Canadian Travel Agent who works to travel the world.

Europe November 17th 2010

Passau The lovely small city of Passau is the last city we visit in Germany. This city of 50,000 is located at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz. 10,000 of these inhabitants all attend the university here making this a very young and lively population! In the center of town is the famous St. Stephen's cathedral, which dominates the city's skyline. Inside you will find one of the largest church organs in the world. The baroque appearance was created by Italian architects after the town was destroyed by fire twice in the 1600's. Napolean called Passau the “most Italian looking city north of the Alps”. The shopping is fabulous here, with shop after shop of jewelry, shoes, clothing, antiques and department stores. I managed to leave quite a few ... read more
Nancy and the Captain

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Regensburg November 16th 2010

Regensburg Regensburg is a perfectly preserved medieval city right on the banks of the Danube River dominated by the spires of its impressive cathedral. The charm of Regensburg lies in its narrow alleys and quaint squares and little shops. You need to take the time to explore the tiny alley ways or you could miss a fabulous shop. I love the pastel coloured facades, and there were still some window boxes with flowers blooming. It was a drizzly day but that didn't stop us from enjoying the beautiful city of 150,000. The dining room on board the Amadolce celebrated the local Bavarian food. We enjoyed sausage, saurkraut, German beer and wine, suckling pig, ham, potato salad, spatzle, cakes, cakes and more cakes. I'm sure I missed something but left whistling “Roll out the Barrel”...... ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nuremberg (aka Nürnberg) November 15th 2010

Danube River Cruise This is my 3rd river cruise, and in my opinion AMA Waterways is one of the top river cruise lines. The ship is called the Amadolce, and this is just her second season sailing. The oldest ship in their fleet is only 4 years old, so, AMA Waterways can claim the newest state-of-the-art ships in Europe. They offer the most French Balcony cabins for a more enjoyable cruise. Some of the great advantages are: - this is not a land or cruise but something in between (a floating boutique hotel) - no missed luggage, the airline can send your luggage to the next lock or town but with the big ocean liners it is usually a different country and you can spend a week without your belongs. - No motion for those like ... read more
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24 hr Refreshments

Europe » Czech Republic » Karlovy Vary Region » Karlovy Vary November 14th 2010

Karlovy Vary – a feast for the eyes We met the AMA Waterways group that had been in Prague to transfer on the bus with them to Nuremberg. We were stopping about halfway (2.5 hours) at the spa town of Karlovy Vary. A very special town for the rich. Karlovy Vary is an old town. It's original Germanic name is Carlsbad ("Charles' Baths"). The reference to "baths" was quite accurate, as the city's thermal springs made it into a very popular spa town that was being rediscovered by westerners since the end of the Cold War. As Czech moved closer and closer to full integration with the West, Karlovy Vary (just a stone's throw across the German border) became one of the Republic's darlings. Karlovy Vary was a feast for the eyes. I was greatly impressed ... read more
Hotel Romance
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Europe » Czech Republic » Prague November 13th 2010

Prague Half Day City Tour Saturday turned out to be very warm and bright at 16C. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable (as expected) about the history of Prague. There were only 7 of us (6 speaking English and 1 Italian) and the tour moved very briskly covering a lot of Prague. I think it is a really practical way to get your bearings in any city, and well worth the money. I was amazed that the Charles River bridge and Old Town Square was SO busy with people shoulder to shoulder, our guide said that it was due to it being a weekend and the weather being so lovely. We somehow lost 2 people at the castle in our group from Texas, and stood around waiting for 15 minutes while the guide frantically searched for ... read more
Public House
Guard at Prague Castle
Lampstand near the castle

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town November 12th 2010

The weather in Prague is perfect for November Wow, slept through the night and woke up at 8:30AM to glorious sunshine. We walked to the Palladium (a shopping mall of 200 stores) to have a cup of coffee and free WiFi at Starbucks. I wouldn't normally go to Starbucks in Europe as I love European coffee shops (stay tuned for a story about that), but I feel the need to check my business emails and Travel Blog. All is well at home, so we head to the Billa grocery store 1 minute from the hotel for a deli lunch and bottled water. You have to be really careful of the pricing in Prague. You can eat very economically or be totally ripped off, which I think is true of most cities in the world. I bought ... read more
Powder Tower
Wenceslas Square
House of Thievery

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town November 11th 2010

The Flight to Europe The flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam was uneventful, dinner offerings where beef or vegetarian pasta. Cabin crew were pleasant, and because it was a night flight we were left alone (or to stare blankly into the dark because I can NEVER sleep). If you wanted water or juice you had to go to the galley and retrieve. I think I like it better that way, especially if you like to get up and stretch, you aren't bumping into a flight attendant. The flight was smooth UNTIL our descent into Amsterdam, which was encountering a great storm of winds and rain. Now I have to ask myself (and any of you commercial pilots reading this), when you get home for dinner after a day of flying, does your spouse ask you how was ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver November 10th 2010

My review of the Vancouver Airport Premium Lounge I have to tell you, this is really good value! Who wants to sit at the gate 3 hours before your flight in uncomfortable chairs and watch everyone squirm? No, no, this is really lovely........quiet, internet access, nap rooms, excellent food and beverages. Very, very relaxing. International Security at YVR Did I tell you I had the option of a "friendly security guard" pat down OR the new "full body scan"? I chose the body scan and it was over in about 3 seconds.....nothing invasive at all. In fact, the person scanning is in another area and does not even see you, other than your skeleton! The other choice was a "hands on" pat down...No Thank You! I have never been so relaxed before a hour to ... read more
Open Bar
Buffet at the Premium Lounge
Very comfortable and quiet lounge.

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver November 9th 2010

Do this before you leave home It is very important to have copies of your travel documents, passport, prescriptions and credit cards at your disposal should they be lost or stolen. Rather than taking photo copies with you, I suggest scanning and emailing them to yourself and a family member not traveling with you. Don't forget to call your credit card company and advise them when you will be out of the country, and what countries you plan on visiting. If your card is compromised have the bank notify you by email. When you are packing, spread out your belongings on the floor or your bed and take a picture - if your luggage is lost or stolen you will have proof of what is missing. An easy way to send postcards home Print a page ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver November 5th 2010

Time to get organized and haul out the old suitcase and carryon. They have pedometers for measuring your walking distance, someone should come up with a built in mileage counter for luggage.........just a crazy thought! You are in for many more over the next 2 weeks. I am really excited to be heading back to Europe, I believe that this is my 16th time. It's my first blog though.............truly "Facebook" does not count. I have invited close to 200 clients and friends to follow my travels, SO I will be on my best behaviour! Thanks for coming along.... read more
The backyard!

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