Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7th - Travel Blog

Hi, it’s Christina –

Greetings from somewhere between Austria & Germany. I tried until eleven o’clock last night to post the blog highlighting the events of day 7, but between computer issues and satellite issues, I wasn’t so lucky. I did manage to get it posted around 6:30 this morning before the satellite went down again.

I am hoping when we get into Passau the signal will be strong again. As for tomorrow, I’m not sure how long my layovers are going to be at each of the airports or if I will have an internet connection, so the post for today’s city, the meet the crew and the journey home post you might not be getting until Tuesday. Notice I didn’t say Monday… I plan on being in a coma then.

I know I said I was done posting pictures of us going through locks, but if you would allow me just one more, this time the wall behind us was not solid, so you can see the height difference in the river. We climb roughly 12 meters – almost 39 feet. We also had an added guest on this lift, a swan swam in with the ship when we entered the lock, so he rose with us. Boy is that going to be a disoriented bird. LOL - Well, it looks like I deleted the picture somehow because I can't find it. Sorry.

Yesterday we, or should I say I, bypassed Linz for a nine hour excursion back to the Czech Republic to visit Český Krumlov. Upon our return, mom did venture in to Linz, but I had a blog post to finish and my feet were barking, so I stayed on the ship.

I wish I could tell you what the history was of Český Krumlov, but I have absolutely no idea. Our guide Oli, was very nice, but not very informative. Luckily Renada, the program director, was in our small group,
so she heard first hand. So, if you happen to go on this Viking Cruise, and you happen to choose to visit Český Krumlov, stick with Sylva, she was born in Český Krumlov, and knows her stuff. Perhaps if I had stayed with her, I would have enjoyed my visit more. Instead, I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for 3:00 to roll around.

Sylva was our guide on the bus, and she was wonderful. (Our group was a little too large for one guide, so they called in Oli at the last minute to split off ten of
us.) On the trip over, Sylva did explain a bit about Český Krumlov, the politics, how it fared during WWI, but she was leaving the details of the palace to Oli.

On the bus ride, Sylva also mentioned a local mushroom soup, Kulajda, which sounded wonderful. It has wild mushrooms, dill, and potatoes, with a poached egg in the middle, and a touch of cream. It sounded wonderful – well except for the egg which sounded a little strange – so for lunch, I decided to try it. It was wonderful. Paired with two bottles of the best tasting iced tea (Aquila - it tastes like you are biting into a fresh peach), and my whole bill was 6,60 €.

After lunch I strolled around the city a little more. Bought an ice cream for 20 Krn ($0.08) and then waited to go back to the bus. Oli was gone by this time, so Sylva got the whole group. She told us they had already started setting up for the next day festivities, and we’d be able to catch a glimpse if we wanted because they were set up by our buses.

You see, 71 years ago, the American forces liberated the Czech Republic, freeing them from the German invaders, and they were grateful. So, every May 7th is their sort-of independence day. There are American flags everywhere. There are parades with US military vehicles, and reenactors. It was cool seeing the old Army stuff, but the best was the motorcycle.

Funny story before I close for the day. When we pulled into Linz, we were greeted with a comical sign. Most places we’ve stopped, there was a sign saying “welcome to ______”, so the Linz sign should have said “Willkommen!” but instead it said “Auf Wiedersehen! Good Bye!”. It was a “get your $h[} and get out” moment. LOL. I pointed it out to Dennis, and he said he’d never noticed it before, and we had a good laugh.

Okay, I seriously doubt there will be another post until I get home. The transport to take us to the airport is coming at 3:20 tomorrow morning, so right after dinner tonight I have to pack and then I’m going to bed so I can get at least a few hours of sleep.

Now, I am going to arrange the photos for this blog post, keep my fingers crossed that the satellite connection stays strong enough for me to post it, get it posted, and then I am off to explore Passau on my own.

Until next time, have a WONDERFUL day & happy writing.