Jun 23, 2014
|23 June 2014
Our first port of call on the River Cruise is Strasbourg. We are transferred off our river boat on to a long boat with panoramic windows, as our boat is too large to negotiate the Ille River around the old medieval town of Strasbourg.
Strasbourg France is situated on the border of France and Germany and is influenced by the culture of both countries and is the capital of the Alsace region. It is also the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.
Our mini cruise takes us passed the buildings where the representation of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament takes place, we then cruise passed the Gothic Cathedral, the lovely La Petite France district and pass the Ponts Couverts; the towers of the western boundary of the Old City. When we disembark our guide takes us on a guided tour of the Cathedral following which we have some free time to wander around. The lanes surrounding the Cathedral are full shops showcasing antiques, jewellery and cakes where you can buy a traditional kugelhopf, a circular, semi-sweet cake. There are also many shops selling Alsace's famous pottery.
It would seem that most of Europe spends most of its time eating and drinking, the cafes, taverns and restaurants in their multitudes always seem to be busy and there is so much to choose from in terms of casual or serious eating it is quite overwhelming, but it does give the city a feeling of warmth and vibrancy. Of course we are in really serious wine country, so the wines on offer are many; Pinot Blancs, Pinot Gris, Rieslings, Pinot Noir....endless choice.
The bus finally takes us back to the river boat for lunch.
Ian elects to do an extra excursion in the afternoon to the Maginot Line (tunnels built in WW1 and used also in WW2); I stay back on the boat for a bit of R&R.
Our evening meal each night is at 7 pm which is preceded by a rundown on the next day's port. Our dinner consists of four courses; you have course do not need to have all four, but they are quite small. There is a choice of four different wines, or soft drink. We can sit anywhere and with whom we like and this proves to be very interesting, as one meets people from all over the world, including lots of Aussies and at each sitting there is a different set of people to talk to.
There is entertainment each night, apart from a resident pianist they also have visiting entertainers not to mention a spontaneous comedy skit put on by the crew which was good fun, and the Captain sung a serenade to finish off!!
Tomorrow we are in Speyer and Heidelberg.