A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Offonariverboat

Day 9. Thurs, April 6, 2017


overcast 45 °F

Today was our optional tour to Luxembourg. Weather began in the 30s and remained cold and cloudy. Very happy to have long johns, headband and gloves. The city was a typical old ,but obviously very wealthy. We toured cathedrals and the marketplace. After lunch, we travelled by bus to the American cemetery that had the graves of victims of the Battle of the Bulge. The guide at the cemetery was a walking encyclopedia of the battle and also of many of the men who were buried there. The experience was quite moving and made us more aware that our current political situation was even more potentially disastrous.

After dinner, we had a program with some of the crew and learned about their lives including their lives aboard ship.

Posted by Offonariverboat 13:37 Archived in Luxembourg Comments (0)

Day 8 Wed. April 5, 2017

Trier, Germany

sunny 55 °F

We toured Trier this morning with a local guide and were taken to the Pota Nigra. From there we toured the cathedrals. This is probably the oldest city in Germany. A variety of architectures were present in the same building. Because of partial destruction during the wars. Buildings in the town square were lovely and we alkyd all the spokes exiting the town square than made our way back to the boat on foot.

Posted by Offonariverboat 08:40 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 7 Tues. April 4, 2017

Cochem, Bernkastel

sunny 50 °F

Plumbing in our rooms, continued to be a problem. But ships crew did everything possible to solve the problem. High 30's this morning and once again wore all multiple layers. The sun came out and it warmed up beautifully late morning. Left the boat to travel to the castle at the top of the hill. This was described as a ladies castle because it was intact with furniture. Howie and I elected to walk down the hill. Really great walk down much shorter than anticipated. Charming village of Cochem. We had strudel and coffee with Mary Jane and Tom then made our way back across the River Mosel and back to the ship. All aboard was after lunch and we began our journey down the Moselto Trier. Very scenic with lots of grape vineyards all along the way. There are 19 locks to navigate and we will be traveling all night to Trier. We joined the group for karaoke. Silly but fun.

Posted by Offonariverboat 13:56 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 6 Mon. April 3, 2017

Bonn Germany

sunny 60 °F

Awakened to low 40 degree temps. Time to try out those new long johns. Rebecca led the group out on our walking tour of the old town and into the markets. Having been born and raised in America, she points out cultural differences which native European guides might not be aware of. Many of our group were cold and wanted to return to the boat. We returned for more layers and then rewalked much of the route and found the Beethoven homestead. Returned to the boat for lunch. After lunch, Howie and I walked in warmer temps and sunshine to lovely botanical gardens about 1 1/2 miles from the boat. This was a trip highlight for me. Walked 7.6 miles today. Enjoyed watching kids playing aeronie in the parks. Enjoyed the relaxed attitudes about dogs walking with their owners but off leash. The Dutch and German attitudes about health care, guns, sex, drugs, homelessness and dogs is so much more sensible, relaxed and more than anything: humane.

Posted by Offonariverboat 08:54 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 4 Sat. April 1, 2017

Willemstad - Kinderjik, Netherlands

sunny 60 °F

After a good nights sleep and breakfast, we all set off for the Delta Water Works Flood Control project. ...an engineering feat that took 30 years. In 1953 there was a flood that killed over 1800 people overnight in the province of Zeeland. Most of the area is about 20 feet below sea level. After about an hour on the bus we toured the dam system a huge and very impressive system. This is a series of dams that can be closed to prevent flooding but left open to allow for the existing ecology, including the production of mussels to survive. The sheer mass of the project which is a series of dams, dikes and bridges has preserved the land and protected it since the 1960's.

Back o the boat for lunch. And then sailed to Kinderdijk. There we visited the 19 historic windmills built in the 1700s. The windmills are a UNESCORTED World Heritage Site. We were taken to a unique windmill that the GCT Foundation has helped fund. There the 5th generation Miller gave us a demonstration of how the windmill works. Each arm of the wheel has a sailcloth that is used to cover the arm to produce various amounts of resistance depending on the strength of the winds. Instead of taking the canal boat back to our riverboat we chose to walk. Lovely day.

For the last two days we have seen some swans on the waterways. They are majestic. Spring bulbs and shrubs are in bloom. Lots of forsythia.

Posted by Offonariverboat 09:04 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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