On the road again.

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December 6th 2013
Published: December 6th 2013
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Hi Guys and Gals

Since we last spoke we were heading off to Vienna. So where do I begin.

Vienna – We arrived around 5.30 o’clock. We went to the Liechtenstein Palace for a Viennese Concert that was a tribute the music of Strauss. Everyone got tarted up, I wore my suit and all the girls had there sparkly things on. The show had a bit of everything, Music, opera and some dancing which was well performed. Show went for 1 hour, then back to the ship for evening drinks and planning for the next day.

We went on the Schonbrunn Palace tour which was good, had some free time there so Gaynor hit the Christmas markets in the forecourt and I went for a walk to get some more photos. Had a squirrel crawl up my leg looking for some food but no such luck. Got some of seagulls standing on the water/ice? Back on the bus and back to the boat.

I was going for a bike tomorrow and I needed to purchase some warmer clothes for my ride as I had lost my gloves/scarf and beanie and take a bike for a test run, never having ridden an electric assisted bike before. The other thing I wanted to check was the thermal efficiency of the clothes I had just purchased. All worked well. We sailed at 6pm and headed to Durnstein.

Durnstein – Arrived around 6am, up for breakfast, then walked into the small village. Very traditional with some small souvenir shops open Gaynor was pleased. There are ruins high above the town where Richard the Lion Heart was held captive. Took twenty minutes to get to the top. Hard work but well worth the effort with a great view of the valley. Back down and readied for the ride to Melk.

Bike ride to Melk – We headed off at 10:15am with our guide and 28 cyclists. I volunteered to be the sweeper. This meant hanging back with the slowest rider so when the guide saw me she was sure everyone else was there. This did not seem to be too hard a task but some people have their ambitions set way above their abilities. Most were ok, but one lady struggled with balance, stopping and starting, the electrics on the bike. She fell off at least 5 times,
Rugged upRugged upRugged up

Ready for the ride from Durnstein to Melk
so we were regularly way behind the main group. For me it wasn’t so bad because I kept moving all the time whereas the main group would get to a spot then would have to sit round for 5 to 10 minutes waiting for me to turn up with the stragglers. Not so good for them as the wind had got up and sitting round doing nothing and then having to get going again.

Some of the stragglers were funny. One guy was struggling up a hill and I asked him how he was going and he said was just about done. We were only 8klm’s into a 32klm ride, I told him to up the electric assist on the bike and he said it was not working, I tried to so sort it but couldn’t figure it out and we were falling further and further behind. We eventually caught up at a Church, photo opportunity, so I went to see if I could sort out the bike issue. Checked it over and finally figured the problem. I went and saw him and said “Where is your key?” he responded with “It’s in my pocket, why?”

I explained to him without the key in and the power turned on it wasn’t going to work. “Oh!”

Another lady had a “glove emergency” with one of the fingers on her glove being inverted and couldn’t get it right. Overall I had a good time but did feel sorry for the woman who kept falling off. She actually just wanted to walk and push the bike at one stage, but we managed to coax her back on. We were told at the start that once you headed off there was no turning back as the boat sailed 15 mins after we left and went ahead to Melk to meet us there. Had a big night in the lounge and Gaynor said I should go to bed because I looked tired, I said I was fine and ended up falling asleep on the couch in the lounge and woke up when the cruise director sat down and sang to me. Apparently it was very funny. Gaynor was right (again), I had had a big day, first climbing up to the ruined castle and then the bike ride. I am not as young as I used to be. ( apparently there was a lttle bit of alcohol involved as well)

Salzburg tour – We sailed from Melk at 6pm and headed to Linz. Woke up in Aschach instead of Linz and Gaynor asked what the time was “7:30” which was responded with a “Shit, we are supposed to be on the bus at 8:00 to go to Salzburg!!” So a quick shower, grabbed some takeaway food from the bar and onto the bus in time. Which was good except we were 10 mins down the road and we had to turn back because somebody missed the bus. We said bad luck for them but round we went to pick them up. Back on the road and a stop at a road stop for a ½ hour to back on the bus at 10:00. There was snow on the ground which was novelty for me, so a quick snack and coffee and back on the road. Guess who were late, again? The couple who missed the bus earlier. Anyway we were back on the road again with snow falling on the way with the next stop being the Glass House from “Sound of Music” where we sang I am 60 going on 70. The structure was originally set up on private property but the owner didn't want tourists back and forth through his property so the local council moved it. Back on the bus and we did a walking tour through Salzburg, went to lunch at the oldest Restaurant in Europe, St Peter Stiftskellar (http://www.stpeter-stiftskeller.at/en/). Nice meal then some more free time to browse the Christmas Markets before getting on the bus to Passau to meet the bus. Long ride to the boat, 2½ hours with most falling asleep and very glad to see the boat. Evening meal with Lynn and Ceal (hope I spelt that right) from North Carolina and Chris from New York, then off to bed. Next stop Regensburg and another bike ride.

Regensburg - We woke at around 8am, had a nice breakfast and went through our first snow storm. So much snow they decided to cancel the bike ride to Walhalla, a roman style monument built in the 1830 (http://www.walhalla-regensburg.de/english/) but we did sail past it and got some photos. We docked and Gaynor headed out for the town tour and more Christmas markets, I chose to stay on the boat and Blog. It is snowing as I write which is good for in the warmth of the lounge, it will be interesting to see how Gaynor fares. At least her gumboots will get a workout.

Next stop Nurnberg


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Oh, the weather outside is frightful

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