Today was our last tour day. We travelled from Lelystad, Netherlands to Rudesheim, Germany. Again we drove through beautiful countryside. We first drove on the autobahn. The autobahn generally does not have a speed limit (there are a few exceptions), so people can drive as fast as they desire. We saw some fast driving cars today! The buses can only drive up to 60 mph.
As we are driving out tour guide, Mary, tells us about particular places we pass or just general information about the countries through which we travel. Today was very interesting. we complain about our situation in the USA but we could be much worse. The school day in The Netherlands from from 8:30 till noon and from 1:00 till 3:00. They only go to school four days a week. Wednesday is their weekly day off. It is similar in France and Germany. That part sounds pretty good!
Taxes in The Netherlands start out at 34% for incomes up to $35,000 then to 41% and higher. Most European countries pay a similar amount except or Switzerland which only goes to 12% of income. Most people do not get paid for overtime at their jobs. They
take comp time instead so it does not run up their tax base. People have to work until they are 67 years old. they have to have national health insurance but their out of pocket expense is only $385 per year. Insurance costs about $130 per month for a single person. The cost of housing I pretty high. A two bedroom house averages $340,000. An apartment runs about $268,000. Mortgage rates are about 2% People who own cars pay road taxes. If you don't own a car then you don't pay. Unemployment goes from about 2.7% in Switzerland to about 45% in Greece. So I’m thinking we are better off in the USA.
Today we took a Rhône River Cruise. We started at Boppard, Germany and ride about an hour and a half through villages, vineyards, and castles. One place was a church attached to a bar. To get to the bar you have to go through the church! It was a great trip and good weather for sitting out on the top deck!
Following our cruise it was a short ride to our hotel in Rüdesheim. What a cute little city. Tons if shops, restaurants, and cafes.
We all wish we were spending more than one day here.
Tonight we had a farewell dinner complete with a one man band! Everyone sang, danced and had fun. We all part ways tomorrow and start our journey homeward. It’s been a great trip!
We are staying an extra night and visiting the town of Frankfurt, then we will fly out Thursday morning!!
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