Monday June 3, 2013

You’ve probably heard by now that Central Europe (in particular the countries we’ve come to visit: Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, etc) is being swept by extensive flooding – on a scale, according to some reports, not seen in 500 years! And, as I mentioned in the previous blog, both the Rhine and the Danube are currently closed to shipping – thanks to water-levels that are too high to allow river-boats like ours to pass safely beneath the numerous bridges.

We sure chose the right time for this Mad Midlife Adventure – right?!?

In case you’re worrying on our behalf, losing sleep, and stressing that we’re caught up in these events, I wanted to reassure you and put you in the picture:

  1. We’re FINE, all 23 of us … warm, safe, dry and in no danger. We’re still onboard the Amadeus Princess (which is safely tied up at its moorings in the lovely German city of Coblenz) … we’re free to go ashore whenever … and we’re still being well looked after by the friendly crew.
  2. Water levels on this stretch of the Rhine are still rising (we’ve been watching the water creep higher and higher across the path that runs alongside our ship), but they’re expected to peak tomorrow – at which stage, hopefully, they’ll begin to drop. How fast? How soon? How long? No one knows at this point, but we (and the hundreds of other cruise ships that are affected) are obviously hoping for the best.
  3. Our planned itinerary has been disrupted, of course, and that’s disappointing. But alternative sightseeing is being arranged by the crew (on a day-by-day basis) – so we’re not sitting around feeling miserable or bored. Today, for example, several of our group went by coach to Miltenberg, a lovely medieval town on a bend of the Rhine – and the rest of us enjoyed a warm sunny day here in Coblenz, exploring, shopping, and cable-car-riding. Tomorrow we’re heading up into the Moselle River Valley to check out the Castle Reichsburg in the town of Cochem and do some serious wine-tasting.
  4. What’s the forecast? What might the next few days hold? We can only guess at this point. But the hope is that we might soon resume our cruise up-river – albeit shortened as necessary to ensure we get to Budapest on schedule.

There’s not much else to say right now. But we’ll keep you posted, I promise. So watch this space …

This comes with a cheerful “HELLO!” from your Mad Midlife friends!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this page, and add your ‘COMMENTS’! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief.