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Published: September 5th 2017
Geo: 47.5667, 7.6
Up today around 8. We have to be out of here by noon which is fine since we'll go directly to the boat from here. Mom packs her "trunks" for the last time. I finish writing on the blog and help organize for our departure. Karen makes us coffee in the room using the hot water boiler supplied on each floor and the coffee bags we bought back in Erfert when we had an apartment. A couple of crescents taken from last nights offerings from the hotel and we just saved $50.
It turns out that 12 noon comes pretty fast and we just get out of there about 10 minutes late. I check us out and the desk calls us a cab. There is no public transportation to the dock and I gave up on that option long ago anyway. I try and call Viking to confirm the ship's location as there are three possible docks where the boat could be. I can't get through and ask the hotel desk to try. No use. So I direct the cab to the one Viking says is most likely in use. We get there but no Viking boats. The taxi
driver asks a buddy whose also carrying passengers to Viking and he knows nothing. Our two cabs proceed to the second dock, close to the first one we tried. No Viking. Now we proceed to the third choice and there they are. Unfortunately, I find that I can see the bridge right by our hotel, we are that close from our starting point. Our cab fare, $45. That's $50 for what should have been a 5 minute ride. Oh well, at least we're not the only ones. The boat is near empty of passengers.
They take our luggage and direct us to our stateroom. We explore the ship a little, have lunch and soon after, our luggage arrives. Mom empties out stuff from those giant clothes buckets of ours into more convenient cabinets and drawers. The room is very nice but small. Smaller than we're used to on the ocean cruises. We have a "French Balcony" room, which means we have a sliding door but no outside deck, just a railing outside the door to keep you from falling out. The riverboat is so small it doesn't take long to see the whole thing.
We meet the couple from Cruise Critic that
we had conversed with before leaving the USA and agree to meet for dinner. They're just across the hall from us and live in Texas. So we return to our room to get ready. At 6:15, there's an address from the cruise director about upcoming excursions, a safety orientation, introduction of staff followed by dinner at 7:30. The presentation takes longer than scheduled and all the passengers head for dinner, flooding the restaurant. Service is slow because of everyone arriving at one time. Mom starts to go down. Apparently, she took her insulin before we left the cabin, 1 1/2 hours ago, thinking we we're about to eat and now she's having a sugar low. She orders a Coke followed by another and slowly comes back. We head back to the room after dinner, skipping the 9pm entertainment.
Tomorrow is a busy day. Breakfast at 7 and on the bus by 8:30am for a trip to the Black Forest where we will stop a few times and visit a glass blowing demo, cuckoo clock store and Black Forest Cake demo. The trip is included in our fare, subsidized I'm sure by our destinations. In the afternoon, we are going to
Colmar, France for a walking tour of the quaint village and to check out their Christmas Market. It's supposed to be very picturesque.
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