Oops, the boat broke

posted in: Travel | 0
Reflections in the river

We set off up the river Main for Wurzburg, from which we’d headed off to the walled town of Rothenburg on that previous trip. This time we’d take a look at the Prince/bishop’s residence. But first we had to get there. Pete and I and a number of our fellow travellers were sitting in the lounge watching the red/green/gold scenery slip past while we listened to our resident pianist (he was very good) when the lights flickered, just for a moment. When they flickered again, and the emergency lights kicked in, we were a little more concerned. Not long after that, the captain eased the Amaverde over to the bank and tied up not far from a school. This was most definitely an unscheduled stop, and soon the cruise director was at the microphone. No cause for alarm, problem with the power generator, the captain has tied up here so the crew can concentrate on fixing the problem.

Some of the vineyards in the area

Losing power in a cruise ship like this is a huge problem. Sure, we were unlikely to be affected by huge seas, but without the power generators, taps wouldn’t work, toilets wouldn’t flush, fridges were shut down, and the galley couldn’t cook. Our pianist, his speakers no longer operational, deserted his post. But it was a sunny mid-afternoon and the crew had already put out afternoon tea. We’d be okay for now.

Time passed. We watched a group of kids kicking a football at a nearby playing field. People came out to walk their dogs. Some gawped at the river ship tied up at their little dock. I’m sure they see them going past all the time – not so much moored. We played Solitaire on our tablets. As the hours passed the hotel managers realised more food was needed.

Sandwiches and cakes appeared from the kitchen, and quickly disappeared. Late afternoon began to fade into dusk. Pete and I weren’t the only ones exchanging glances. When the main lights flickered, then stayed on, everyone in the lounge cheered.

The cruise director came back on. Dinner would have to be delayed because of the outage, but meals would be served in the restaurant at 8:30pm. Pete and I passed. We’d managed enough finger food (and drinks) to get us well and truly by. But I was told later that 80%+ of the guests turned up in the dining rooms for dinner. This, of course, put even more pressure on the hard-working staff. Despite the delays, they would still have to get everybody fed, the dining room cleared and dishes washed, and then be up for breakfast service at the usual time.

Next morning, we weren’t at all surprised to find the ship tied up in the more industrial parts of town so the crew could properly fix whatever the problem had been. We had no doubt that whatever they’d done the previous evening had been a temporary band-aid which had to be put right. Still, the incident reinforced our existing impression that the ship was tired. Amaverde was launched in 2011, several years earlier than Amavenita (which we sailed on in 2015). She was beginning to show her age, not least in some of the nasty smells we noticed around the foyer area from time to time.

Never mind. Onwards and upwards, as they say. We’d made it to Wurzburg, where half the guests went off to Rothenburg and the rest of us took a look at the Prince/Bishop’s Residency. It’s the usual over the top, opulent decoration in the rococo style, with beautiful stucco work and some amazing frescoes. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed. Although it’s a pain, I can understand the reasoning. The building housed a number of beautiful tapestries which would be damaged by the light of thousands of flashes. In this age of the mobile device-with-camera, many people wouldn’t know how to turn off the flash, and too many don’t care. However, there’s an informative website, so you can take a tour in pictures, at least. The building also has a beautiful garden, and photos were allowed there.

Mixed border in the gardens. The gardens are open to anyone
It’s autumn in the garden

Like all these towns, Wurzburg has an old town and an old bridge, worthy of photos. The forbidding walls of the Marienberg Fortress loom over the river. We considered taking a walk up there, but thought better of it. We’re not as young as we used to be.

The old bridge
The Marienberg

We did take a look in the catholic cathedral, though. It seems to have been extensively damaged and repaired after the war. The stained glass is the usual yucky modern style. I was intrigued by the enormous menorah in the church, but all I’ve discovered is someone claims it was a gift from a rabbi to a bishop. Still, it’s yet another Jewish reference in our journey.

A menorah in a Catholic cathedral
Wandering around the cathedral, we came across the usual collection of statues of bishops. One in particular drew my attention. This one is so life-like I could imagine him stepping out of the niche and saying hello.

Buses took us back to where the ship waited at the industrial dock. We sailed past the old town at dusk, which gave an opportunity for a few more photos.

Wurzburg’s old town at dusk

Next stop, Bamberg.

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