North America » United States » Colorado » Littleton June 22nd 2015

What a trip it's been. A trip of a life time actually. I've been blessed to experience so many things, so many places and so many people. One of the greatest things was that I was able to experience all this with my mother, aunt and cousin. Three weeks together and we all still get along and have fun together!! We started in Vienna with our flight at 11:05am (that's 3:05am Colorado time) to Frankfurt, Germany, about an hour flight. We landed at the exact time our connecting flight was scheduled to load so in order to make our connection, my mom ordered a wheelchair. The man that wheeled my mom to the next gate was awesome. He was about 6'8" and his gait/stride was about 5' long. I had to run through the airport with ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna June 21st 2015

Sunday morning, we went to Church for mass and to listen to the Vienna Boys choir. It cost us $9 to go to mass, so I figured that was my tithe! It was beautiful. We sat in a room on the second floor that had windows for us to look out onto the church or up into the gallery where the boys choir was singing. We were in the second row so weren't really able to look down into the church. There was also a television in the room with live feed of the mass and the choir. It was definitely an interesting way to go to church, but the music was worth it! After mass, we ventured downstairs to the Vienna Treasury which holds the Habsburg jewels and riches. I have to say, it was ... read more
My Bathrobe

Europe » Austria » Vienna June 20th 2015

We went to the Saturday market down near the ringstrasse. There was everything from fresh produce, fresh fish, meat, Turkish food, Italian food, Viennese food, candy, pastries, beer, wine, olive oil, clothes, toys, etc. It went on for several blocks. We picked up a couple of things, but mostly it was fun watching everyone. We bought some scarves and then our friend bought a jacket. Mom was pretty good at haggling the price down and Helen (friend from the cruise) and I were pretty impressed. We then made our way to the Opera house via bus this time since we were visiting places quite far from one and other. The Opera house interior was gorgeous! Very baroque. Once we were finished with that tour we hopped on the bus to see the Hundertwasser apartments. The artist, ... read more
Saturday market
Saturday market

Europe » Austria » Vienna June 19th 2015

We said good-bye to Mary and Chandler this morning bright and early as they took off for the airport. Then we took off for the hotel in Vienna. It was a decent hotel except for the air conditioning. They try to be very green in Europe so air-conditioning will only turn on once it reaches a certain temperature outside...like 99 degrees Fahrenheit! It never would turn on the whole time we were there, and believe me, it was not that cool. Luckily, I brought a travel fan. That fan is the most beloved travel item I own!! Much better than my travel curling iron that blew up. So our hotel was about 2 blocks away from the subway station which we started getting pretty good at using. We were on the green line which got us ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna June 18th 2015

Today in Vienna, we toured around the Ringstrasse. The Ringstrasse is a ring around the city that used to be the fortification wall but was ordered to be torn down by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1857. The walls were no longer needed and were impeding the growth of the city. The boulevard is 2.5 miles long and circles around Vienna's old town called Innere Stadt. We walked by the Imperial Palace where the Habsburg family resided and where the Spanish riding school and Lipizzaner horses reside. There was so much to see, it's hard to remember it all. We had dinner on the ship and the crew did a Going Away Show for us. I think their talent is in running the ship and not performing but it was fun. Sadly, it was the last day ... read more

Europe » Austria » Lower Austria » Melk June 17th 2015

This morning we were docked in Melk, Austria. I took the optional tour to Melk Abby, a 900 year old Baroque abbey. It's situated on a steep cliff and began as a Roman border post. Later in the tenth-century, it served as a fortress. It became a Benedictine Monastery in 1089. It currently has 900 students but none of them are boarded any more since modern transportation became available. There's a story that one of the Abbot's, centuries ago, was extremely frugal and wanted all extravagance to go to people who could actually and practically use it. He also invented a re-useable coffin. Once the person was dropped in the grave, the bottom dropped out and the rest of the coffin was pulled up and used for someone else. That idea didn't last for very long, ... read more
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Passau June 16th 2015

Passau is situated where the Danube, Ilze, and Inn Rivers join together. It is called the Dreifluessestadt (City on Three Rivers) and pronounced "dafjkdfjenfniudndiekj"!(Just Kidding). It's actually quite easy: Drei=three, flues=river, stadt=city. It's a very charming city and one of my favorite although I think they all are! We spent the first part of the day looking around the city. We then went to one of the churches (can't remember the name, it's the one in the pictures with the black decorated altar) to listen to a woman speak about her family history with WWII and post war activity. Her family was forced to move several times even after the war and they lost their farm and home. They had to attend work camps and were shipped on trains all over to different countries. The story ... read more
A Mary-Size truck!

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Regensburg June 15th 2015

Regensburg is a town built 2000 years ago by the Romans. The ruins of the Castra Regina fort has stone inscribed in AD 179 when Marcus Aurelius was emperor. It has the oldest stone bridge in Germany, built in the twelfth century, although it was under restoration when we were there and completely covered up. Regensburg is Germany's largest medieval city and the historic city center was undamaged during WWII. Regensburg is also the home town of Don Juan de Austria and they had a statue erected of him. He was the illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and through many twists and turns became very powerful and successful. This town had its golden years between 1200-1500 and was very successful as a major trading route. Now take all of that history and think ... read more
Don Juan's Birth Place
This entrance dates back almost 2000 yeas.
East tower of Castra Regina circa AD 179.

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nuremberg June 14th 2015

Today was a little more solemn. We docked in Nuremberg along the Main-Danube Canal. We took buses in to the heart of the city and received a brief synopsis of modern Nuremberg. We then went to see the Zeppelin Field where the Nazi party lead rallies for up to 100,000 spectators. WE then went to visit the building and courtroom where the Nuremberg trials took place in room 600. This morning was the first time my heart felt heavy this whole trip. There was also another beautiful church. I just had to go in and as we got there the bells started ringing and ringing to signal to people for the 12:00pm mass. After that, we ended up in a market square where the Sunday market was going on along with an Umpapa band and some ... read more
Congress Hall in Nuremberg
Congress Hall

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Bamberg June 13th 2015

This morning we took buses into Bamberg and hiked up to ABC...Another Bloody Church! It is the Bamberger Dom of St. Peter and St. George which combines the Romanesque style with the gothic style. Pope Clement II (the only pope buried in Germany) is buried there along with King Henry II and his wife Cunigunde. It was beautiful along with another fairy tale looking city. We climbed down a quite steep staircase and made it into town. We had a smoky beer (Rauchbier) that tastes a bit like drinking a ham, but it was really quite delish! Bamberg was the second city to introduce book-printing and the town's history goes back to 902 A.D. Later in the evening, on the ship, we had drinks and games and dancing. Afterwards we went up to the sundeck for ... read more

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