Showing posts with label 2010 trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010 trip. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 October 2010

2010 Trip - 2nd October

This morning we decided to change countries for the day and went to Macau.  Only a 1 1/4hr by ferry, needing passports to go and found that it is very much a casino town.  They pay no taxes, best medical, good pensions, schooling free all because of the taxes from the casinos (35 in total at the moment - more being built thanks, to the Packers, Stanley Ho etc).  Had a great guide for the day who showed us all the sights.  No gambling and no shopping.  Back to Hong Kong.  Got some chinese from a place that looked like it only catered for the chinese community so we were the talk of the shop for a little while.  Heading back to Australia tomorrow.  Can't wait.  Had enough now.  Can't wait to see Charlotte.

a casino in Macau

2010 Trip - 1st October

Today is a public holiday in HK for National Day. Last night I got a phone call from Craig Harvey. We knew Craig many years ago in Bathurst. Craig nows lives in Hong Kong with with wife and family. He made some suggestions about places we should visit while in HK. So today we followed Craigs advice and travelled to "The Peak". Victoria Peak is a high mountain overlooking Hong Kong. We caught the "Peak Tram" to the top. The views are spectacular. Among all the tourist shops up there we found a "Bubba Gump" restuarant. Of course we hade to have lunch there. After lunch (about 3pm lunch), we travelled back down and found a good spot to wait for the fireworks display on the harbour tonight. After watching the fireworks here, I think nobody does fireworks like the Chinese.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

2010 Trip -30th September

Hong Kong - city of high-rise
Jet Lag! After a slow start we ventured onto Hong Kong's public transport system. A taxi, a train, a ferry and a bus took us to Stanley on the southern end of Hong Kong Island. We wandered around the Stanley Markets and didn't buy much at all. A bus and a train then took us to Kowloon to shop in the electronics area and then the "Ladies Markets". Again, we didn't buy much. We thought we would find some authentic Chinese food for dinner but ended up eating Japanese. Two trains and a taxi to get back to our hotel. Hong Kong has a great public transport system. Australia could learn a lot!

2010 Trip - 29th September

I think we lost today! We spent it flying from Amsterdam to Hong Kong via Zurich. We left Amsterdam at 7:45pm last night and finally arrived in Hong Kong about 4:30pm today and then caught a taxi straight to our hotel.
The Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel is quite a place. We dined downstairs at the Cafe Lounge choosing the buffet. What a buffet!
Roast pig anyone?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

2010 Trip -28th September

Our last day on board. The trip has been absolutely wonderful.  After breakfast, we caught a "Stop n Go" bus to the 'Anne Frank House' museum. It was a stark reminder of the not so distant past. As we wandered through there were a number of people that were obviously emotional at what they were seeing and hearing. We then ventured by foot to 'Madame Tussaud's'. This was an interesting place and we 'met' some famous people.  A lovely lunch and then back to the boat to await our 5pm transfer to the airport.  Very odd seeing different people on our boat.  OK.  It's their boat now.  And we head off to Hong Kong (shopping, shopping, shopping).

2010 Trip -27th September

After sailing throughout the morning, we arrived in Amsterdam around lunchtime. It has been raining on and off all day. We had a short bus ride to another dock to board a canal boat for a tour around the Amsterdam canals. We returned to the ship to spend time before dinner packing our bags ready for our departure tomorrow. Our final dinner on board the Amadagio had a Dutch theme. As always it was a great meal. The weather cleared a little so we had a short stroll after dinner before heading for our cabin for the last night on board.

Monday, 27 September 2010

2010 Trip -26th September

We left Koblenz during breakfast today and sailed until lunchtime to arrive in Cologne. The largest city we have visited so far on the cruise. The Cathedral was amazing. It was begun in 1248 and took over 600 years to complete. We also visited the Lindt Chocolate Museum. A visit to the Lindt shop was a must for Linda. We docked right next to it!

We realised that we are getting close to the end of the cruise as today we had a 'disembarkation briefing'. It has been a fantastic time! The ship and all the staff have made the whole time wonderful. We've made some friendships onboard with other guests that it has been great to share the experience with. - Thanks guys.
Cologne Cathedral

Saturday, 25 September 2010

2010 Trip - 24th September

We arrive early this morning in Wertheim. After breakfast we heading off on a walking tour of the town with a local guide. Small narrow streets hardly wide enough for one car so vehicles are banned from 10am each day within the town walls. This town was one of the few that were not damaged during WW2 and so is appears as it has for centuries with some buildings dating back to the 10th or 11th century. We were then met by buses, as our ship had already sailed, to rejoin the ship for lunch at the next town. While we enjoyed lunch we cruised further down the river to Miltenburg. It is an even smaller town also untouched by WW2 and time. Most of the buildings in the inner town dated around 1500 with some back to 1300's. It seemed to be less touristy than other places we have visited with less souvenir shops but still with a good range of specialty shops (clothes and jewelery). We had a quiet and relaxing afternoon onboard and then after dinner we were treated to a "crew talent show". What a hoot!!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

2010 Trip - 23rd September

Wurzburg was our first stop today and the residence palace of the prince bishop.  So beautiful and ornate.  Another filming location for the three musketeers starring Orlando Blum.  Although they were filming in Germany, the movie is supposed to be set in medieval France and London.  They were in the process of putting everything back together after the crew had been there.  A photo shoot was underway on one of the bridges there so we saw the cast (from a distance).  Back to the ship for lunch and then bussed to Rothenburg.  Oh the most beautiful little town we've seen yet.  Rob says almost like going back in time.  We bussed back to the ship and were supposed to see a glass blowing demonstration on board but while the demonstrator was unpacking his car someone stole his torch and tools.  So he gave a talk and we'll see a demonstration in his home town (Wertheim) tomorrow.  Linda got a migraine during dinner but Rob went up and listened to a group called La Strada (violin trio from Belgium).

Thursday, 23 September 2010

2010 Trip -22nd September

So this morning started with an announcement from 'Bertha' for the trip for the day in Bamburg.  Bamburg is the town where special smoked beer is made.  It smells like beer that has had smoked bacon soaking in it.  Rob didn't mind this beer.  Linda didn't want to try.  The smell was off putting enough, let alone not liking beer at all.  Back on the boat for lunch and we had to travel this afternoon.  So an afternoon on the boat was spent with a lecture of the European Union by a professor from Nuremburg.  The history lesson caused many to fall asleep.  A few games of cards and a quiet dinner, introduction of our new cruise director (yes I had to hand over my role - sorry Bertha's role) Kata (she's Hungarian).  Early to bed - big day tomorrow.


2010 Trip -21st September

A different day today as we spent the morning sailing through locks and along canals. About mid morning we reached the 'Continental Divide'. This is the point where we ceased our upward climb through locks and began our downhill run through locks towards the coast.  This afternoon we arrived in Nuremburg where we did a medievil tour of the city.  Lots of history of this town.  The buildings of this city were not as old as we thought because of how severely it was bombed during the wars.  So buildings were only about 40-50 years old but still in the old style.  We wandered around the city for a couple of hours then back to the boat.  We had a Bavarian dinner and entertainment tonight (yodelling). They even played the 'chicken dance'.  During dinner, Jan, our cruise director advised us that he had to leave our cruise because his wife was having complications during the birth of their son a month too early.  Leaving us he said that 'Bertha' was in charge until the new director arrives tomorrow afternoon. A few of us then had a late night in the lounge listening to our piano player and dancing the night away.
Linda & Ann do the chicken dance

2010 Trip -20th September

We had a slower start to the day with a Bavarian feast for morning tea on board our ship. We had a walking tour of Regensburg in Germany. ABC - "another beautiful city". Oskar Schindler, made famous by the movie "Schindler's List" lived here for about 5 years after WW2. After returning to the ship for dinner, we enjoyed a "Roaring Twenties Night" on board.  This was an interesting night where we were involved in a skit/entertainment.  There were 8 chairs in the middle of the room.  Eight people were given titles.  There was the 'barkeeper', 'john', 'the red lion bar', Rob was 'Peter' & I was 'Bertha'.  A story was told and every time your title was given you had to get up off your seat and run around the other 7 people in the story.  Started off slowly for 'Bertha' but by the end 'Bertha' was continuously running around the group.  Much fun was had by all.  Now I'm known as 'Bertha'. 

Monday, 20 September 2010

2010 Trip -19th September

So we headed to Linz during the night and went straight off the boat and headed to Salzburg via Mondsee.  Mondsee was the place of the church from the Sound of Music.  Along with other Sound of Music sights in Salzburg we saw where Mozart was born and lived.  Beautiful sunny day but a little chilly in the Austrian Alp area.  Gorgeous scenery.  So picturesque as we then travelled by bus across the Austrian/Bavarian (German) border to Passau.  We joined the boat again here. After dinner we were entertained by a group called "Sounds of Austria" - a little bit of Mozart opera, a little folk music and of course songs from "The Sound of Music".

2010 Trip -18th September

Miky's birthday day started early this morning as we arrived in the village of Durnstien.  After a walking tour and a local wine tasting it was time to move on to Melk.  Most stayed on board but 15 of us decided to cycle along the bank through a few small villages - 33km - three hours to complete.  Linda did about 5km before she decided that 33km was way too ambitious at the speed they were wanting to travel at.  So with two others caught a cab to Melk.  Rob, (I was very proud) complete the cycle.  Well done.  The highlight in Melk was the large Benedictine Abbey.  After dinner back on board we enjoyed a movie music quiz night.  It was a long and tirng but great day.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

2010 Trip -17th September

We left for Vienna last night about midnight and docked this morning at 7.30am.  Left Amadagio at 8.30am to go to Schoenbrunn Palace - beautiful.  The gardens were spectacular and saw 20 of the 1400 rooms.  Very ornate.  Back to the boat for lunch and the afternoon was our own to venture around Vienna town seeing the sights, St Stephens Cathedral (very dark/bleak, gothic), horse carriage ride around town.  Apple strudel was a must.  Check out the photo.  Then back to the boat again for dinner (early 5.30pm) so we could venture out again to a wonderful concert of a 11 piece orchestra, two ballet dancers and 2 opera singers in the most gorgeous building - the Austrian military museum.  This was a great night.  We are so spoilt.  Too much food, too much wine, plenty of picturesque sights.  Wait till you see what tomorrow holds for us.

2010 Trip - 16th September

After a lovely night with Hungarian folklore entertainment our boat, the Amadagio, left dock at 9pm last night and arrived at Bratislava, Slovakia at lunchtime today.  So relaxed morning on the boat.  Well not really relaxed - we had an emergency drill, a briefing and piano recital (which we have every afternoon (& evening).  This afternoon we took a trip to the regions of communist Bratislava and ended at the castle.  Back to the boat for an evening of entertainment - the Aphrodites (quintette of flute, violin, viola, cello and piano) was fantastic.

Bratislava - castle gates

Thursday, 16 September 2010

2010 Trip -15th September

We visited the Budapest Opera House - our 1st tour with the group from the ship. We then crossed the river to the Buda side to visit the Castle area, including Mathias Church, the Fishermans Bastion and Old Buda. The afternoon was free time so we wandered to the Bupdapest Central Market and then strolled along Vaci Utca (Budapest "Fashion Street"). After dinner on board, we departed the dock and briefly cruised around Budapest before beginning our journey along the Danube.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

2010 Trip -14th September

The day began with a tour of St Stephen's Basilica..... WOW!!!!! Incredible, magnificent, awe-inspiring, these words do not even begin to describe in interior of the Basilica. There was even a tenor singing with organ music while we wandered around. We had our final meal with Greg and his family before we headed for our ship. It was great to share time with them in Hungary.
The first day on board was fairly low key, with a short briefing and dinner. The food is fabulous and tons of it - 5 courses every night! (not to mention - breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and of course late night supper)
St Stephen's Basilica

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

2010 Trip -13th September

Well today was so great.  We visited with Greg, Rita, Michaela, Luke and Effie (Rita's mum) travelling by metro underground train and trams to Hero's Square, Papa & Aunty Margarets home in Budapest (where they left hungary from) and their school, took a boat ride on the Danube, saw many beautiful buildings and heard a little bit of history, shopping and dinner at a restaurant where they had traditional gypsy hungarian music played live.  We were all so tired by the end of the day and slept well.

Monday, 13 September 2010

2010 Trip -12th September

After a late breakfast, we checked out of the Ramada Plaza and headed to Margaret Island. It's our first sunny day in Hungary. We hired a motorised "golf car" and drove around the island to get the "lay of the land" before we walked to look more closely at each section. It is beautiful oasis amongst an otherwise congested city. Linda could not resist the green apple fairy floss. Late in the afternoon we met up with Linda's cousin, Greg, from Melbourne, and his family.