A Travellerspoint blog

Elba Trip

Litormeric​e and Saxon Switzerlan​d

rain 50 °F

We got to the boat Sunday evening and stayed in place overnight. After
dinner a bomb could have gone off and we wouldn't have noticed (dead
to the world!).

The vessel [not really a ship, but bigger than a boat] is not bad.
Food is good. Lots of Brits aboard and a few Swedes [Vikings on a
Viking cruise!]. Most the Americans are from western states [CA and UT
are well represented]

Monday morning we moved up the river to the cute little town of
Litormice (do not be put off if you've never heard of it - it is very
small). We toured the town [church, town center and micro-brewery],
stopped for coffee at a small cafe and used most of our remaining
Czech Kroners. It was a cute place and we made it back with no rain
(it started about 15 minutes after we got back.

Litomerice_CZ.jpg
Last night they had local musicians and dancers aboard [good for about
15-20 minutes, then it seemed repetitive].

Today we have moved up the river. we have gone thru a total of 9
locks, the views are nice. It is now about noon and we have just
entered Germany. Today we will be in Saxon Switzerland, a national
park that features "cliffs, mesas, gorges and spires of the 'City of
stone'". It is known for it's diverse habitat. It is a Mecca for rock
climbers and mountain bikers. The name led me to believe that we were
going into the country of Switzerland, but it is actually in Germany
[what's in a name].
Saxon_Switzerlan_Park.jpg

This morning the sun was out and it was nice outside, now it is
overcast again. Everyone keeps promising nice weather --- we will see!

We've met lots of nice people on the trip.

Thanks for all your nice notes.

Posted by dgreening 17:00 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Elba Trip

Dresden

rain 52 °F

I have gotten lots of notes saying, that the weather will get better.
By yesterday I was thinking that things would never improve. We went
to the national park in Saxon Switzerland [Germany]. A really
beautiful place - it poured!

Last evening we arrived in Dresden. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful
place! We toured the city in the morning and went back into town this
afternoon. JoAnne thinks it has a feel a lot like Paris. I think it is
a jewel, ornate buildings. The Zwinger Palace is a wonder to walk
around in, especially the museum [that features the art works
collected by Augustus the strong [king of Saxony and of Poland]. We
came back to tour the opera house this afternoon and visited the
cathedral.
Dresden_-_river_view.jpgDresden_-_..lock_tower_.jpg

It rained twice today for short periods, but everyone is carrying
around umbrella and jackets!

Dresden was fire bombed during WWII. This was very controversial [as
there was not real military value to the place]. Then the communist
came after the war and made things worse. Interestingly enough, a lot
of the conservation of the city started under the East German Govt. It
has sped up dramatically since reunification, but it is looking great.

Highly recommend this to anyone coming to Germany, this is also not
far from Prague [the 2 cities would make for a very nice visit.

Tomorrow we travel to Meissen [known for the porcelain] and to Torgu
[where the US and Russian troops met during WWII].

thanks for all the nice notes and please keep thinking of nice weather
for us ...

Posted by dgreening 17:00 Comments (0)

Elba Trip

We made it to Prague

rain 50 °F

The trip over was uneventful! We left on time, had about 4 hours in Heathrow [I must have triggered some terrorist profile, the British equivalent of TSA wanted to look thru my backpack in great detail (toiletries, lots of electronics and some clothes) - it was not pretty, but we had lots of time, so it was not a big deal].

Arrived in Prague about 10 minutes after schedule [not bad]; about 50 degrees with sprinkles. We got picked up by the cruise people and made it to the hotel. We were spoiled on our last trip to Prague; we stayed in a nice old hotel [Hotel Pariz] a few blocks from the old town square. This time we are in a Hilton near the water, very nice, but not close to the stuff you want to see.

They offered us a walk around at 6. Lots of people, cold and rainy. The lady leading us was nice, but not much of a tour guide. We had stopped at the concierge to get dinner suggestions. We stopped at a nice place that offered Czech food [Celnice]. The food was good; Steve you would love the menu, a whole section labelled "food for people that love beer"! We walked around the old town are and came back to the hotel.

We were really tired, but the built in clock kicked in around 4 AM, We were up for a while, them finally dozed off in time to get up at 7. We repacked our stuff, then came down for a very nice breakfast! Then we got on the bus for a city tour, this morning it wasn't as warm as yesterday [about 45], with more rain and higher winds. We got to the castle [a big deal] and found that the church was closed to tours [It IS Sunday]; this was disappointing because this is where the king was crowned and it is a very nice church. Since it was still rainy and cold, we decided to skip the last few hours of walking.

Bottom line: things haven't gone really well to this point. This afternoon we will get on the river boat.

Note: Due to foul weather, pictures are taken from the web
- 2 icons from Prague - the castle and the Charles bridge [were the king for HRE would walk for coronation]
- The buildings were designed to look like dancers [inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers]
- street scene

Prague_Cas..rles_bridge.jpg
Prague_-_F..r_buildings.jpg
Prague_Streets_-_archway.jpg

Posted by dgreening 07:41 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Elba Trip

Leaving home again

Elba_Trip_map.jpgVikingTheodore__Fontane.jpgwe are ready for another trip to Europe. Leaving tonight for Prague. we will get onto a river boat cruise on Sunday [stops listed below]. At the end of the trip we will spend 3 days in Berlin [never been there].

Please let me know if you would prefer not to get my updates.

take care ... Denis


http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/europe-elbe-prague-berlin-2013/itinerary.aspx
Day 1 [25 May] Prague [Hilton Prague]
Day 2 Prague & Melnik
Day 3 Litomerice
Day 4 Saxon Switzerland
Day 5 Dresden
Day 6 Meissen & Torgau
Day 7 Wittenberg
Day 8 Dessau & Magdeburg
Day 9 Potsdam & Berlin
Day 10 - 13 Berlin [Hilton Berlin]

Posted by dgreening 07:09 Comments (0)

Bon Jour from Rouen

About a year ago we ended a trip in Rouen. This is as close as you can
get to Paris in ocean going vessels. On that trip we caught a cab,
picked up a car and left town without being very impressed.

I am glad we came back! This is a beautiful medieval [can you believe
that spell check corrected my spelling?] city. We were planning to
catch the train and return to Honfleur, but after taking a walking
tour yesterday, we decided just to hang around here today. Many of the houses are made with exposed timber that give a very unique style.
There is, of course, a large Cathedral. WHen they were building the cathedral, the Bishop kept trying to persuade the people to give up a
small parish church to make room for the cathedral [they resisted].
Finally the bishop agreed to rebuild the parish church in the forward
tower of the cathedral, so you have a small church just inside the
front door!

One of the big landmarks of the town is the "Great Clock".Built in the
14th century, it was very advanced for its time and is one of the
oldest clock mechanisms in Europe. Being the geek that I am, I took
the tour inside the clock --- really cool! JoAnne left me on my own to
take that tour [go figure].

Yesterday had lots of showers, but today turned out to be a pretty
nice day, by noon it was up to about 22 degrees C, about 70 F [note to
the engineers out there, I do not need the exact conversion for 22.0 degrees C into F "about 70 will do just fine!]

Thanks for all the nice notes, apologies if I have not replied to each one.
Denis

Posted by dgreening 18:47 Comments (0)

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