Munich to Nuremburg – Start of cruise.

21 Jul

Cruise through Germany

Today marked the last day of our little independent look through the lower parts of Germany on our own steam. Bags are packed and it’s time to checkout from our nice little hotel on the outskirts of Munich. The elevator is still out of order much to our disgust, lugging heavy bags down 3 flights of stairs was made sweeter by the fact we were able to get away with free parking for the duration of our stay. A handy tip when staying somewhere, park in their car park first and worry about it later. Sometimes it pays off most times not.

We have to travel up to Nuremberg this morning to meet up with our cruise through Germany on the main river canal system. Course plotted on the navigator, well sort of, we’ve got what seems like a dodgy address and directions. The road up is mainly autobahn and we travel at decent break neck speeds most of the way, 180kms is the fastest I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching the countryside pass me by. It still amazes me when high end cars overtake us like we were sitting still. Our directions weren’t very clear and as a result we had a few misguided attempts at finding the car park and dock for the boat, after several attempts at missing the turnoff our trusty driver Tony decided to mount the curb and take the footpath entry amid much laughter and strange looks from other people already in the carpark. Quick walk down to the dock to check we’ve located the right boat and we are told to bring our luggage on board, we can’t access our cabins till 2:00pm but lunch will be served for 12 o’clock, in the meantime if we go down below we might be able to sample some pastries and coffee left over from breakfast. First off we drop the hire car back, now if you’ve not travelled in Europe in a hire car before make sure you ask for a car that comes from the country you will finish your driving in, sometimes if you are taking a car back to the country of origin they might waive certain extra fees. Quick cab ride back to the dock & on board we go.

We’ve chosen a Uni-World boutique river romance cruise, and it’s the most expensive part of our holiday. The ship is called the River Princess and we are feeling a little pampered already to the point of thinking we’ve stowed aboard the wrong boat. There are several areas where you can relax and either enjoy the peace & quiet, read a magazine or play board games and use the free Internet. There’s a nice lounge/bar area at the front end, there’s a beautiful dining area at the rear of the boat, on the top is a great sun deck with tables and chairs so that when the weather is nice you can watch the world go by as you slowly cruise down the canal. Also there’s free washing machines & dryers which always had a line up. The cabins themselves are quite small but functional with great views out the windows when you are not going up or down in one of the canal locks. The staff are very friendly and always eager to answer to any request made.

Lunch is the first meal we had to suffer, or not. As we had had just boarded we didn’t realise that it would include lunch every day, and when I say lunch it was always difficult to choose what to have. The variety was mind boggling, it ranged from hot soups and meals to salads, cold meats, breads, fruits, desserts & the one most of us enjoyed was the different cheeses. We’ve already had to devise different ways to cut back on quantities on the plate, the first day I think we all got carried away and walked from the table feeling like a happy gluttons. If lunch is this good look out dinner and breakfast.

Time to kill before our rooms are ready so let’s work off lunch by going for a walk along the docks. As usual we take umbrellas and not 10 minutes go before its once again pouring down rain. Lucky for us there’s a bridge we can stand under and enjoy the wet weather. Along the docks there are a number of other cruise ships from various shipping companies travelling the same canal, ours looks like the nicest ship, it also has a smaller number of people to cater to as well. Back onboard and we have our first meeting with our tour director, a nice lady called Hildegard. All the different goings onboard are explained with a few of the different tours over the coming days we can sign up for. Dinner is for 6 o’clock and we will be departing the dock whilst we are dining. I can’t remember what our first meal was other than It was fantastic, there’s quite a nice variety to choose from the menu with nice wine or beer to go with it. We then head to the lounge for a few drinks and as usual we crash & burn for the night. One thing I was surprised at was the lack of feeling like we were traveling on water, yes we were on a canal going up or down in the locks but even then I didn’t notice it. And we were told we went through several locks through the night. Tomorrow morning we arrive in Bamburg, a place known for good beer.




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