Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011 -Heidleberg and Speyer

Our evening in Rudesheim was really fun. We went by mini-train to a restaurant on the main tourist street and sat outside. There were about 24 of us that went. I sat with a couple from Anaheim and two couples from Florida. There was a band for entertainment but I was a little disappointed that they didn't play any traditional German songs. Most of the songs were in English! But they were talented and there were a few couples dancing, and it was fun to watch them.

For dinner we had salad, a cream of something that might have been celery with a chicken base, and the main course was a pork roast with gravy, potato salad (but the potatoes had been mashed so it didn't really look like potato salad) saurkraut and a vegetable dish that tasted like it had cabbage and maybe cauliflower in it. Dessert was an apple cake. 

My tablemates at dinner. 

The band did some group participation things and got us up in a conga-line type thing where we were winding all around the restaurant, and they had this long pole with 5 or 6 pewter shot glasses connected to it and they would get a group of people to line up and hold the pole, fill all the glasses with Schnapps and at the count of three, tip the pole so everyone took a shot at once. It was quite entertaining! They also had various sized bells and got a group of 6 or 7 ladies from the crowd to sit and each got a bell. Then one of the band members stood in front of them like a conductor and had them ring their bell when he pointed at them, and they were actually able to play a song! It was very cute.  

The gal on the end was our cruise director, Ann

We took the mini-train back to the ship about 9:30 and I found out that one of the Egyptian ladies had been taken to the hospital by ambulance, I think it was a heart-issue. The Captain was talking to a group in the library and said they were keeping her overnight for observation and if all goes well, they will bring her to the ship by taxi at the next town. One of the gals at the Reception desk  went with her to translate because she didn't speak any German.  I had talked to this Egyptian lady earlier in the day and she said they had been sailing for three weeks already and she was tired and ready to go home. She had boarded in Budapest.

We are parked next to a pier in Mannheim waiting for our turn to dock. They will take us by bus to Heidleberg, which is supposed to be about an hour. We will have a bus tour through Heidleberg  with some free time in town afterward for lunch. While we are gone, the ship will relocate to Speyer. After we are done in Heidleberg, the bus will bring us to Speyer where we have a walking tour and then back to the ship and on to Strasbourg, France. 

I have to say, I'm glad that I only did a one week cruise. The little towns are starting to look alot alike and everyday they seem a bit less authentic. In my mind I compare them to the quaint little villages from my first week here, and they don't compare! In these towns, the shopping area is row after row of gift shops with the same kind of tourist gifts that you see in any other tourist town. Although luckily they take us to a museum, monument or other local attraction to make the stop worth-while. 

We are still having a great time, the crew onboard pamper us like crazy, the food is amazing and I've met some great people. Oh and this morning I put on a pair of jeans that I haven't worn since I was in Aufhausen, and they still fit! I was thrilled because that means that I haven't gained too much weight yet, with all this food!

Today is the day that Xavier has his assessment at Kaiser and he and Tabatha were supposed to get back from Oklahoma yesterday so I have been thinking about them alot but haven't been able to get online to see if she's written. I'm starting to miss him alot now that I know he's back home! 

Thursday evening

Well, it rained on us in Heidelberg! When we got there it was overcast and by the time we got halfway through our tour of the castle grounds it started raining. Luckily I had a rain hat and had brought my waterproof vest. We didn't have much free time in Heidelberg after the tours, barely enough time to have lunch and get back to the bus to Speyer.



ahh.... the sausages and saurkraut!

In Speyer we had an older German woman for our guide and she was very blunt and almost demanding. A couple of times some people wanted to leave the tour and look around on their own and she got really upset with them! The tour took longer than I think it should have, there really wasn't that much to see here. Mostly a cathedral and the historic Jewish area which was probably the highlight of the tour. We walked around for a little while then headed back to the ship.

Tonight before dinner we have the disembarkation talk where they give us all the info we need to get ready to leave the ship on Saturday. 

Tomorrow we will be in Strasbourg, France. That should be fun!

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