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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Journey to Europe – Part V

We finish off our first evening on the Amadeus Elegant in the Panorama Bar listening and dancing to the sounds produced by, what we first take as a country/western duo by the Name of Gery and Louis. They had quite a repertoire, even though they were just a bit to the left side of centerbut very entertaining and able to handle most requests.

We spent a very pleasant breakfast with Jim and Lesliethe eggs were just as great!

The morning finds us still sailing to Strasbourgtrouble getting through a lock overnight, only one of the two at one point was working and that forced the one working lock to handle both north and south bound traffic to alternate. The entire schedule has to be reworked.

Randy & Gail checking phone service while sailing the Rhine

At 1030, most of us attend Professor Caroline Karp’s (Brown University) lecture “Thinking like a River”largely dealing with the history of the Rhine, the changes it has undergone, and the environmental changes that have taken place within the last one hundred years due to the straightening of the river for efficiency (some fifty miles of length had been removed).

Today, we decided to try the light lunchit really seems on these trips that you can find yourself moving from one meal to the next and forgetting everything that takes place in between. Well, the light lunch is just as heavy as the regular lunchspaghetti and meat saucethe prime difference being that you are not sitting and waiting on the staff to bring your meal to you; you get it yourself and the only service provided is drinks and clearing. We were joined at this meal by Jerry and Ginger plus Buddy and Carolyn (Class of ’79) Morgan from Cotulla, Texas. While we were eating, the Amadeus Elegant arrived in Strasbourg (currently a city in France, but previously a city in Germany, I understand that it has been kicked back and forth more than several times throughout history).

About two in the afternoon, we were bused into Strasbourg for a fairly lengthy walking tour with a guide that was extremely hard to understand and allowed zero deviation from her script and path. The city is very beautiful with a great deal to take in; I just wish we could have understood what we were hearing. On the two trips I have taken to Europe and Russia, the greatest difficulty I have experienced is understanding the English spoken by the guides. In Russia, if I listened very close, I got it all. This was not the case here in Europe. This lady’s French accent was so strong that I understood very littleI was not he only one. Maybe this problem stems from my Texan earsnaah, can’t be!

 Leslie along the river passing through Strasbourg

 Architecture in town center, the “Grande Ile,” of Strasbourg

In one of the squares on our tour, we come across a statue of Johannes Gensfieisch zur Laden zum Gutenbergthe Bible guy, you know—the first to use movable type in printing (he invented the process to mass produce movable type) and completed his 42-line Bible in 1455. The statue was created by David d’Angers in 1840.

Johannes Gensfieisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg

The entire town center, the “Grande Ile,” of Strasbourg is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Strasbourg Cathedral work was started in the 11th century and lasted for two and a half centuries. Strasbourg is the major city in the Alsace region of France.


 Strasbourg Cathedral

After touring the cathedral, the women found a potty spot that didn’t charge and the men found a neat outdoor café that was serving our favorite beverage of which we drank our share. I know somebody had a picture of this but I cannot find one at this time.

Most of us selected to take the shuttle back to the boat at 6 PM to be in time for the port talk for tomorrow’s activity and make the dinner setting at 7:30 PMyou can’t miss those meals, even though you are thinking “I just ate a short time ago.”

Patsy and I attended the cruise director Gabriel’s “Nasty Quiz” in the Panorama Bar that evening and missed out on the prize by one questionour brains not fully engaged after the day spent walking around Strasbourg.

11 PM that evening the Amadeus Elegant set sail for Mannheim and our excursion to the Heidelberg Castle, the highlight of tomorrow’s journey.

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