Wendy

GreatEscapes

Wendy




Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich January 2nd 2017

Has been a wonderful trip but time to head home. Long flights ahead: 12.5 hours Zurich/Singapore, 3 hour stopover in Singapore and then 8 hours Singapore/Brisbane. Thank you to Sarah for getting Maddie home from the cattery for us - can't wait to see her 😀. So signing off. See you all soon.... read more
Felsenegg
Felsenegg
Felsenegg

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich January 1st 2017

WE MADE IT!!! Sat up until 12.00 midnight to see in the new year. Sterling effort considering we have both been awake since about 4.00 am and I only managed to catch a small nap on the train from Innsbruck. Thank you Zurich - what a crazy night it was! Leading up to the fireworks show at 12:20 am (don't ask why because I don't know) we kept hearing random fireworks going off from probably about 9.30 pm. Thought perhaps it may have been an early show for the kiddies - but no. In Austria & Switzerland you can buy your own fireworks and set them off on National holidays. This would be Ross Nelson heaven! And surprisingly, apparently Bruce Ballard heaven too! We went out onto the street near our hotel as midnight drew closer ... read more
Zurich
Zurich
Zurich

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich December 31st 2016

Departed Innsbruck at 9.50 and arrived into Zurich 1.20pm. Train trip was nice and comfortable. Distinct change in scenery when we entered Swiss territory - heavy frost on the ground and a few frozen waterfalls but no snow. Checked into hotel (really lovely) and then went for a walk down towards the lake to see where the fireworks would be taking place. Also scoped out the rooftop terrace at the hotel which has views towards the lake but it will probably only fit about 10 people on it. First impressions - Zurich looks lovely but blanketed in heavy fog at the moment. We shall see what tomorrow brings. Hoping it might be clearer as we want to go up to Felsnegg via cable car to take in views. Looking for something for dinner we passed a ... read more
Zurich
Zurich
Zurich

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Innsbruck December 30th 2016

Finally Swarovski World. Purchased a 24 hour pass with the Innsbruck Card to go out to Swarovski World at Wattens. Next bus due to leave at 10.20 am and we had an hour and twenty minutes to fill in so walked into city centre for a look around. When we had booked to come here I was having a look at pictures on the internet and the buildings reminded me of the song "Little Boxes". As we were walking along the street the lyrics hit me again: "There's a green one and a pink one, and a blue one and a yellow one" (see picture below). OK, I know they are not exactly little boxes, nor are they made of ticky tacky, but you get what I mean... Pretty place with so much detail on the ... read more
Innsbruck
Innsbruck
Wattens

Europe December 29th 2016

Today we bid farewell to MS Scenic Amber and our new found friends. Caught taxi to Budapest train station and it was just as Bruce tells me it is just as he imagined an eastern block train station would look like. Boarded the train (which was a challenge in itself). High steps up onto the train with 4 pieces of luggage and a surging crowd trying to board at the same time. A large group of tourists had boarded from the other end of the carriage and were trying to get through to their correct carriage and were blocking the way for us to get to our reserved seats (picture an acces corridor of approx 1m wide). Once we finally made it to our seats we were joined by a Hungarian family travelling to Vienna for ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest December 28th 2016

Opted for the bus tour of Budapest today. Another bitterly cold day but our only opportunity to have a look around. First stop Castle Hill on the Buda side where we visited the most beautiful church I think I have ever seen. Unlike the Catholic Cathedrals we have seen on the trip (which have been beautiful in their own right, but also a little over the top with their gold) this church had mosaic tiles and paintings. Outside in the viewing area we had a beautiful view across the Danube to Pest. Street traders are a plenty in this area and I was hounded by one of them and I almost bought a "hand knitted" cardigan. Down from 60 Euro to 10 Euro then she changed her mind to Hungarian currency for which I had none. ... read more
Budapest
Budapest
Budapest

Europe » Austria » Vienna December 26th 2016

Arrived in Vienna on the Christmas evening and set off early the next day for a guided bus/walking tour of the city. Bus took us past some of the more notable sites and I was just so impressed with the size and cleanliness of the buildings. As our guide said, kept the brocket and stone masons in business during the construction phase. Soon grew tired of our guide when we started the walking tour so there was a breakaway group of 7 of us who decided to explore the city on our own. All of the shops were closed except for souvenir shops and cafes. Found Hard Rock for Bruce so he could get his pins, then we all headed off to Cafe for coffee and cake. After that we all spilt up, a couple back ... read more
Vienna
Vienna
Vienna

Europe » Austria » Vienna December 25th 2016

Attended church service at the little Blue Church this morning. Beautiful service in German - only recognised one word: "Bethlehem". Made our way back to ship after church for the concert on board before lunch. We had a small local group of performers join us from Salzburg who sang some traditional AustrIan Christmas Carols and also the usual carols. They sang Silent Night in German and It was just beautiful. The meals on board for Christmas were a surprise - and not in a good way. We thought they would put on a fairly big smorgasbord but they stuck with a la carte menu and I couldn't find anything on offer that inspired me so I had a burger through room service. Set sail for Vienna after lunch and arrived about an hour earlier than expected. ... read more
Durnstein
Durnstein
Durnstein

Europe » Austria » Lower Austria » Melk December 24th 2016

A visit today to Melk Abbey (a Benedictine Abbey) which sits atop a cliff, where below two Rivers flow into the Danube. The abbey was founded in 1089 and given to the Benedictine monks from Lambach Abbey. A monastic school, the Stiftsgymnasium Melk, was founded in the 12th century, and the monastic library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. Today's Baroque abbey was built between 1702 and 1736 - the abbey church with frescos and the library with countless medieval manuscripts, including a famed collection of musical manuscripts and frescos. The school was returned to the abbey after the Second World War and now caters for nearly 900 pupils of both sexes. After visiting the Abbey we wandered through the cobble stones streets of Melk on the way back to the ship. A lovely ... read more
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey

Europe » Austria » Salzburg December 23rd 2016

Without a doubt today was one of the surprises of the trip. We had intended to stay on board but changed our mind and instead opted to tour Salzburg and do the Sound of Music tour - and I am so pleased we did. Our tour guide, Sebastian, should be awarded Local Tour Guide of the Year. Dressed in traditional Barvarian costume (vest, coat, knee length lederhousin, and knee high leather boots) was so entertaining. On the 1.5 hour bus ride entertained us all the way, both the historical information and amusing stories. He could not for the life of him understand why so many people liked the movie The Sound of Music. On reaching Salzburg (which is an amazing city - so clean and fresh), Sebastian took us on a walking tour through the city, ... read more
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg




Tot: 3.86s; Tpl: 0.034s; cc: 11; qc: 90; dbt: 0.0547s; 3; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb