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Published: December 23rd 2016
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (northern hemisphere style). Don't really expect to see much snow until we get to Austria & Switzerland but this is pretty nice anyway (apparently it is frost, not snow.). Temps down to about -3 degrees.
Our daily programme was changed around today as we were supposed to disembark from the ship and go into Regensburg however we ended up cruising past and disembarked further down the canal and caught a bus back to Regensburg where we visited the Thurn und Taxis Castle. Franz von Taxis was the first to establish a well-organized courier service in Italy and at the turn of the 16th century laid the foundation for the development of an international postal system. A letter could be transported between Innsbruck and Brussels in 5½ days. In 1615, Emperor Mathias rewarded the services of the family by granting the position of imperial postmaster general as an hereditary right in the male line of succession.
Unfortunately visitors can no longer take photos inside the castle so the attached photos of the inside of the castle are from the Thurn und Taxis official photos and have included them so that you can
see what it was like. The photos are clearer and brighter than when we visited today.
After the guided tour we had a look through what I believe is the last Christmas Market. They have been fantastic and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
While we were out having a lovely time, the poor ships captain was in a battle with timing and water levels. Due to the low water level in the canal there have been some concerns about there being enough water under the ship to get past one point on the canal. On speaking to Adrian (Cruise Director) this evening he told us that there was a wave of water being released from a resevioure and that they needed to time it's arrival at the problem point in the canal for the ship to ride over it. If they hadn't been able to get over it we would have had to pack our bags and move across to another Scenic Ship that was on the right side of the problem area. Clearance over the problem area for our ship was a matter of centimetres! Anyway, mission accomplished and our ship arrived further down stream
for us to re-join after our visit to Regensburg. The only problem was that there was another riverboat berthed at the gangway and couldn't move because it was way further down in the water than our boat and it was essentially stranded at the berth for the next 2 weeks to 2 months. So to get back to our ship we had to enter the UniWorld boat and go up over the sundeck, cross a gangplank to our boat and then downstairs. As for the passengers on the UniWorld boat - they haven been transferred over to bus / hotels for the remainder of their trip. Glad that didn't happen to us.
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