Holidays Our little holiday diary

Rhine Cruise One

(September 2004)

Diane saw the advert for a cheap Rhine Cruise so, because we liked the idea of somebody else organising our holiday for us, we decided to give it a go. Diane also doesn’t like being on water where you can’t see both sides so a river cruise is the ideal solution. (Eric’s last cruise was on a troop ship for three weeks from Southampton to Malaya via Singapore in 1955). It was the best move we have ever made, holiday wise.

Day One.

We had to travel down to Ashford in Kent and stay overnight in the Holiday Inn there, but that was no problem. We enjoyed the drive down. It was very pleasant. One slight problem when we got to Ashford, there are two Holiday Inns and we went to the wrong one. The staff there gave us good directions for finding the other one and after a hours drive we finally found the right one, parked up and booked in for the night. The other drawback was having to get up at 4.30 the following morning to catch the coach which was to take us down to the boat in Breisach. It was an all day trip so we were pretty stiff when we arrived at the boat, although the scenery was very nice on the way down.

We were met by the crew (mainly Dutch we think) who took our luggage on board for us, gave us a welcome drinky poo and showed us to our cabin. We felt very important. Whilst the cabin was quite compact, it was adequate and very clean. A very impressive start to our holiday.

It seems that there is no overnight river traffic allowed in Switzerland so we stayed in Breisach for the first night. The following morning, when we woke up and looked out of our cabin window, we saw the water was about one foot below the window level and a number of swans gliding gracefully past our window. What an incredible sight to start the day.  We then started our cruise towards Basle during which time we ate a hearty breakfast, had mid morning coffee with biscuits and then lunch before arriving in Basle at 2.00pm. During the cruise we spent most of the time just getting to know our fellow passengers and generally lazing on the deck watching the scenery pass us by. The coach that took us down had travelled ahead of us and was waiting for us when we moored on the edge of Basle. The coach, along with our courier then took us  into Basle during which time the courier gave us a fairly detailed idea of what to see and do while we were there. Once we had been dropped off we had about four hours to explore the area and take a few pics, I even managed to get a quick video of a pool with some rather quaint features in it (see link below) All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon. We were picked up by our friendly coach driver and courier who took us back to the boat where we had a hearty evening meal and a few drinks with our new found friends before retiring for the night.

 

Water pool in Basle Switzerland

 

Day Two.

We were still moored in Basle, but after a hearty breakfast, we set of on the Grand Switzerland Tour which was leaving at 8.00am on our coach. As it was going to be a full day out, the boat crew had prepared and provided us with a packed lunch. (Very thoughtful we thought). Off we went and after a pleasant ride through the Swiss countryside we arrived at Lake Lucerne where we were shown the Wooden Chapel Bridge and Water Tower. We were there for about one and a half hours wandering about and taking in all the sights. It was then back onto the coach for our onward journey to Grindenvald over the Brunig Pass to see the Bernese Oberloust mountain range. We went up in a cable car during which time we ate our packed lunch. We managed to photograph the North Face of the Eiger on the way to the top where there was a restaurant and gift shop but nothing else. Back down on the cable car, back on the coach for our next stop in Interlaken for an hour. Again, a very pretty town. We then made our way back to the boat for another excellent evening meal, the usual drinkies before retiring for the night.

I think we have mentioned before that we are rubbish at taking photos, so it isn’t your eyes that are blurred, it is our crap pics. Our regular visitors know this and are used to them. The boat is quite poor as are a number of other pics. Sorry. We may also have mentioned before that we never anticipated having to put our pics onto the internet. We will try to be more careful in future.

Part Two coming soon. It's now arrived.

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