Monday, December 12, 2016


Another early morning start again today.  We received an early morning wake up call at 6am, suitcases had to be outside our door by 6:45am, it was straight down to breakfast and on the bus by 7.30am.

We managed to get away on time and we were on the outskirts of Amsterdam by 8.10am.  Today was a long day on the bus,  possibly the longest day of the whole tour... We had a 2 hour drive before stopping four our first break.  Most of tis drive was on the motorway or autoban and each side of the road had sound barriers up each side.  Not too much to look at so I found it hard to stay awake and dozed on and off  during the early morning drive....

We had a half hour stop for a cuppa and then Gary took us through our itinerary for the rest of the tour.  Some of the optional extra's sound really good and it will be hard not to want to do them all.  Going through the itinerary took up a good part of the next leg of the trip.

We stopped at the Moseltal (at the start of the Rhine Valley) for a look and also for the opportunity to photograph the beautiful scenery.  The pylons on the bridge over the Rhine River were enormous and the views were stunning with lots of vineyards up and down the slopes.  I am so glad that I don't have to pick those grapes...

Enatrance to the Rhine Valley

We only had a ten minute stop here and once back on the bus I realized that my camera was on the wrong setting.... BUMMER...  Fortunately Steve managed to grab these few with his iPhone....

Our destination was Boppard,  a gorgeous little village right on the Rhine River.  We were doing a cruise up the Rhine River from here, and we had not quite an hour to explore the village before we had to board our vessel... This village was really colourful with lots of colourful flowers.  The walking square was lovely and there was easy access to a mall of lovely shops.   I just wish we had more time to explore some of the beautiful shops here.... I found a new diary in one of the shops here... The diary I bought at home before we left was almost full and we had only just started our European trip.

 We boarded our cruise vessel at around 1:45pm and spent the next 90 minutes cruising up the Rhine Valley where we saw several Castle ruins along the cliff lines.  There were lots of lovely villages along the banks also. Obviously it snows along the valley because all the house have steep roofs.
One of the other things we noticed were the huge caravan parks along the banks.  They were full of vans.  Parks here are different to Australia, we didn't see any amenities blocks, but lots of little ensuite bathrooms.  These were not situated next to the caravans but way down the back of the parks.

Whilst we were cruising we listed to traditional German music,  this made the journey quite relaxing and added a nice atmosphere to the outing...  There were really good highways and railways on each side of the river but no bridges across the Rhine... This part of the Rhine River is a UNESCO protected area, and so they can't build bridges across this part of the river.  However there are lots of ferries traveling across carrying people and vehicles.  Even our bus had to catch a ferry across the river to pick us up on the other side...

In one of the villages we saw a church adjoined to the local pub.  the only way to get to church was to walk through the pub, and the priest in this parish also doubled up as the publican and he served behind the counter....
The only way to enter the church in the top picture is through the Pub...

One of the castles we saw was actually a fort and had over 20,000 soldiers and guards stationed there.  Apparently there is something like 300kms of tunnels underneath the fort.  Now a days it serves as a first class hotel, but it still has its old world charm. 

 Once the bus picked us up on the other side of the river we continued traveling along the Rhine.  This is such a beautiful park of the country with beautiful villages, lovely old churches, and lots of vineyards.  It was jut a beautiful drive and we were happy to sit and enjoy it and snap a few photos...

Once we got back on the Auto ban we headed straight for Frankfurt.  We skirted around Frankfurt but the traffic was really horrendous and it took us a long time to make much progress.  By 4.30pm we were bumper to bumper, 5 lanes wide going at a snail's pace.  We would have spent a good hour like this...  There was not a lot to see except cars, buses and trucks. We did got past the rather HUGE Frankfurt international airport.  We still had a good 100kms to go before we reached our destination for the night

Most of the traveling now was along the Auto ban.  We did stop for another toilet and coffee break about 50kms from Warzburg.

About 15kms before we reached Warzburg, we turned off the main highway and traveled down the Bavarian Romantic Highway.  Because it had been such a long day,  Gary (our tour guide) wanted to take us for a short walk over the "Warzburg Old Bridge" and he also wanted to show us the Fortress Marienberg, a medieval fortress built on the site of a former Bronze age fort.

We walked across the Warzburg's Old Main Bridge, "The Alte Mainbuicke".  it is a magnificent structure lined with Baroque statues of saint.  It leads from from the old city to the districts on the left bank of the River Main.

We also saw the 11th Century parish church of St Burkard and Kappele, Warzburg.  This is a picturesque pilgrimage chapel built by Bakthasan Neumann in a Russian Orthodox style between 1747-50.

We were very fortunate that a river cruise was heading though one of the locks along this mighty river.

 It was close to 7.30pm by this stage and we had been on the road a good 12 hours today.  We booked into the Maritim Hotel just across the road from the Main River. 
Our hotel and Room in Warzburg...
Whilst this hotel is nice, it is not up to the standards of the other two hotels we have stayed in.  Very old box TV, air conditioner is not working, a little smelly, but the staff here have been really helpful.
Dinner was included tonight.  We had a lovely roasted tomato soup, Hungarian Goulash with noddles and salad and panacotta with macaroon and cherry sauce for desert.

After dinner we went for a nice stroll along the river bank before finally turning in about 10pm.
It is great that we have a bit of a leisurely start in the morning.  We don't have to leave until 9am therefore we can sleep in until 7.30am.

It is hard to believe that we have packed so much into the last three days.


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