VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE, Part 35 Fall, 2016

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The health department in the U.S. would probably stroke out at this selling of raw fish in an open air market.

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Sorry, but this doesn’t look all that appetizing to me.

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But our guide loves it.  He has ben our guide on a couple of excursions.  The fish is marinated in some concoction and is eaten as is,  bones and all.

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He loves them and eats them all the time.  He couldn’t atop talking about how good they are.  He tried to get some of us to eat one, but he had no takers.

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I don’t know,  but he looks a little green around the gills, if you ask me.

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Cooked fish and other things were also sold there.

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Not only food, but also beautiful flowers were also available.

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Pomegranates are called granaat apples over there.

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Cheese wheels were in abundance.

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I’ll introduce you to our cast of characters.  These are the people we went on the cruise with.  They are all retired from Kraft Foods and take a cruise together like this every couple of years.  Pictured above are Chuck and Chris from Virginia.

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This is Jeff and Janet from Michigan.

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Rick and Pam from Virginia

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Larry and Sue from Texas

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Ned and Kathy from Delaware.  Ned did a fantastic job planning and organizing the entire cruise. Debbie and I would have never undertaken this trip without experience travelers like Ned and Kathy.

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My bride Debbie and I are so thankful to be invited to go with them, even though we are not “Kraft people.”  We look forward to seeing our new friends again.

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At the end of most cruises, (River or Caribbean), there is a parade of the kitchen crew featuring baked Alaska for dessert.

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Well, all good things must come to an end.  We’ll spend the night on the ship, the River Splendor, and take a motor coach to the airport in the morning.  If you plan to go on a river cruise, look into Vantage Cruise Lines.  They are fantastic!

Thank you for travelling with us, and I’ll keep the blog going with posts from other outings, so stay tuned.

 

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VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE, Part 34 Fall, 2016

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This is Arnhem, The Netherlands.  One of World War II’s fiercest battles was fought here under the name of Operation Market Garden.

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Our guide told us the actress Audrey Hepburn stayed here when she came to The Netherlands.

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This field is where the gliders and paratroopers landed during the assault on Arnhem.

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You may notice that the roof on this house is made of thatch.  It is made from a tree called the cut willow.  When it is cut to be used as a roof, it grows back and can be cut again.

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These two roofs are made of tile.  A tile roof is a status symbol.  If you are well-to-do, people referred to you as “living under the tiles.”

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As the sign below says, a grim battle was fought by British, Polish, and Dutch soldiers around this ancient church in an effort to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis.

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These are some of the bullet holes still remaining in the walls today.

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This is the Arnhem bridge that was immortalized in the movie “A Bridge Too Far.”  British and Polish troops went by glider and parachute to secure the Rhine River bridge in Operation Market Garden.  Only a handful of British 1st Airborne troops were able to reach the bridge.  They could only hold it for four days before they were overrun by the Nazis.  It was renamed the John Frost Bridge in honor of the commander of the paratroopers.  Of course, the bridge has been rebuilt since then.

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You may remember the cathedrals earlier in the trip were very narrow with massively thick wall to support the ceiling.  Later, architects invented the flying buttress, which is a buttress connected to the main wall and extends downward to a shorter wall to resist the outward pressure of the main wall.  This allows for wider ceiling spans.  You can see two of them in this photo.

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This is the last gate that leads into the city of Arnhem.

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This sculpture represents a man trying to protect himself from the ravages of war.

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This is the ultimate in recycling.  This old tree stump is being used as a dolly to serve outside diners at this café.

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We were told this is a Hebrew place of worship.

Well, I hate to say it, but our next post will be the last of the Vantage Rhine River Cruise.  So far, we have had 34 posts on this trip, so if you missed any, you may go back and catch up.  But, we will be taking a Caribbean Cruise in about a week.  We hope you will join us.  I will try to fill in this space with other stuff.  Stay tuned!

 

VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE Part 32, Fall, 2016

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We went on a walking tour of the 2000 year old town of Koblenz, Germany.  It is situated in the picturesque landscape at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.  Here we see the St. Castor Cathedral.

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This must be a statue of St. Castor.

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All these cathedrals have beautiful organs and stained glass.

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I believe this would be the baptismal font.

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rvr-cruz-2016_1370_stdThis is the entrance to the Ludwig Museum of Modern Art.

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It is one of the most important museums for modern and contemporary art in Europe.  Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to go in.

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But that was O.K.  I’m not a real fan of modern art.

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See what I mean.

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This monument stands at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.

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The Moselle in coming in from the left, and the Rhine from the right.

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We leave tonight for an evening cruise to Arnhem in the Netherlands.

VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE, Part 31, Fall, 2016

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After leaving Reichsburg Castle, Debbie waits for me at the end of this alley, and wonders what took me so long.

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Debbie’s granddaughter’s name in Emily, so this was a “must have” photo.

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More statues and fountains.

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Remember the grill the lady cooked our lunch on a couple of days ago?  Well, this is the smaller home style version of that grill.

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Streets in Cochem are quite narrow.

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Back on the ship, we admire the passing scenery with vineyards in the background.

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That afternoon the crew prepared some hors’ d’oeuvres (and, yes, I had to look up the spelling in the dictionary), and wine.

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These guys provided the entertainment for the evening.  Reminded me of the Kingston Trio.

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O.K., this was weird.  This is not a real person – it is a mannequin to attract attention to the spa housed in this building.

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People getting ready to begin the season of the Christmas Market.

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A bust of Mary atop a building.

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This statue/fountain is a little different from most in that it depicts a woman rowing the boat.  Women very rarely rowed boats in those days.

On our next stop, we’ll see St. Castors Cathedral, the oldest church in Koblenz and see the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine Rivers.

VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE, Part 30 Fall, 2016

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Let’s continue our tour of Reichsburg Castel in Cochem, Ger.  There was a lot of intricate wood work throughout.

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Stairway leading to the next level.

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This has to be the most uncomfortable chair ever devised by the mind of man, (except, of course, for electric ones).  It must have been designed for people to sit in it backwards.

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View to the left overlooking the Moselle River from the castle.

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Panoramic view of the Moselle.  I can see how this location would be a good spot from which to defend the river and the town. The vineyards make a nice backdrop.

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View to the right overlooking the river.

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The man on the right is the “count” of the castle.  The man on the left has a great voice.  He sang a few folk songs from the era.  He was quite good.

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I need to get the name of his tailor!

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I’m not sure if his toes went all the way to the end of his shoes!

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We all enjoyed a glass of Riesling wine.

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Another view of the outside of the castle.

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Debbie and me.

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A broader view of the Moselle.  Our ship, the River Splendor, is one of those docked below.

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One last look back at the Reischburg  Castle.  It’s hard to believe it was built almost a thousand years ago!!

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Some garden gnomes watching us leave.  I think they were thanking us for our visit.

Our next stop if Koblenz.

VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE, Part 29 Fall, 2016

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Today, we are visiting the Reichsburg Imperial Castle in Cochem, Germany.  Situated more than 100 meters above the Moselle River, this castle was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries and served to guard the city and the river against attacks. After the French occupation and its destruction in 1689, it was rebuilt in the then popular Neo-Gothic architectural style.  Napoleon lived here when he was at war with the German countries in 1801.  In 1868, the Berlin Councillor of Commerce began restorations to it and used it as a summer residence.  It is now the property of Cochem.

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A gathering at the well.

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Many paintings and sculptures were on display, but there were a few that should not be displayed on a family blog site, if you know what I mean.

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Today the castle is well decorated with Renaissance and Baroque furniture.

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When we came into the castle, we were told by our guide in no uncertain terms not to touch anything.

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When we came to this elf hanging from the ceiling, the guide told us that the only thing in the castle we could touch was the red jewel below it, because it was believed to bring good luck.  I’m not superstitious, so I did not bother with it. But you’d be surprised at how many grown people stood in line for the privilege of touching that thing.

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A charming sitting area.

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There were many stuffed animals on display throughout the castle.

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As well as pretty decorative pieces.

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Oops, I dropped my shield.

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Next, we will continue our tour of the castle and see  a couple of guys dressed in period costumes.  See you then.

VANTAGE RHINE RIVER CRUISE; Part 28 Fall, 2016

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This is a short walking tour of Luxembourg City.  Luxembourg is a landlocked country bordered by Belgium, Germany, and France.  Its culture , people, and languages are intertwined with its neighbors, making it a mixture of German and French cultures.  This is because Luxembourg was alternately occupied by Germany and France every few years.

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Here is an open-air markets (above), and a grocery store (below).

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We had lunch in this restaurant – the La Boucherie.

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Here come Debbie and Kathy up the spiral staircase to the upstairs seating.

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The hamburgers were fantastic and they were not skimpy with the with the portions.

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O.K., I had never seen this before – bottles of whiskey sold in blister packs!

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This golden lady’s nickname is Gelle Fra.  She was built as a monument of remembrance, a war memorial in the heart of Luxembourg.  She was initially meant to commemorate the fallen soldiers of Luxembourg who volunteered in the French army in WWI.  However, due to subsequent events, it also turned into a memorial against Nazi rule and now commemorates war victims in general.

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The building to the left is a library, and straight ahead is a cathedral.

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Our next two posts will be of the Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.  It is a fun place to visit and you won’t want to miss it!