't buy decorative glassware.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:40 AM   #1558
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A few years back we were in Milan on a Sunday, and experienced the organ playing during service in the Duomo. The sound was amazing. We only caught the last part of the service though, as we had to detour back to our hotel for a change of clothes before they would let my wife enter. Apparently the dress she was wearing revealed too much.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:18 PM   #1559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMT View Post
A few years back we were in Milan on a Sunday, and experienced the organ playing during service in the Duomo. The sound was amazing. We only caught the last part of the service though, as we had to detour back to our hotel for a change of clothes before they would let my wife enter. Apparently the dress she was wearing revealed too much.

Hi, I think that hearing a pipe organ is on my non-existent bucket list. I have been close, but not yet.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:41 PM   #1560
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Hi, this morning when we opened our cabin curtains we spotted a couple of peepers. Now our windows are only about one foot above the water line, but about eye level for me on the inside. There were two swans looking at our window.

Today our ship stopped in Werthein, Germany. We took a little train ride into the city. Actually it was a fake train with rubber tires. This is a small town, but very interesting. Lee bought a few things at a clothing store and later we stopped for a snack of coffee for Lee and a hot chocolate for me. We also shared a Danish. The streets were all cobble stone like most all of Germany so far. We stopped at the Glass Blowers shop where we looked at all of the shiny glass objects. And we oooooooooooed and aaaaaaaaaawed, but we didn't buy anything from them. At our age nick knacks aren't anything that we need or want. Looking is free. After we spent all of our time and most of what little amount of money that we had on us, we took the fake train back to the ship.

After lunch our ship left Werthein and went to Freudenberg, Germany. There was a group bike tour along the river; We did not take that tour. The bike tour was about 30K long and mostly on level ground. We could see them from our ship and they were making better time. After the bike tour people were all back on the ship again, we were moving again. Today was a nice relaxing scenic cruise with nice views along the way. We passed several river side camp grounds and we even saw an Airstream, but I was too late to get a picture of it.

We have two blind men on our ship. One man walks with a blind man's cane assisted by his wife. The other blind man has a real nice dog and he is also assisted by his wife. I took two pictures of the dog today.

Well they told us that the water levels in the river are too low and that we will be making another ship transfer in a few days. Will go as far as we can go on this ship and then take a bus to our next ship. We were warned that we could transfer ships as many as four times due to low water levels in the rivers.
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