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Blank Canvas

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S: European River Cruise 2011

FC: Dream Cruise

1: Awesome Antwerp Not sure what we liked the best - the fresh mussels with a bolleke (the glass the DeKonnick beer is served in), the architecture or the Belgian chocolate

2: The Netherlands was the only country that the rain was a problem. We had a walking tour of Willemstad just before the rain started. The Kinderdjk windmills (a UNESCO Heritage Site) would have been much nicer with the sun. Next day in Nijmegen, I dropped and broke my camera while fumbling with my umbrella. Missed Bonn the next day buying a new camera in Cologne. | The Netherlands

3: The famous Cathedral of Cologne

4: Cochem Castle Our first stop in the Mosel Valley was Cochem where we had a tour of the restored Reichsburg Castle

5: Cruising the Magnificent Mosel | In the morning we had a walking tour of Bernkastel which included a wine tasting | That afternoon we spent time time cruising the beautiful Mosel Valley.

6: Trier Day 9 we had a walking tour of lovely Trier, which included diverse styles of architecture such as the old Roman Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and the Baroque Bishop's Palace

7: Luxembourg | We toured the American Military Cemetery where casualties from the Battle of the Bulge lie and General Patton, who died after the war but wanted to be buried with his men. Then we toured the German Cemetery where the average age of the soldier was 18. It's all so peaceful now.

8: Cruising the Rhine This part of the Rhine had a castle around nearly every bend! We also saw the Lorelei statue and the Lorelei rock.

9: Boppard Our last day to shop in Germany, which we did, but still had time to try a beer or pastry. Plus, James always has time to walk through Roman ruins.

10: Speyer Sunday in Speyer - Some Catholics attended the Gregorian Mass at the Cathedral. We went to the Trinity Church but didn't stay long as the service was in German. Mert explained the history of the Pilgrim statue. Later, we boarded buses for our home-hosted Kaffklatsch. Lucky us went to the home of Chris and Werner Holdermann in Dudenhofen.

11: Strasbourg Our day in Strasbourg started with a narrated tour by canal boat. After touring the center city we took a long walk back to the ship where there were lots and lots of swans sailing by our window. | Below, Tour Guide Barbara tempts us with a pastry shop but doesn't stop long enough for anyone to buy any.

12: Alsatian Highlights We took a bus trip into the French Wine Country, including stops at Stork Park and the medieval town of Riquewihr.

13: Basel Switzerland | We had all-day street car passes to explore, but after our morning tour, I spent the afternoon packing so we could go to the party on deck that night!

14: Life on the River Harmony

15: Friends Lenny and Nancy from Wisconsin and Chuck and Jane from Minnesota Below is Mert's Blue Group from the cruise

16: Beautiful Lucerne!

18: Swiss Idyll After a train ride from Lucerne to the Swiss countryside, we were met by a horse and buggy which took us to a cheese farm for a wine and cheese tasting.

19: Kleine Scheidegg My favorite day in the Alps

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