Wednesday May 5, 2010

ONLY TWO MORE SLEEPS!

YEEHAA! We’re in countdown mode now – ticking off the last couple of days before our group meets at the airport (Friday morning) with hearts-a-flutter, bags all packed, and passports clutched in hot little hands!

Some “MIDLIFE MADNESS” – that’s what we’ve got planned. It’ll start in Singapore … then continue in Amsterdam, Holland, where our shiny new ship, the AMADEUS ELEGANT, will be waiting to take us on a showcase cruise along Europe’s great rivers.

Amadeus Elegant

We’ll be gliding through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary … past wide-open spaces, quaint villages, proud castles, impressive cathedrals … right into the throbbing hearts of some truly dazzling cities. We’ll be going ashore every day … packing in as much sightseeing as possible … with heaps of time in-between to kick back, relax and have fun.

As we’ve said all along, we’re gonna have a BALL!

CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS?

It’s hard to know where to start – because they’ll just keep coming, day after day, night after night, highlight after highlight. But here’s what our itinerary includes …

  • magical, old, scarred, soothing Amsterdam (Holland) with its canals, bikes and ever-present windmills
  • Cologne (Germany) with its 14th-century lacy-spired Cathedral, a World Heritage Site
  • 2000-year-old Koblenz, on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers
  • the terraced vineyards, narrow streets and wine taverns of Ruedesheim
  • Miltenberg, with its half-gables terraced houses … and charming Wertheim with its 12th-century castle and Pointed Tower
  • the famous Residenz (baroque palace) of Wuerzburg, with its frescoes and great marble staircase
  • medieval Bamberg, with its orchestra and local specialty: ‘smoke beer’
  • the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, filled with Gothic churches, watchtowers and gateways
  • picturesque Regensburg, most ancient city on the Danube, with its 12th-century Old Stone Bridge and Porta Pretoria
  • enchanting Passau with its coloured houses, arcades and Europe’s largest pipe organ
  • stunning Melk (Austria) in the Wachau Valley, home to a 900-year-old abbey … and Duernstein, with its magnificent Stiftkirche and castle
  • Vienna, one-time centre of the Hapsburgs and classical music (Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart), with its awe-inspiring Opera House and cathedral
  • lovingly restored Bratislava (Slovakia), with its centuries-old squares and enormous castle
  • ‘Paris of the East’, Budapest (Hungary), straddling the Danube with its Chain Bridge

And, if that’s not enough, more than half of us will continue from there on a 6-day coach-tour via Linz and Salzburg, to the alpine village of Oberammergau – where we’ll witness the world-famous once-a-decade Passion Play.

Anyway, only two more sleeps before we’re off! And Robyn and I still have about five days worth of stuff to get done, including packing – HELP!

So it’s goodnight from her – and it’s goodnight from me!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S I’ll add some fresh entries once this adventure’s actually underway – and I’ll include some award-winning pix. So stay tuned …