Still at Frankfurt harbour, the Christmas holidays were over and the cranes were back to work, moving sea containers from barges to shore and the local ferries, which had been moored for the holidays, were back in action. Tour Director Alex had organised a coach trip to Nuremberg but Peter and I took the option of catching a shuttle bus into Frankfurt CBD to catch up on some shopping for paracetamol and the like.
In marked contrast to our stroll around the area a few days before, the city was packed. The crowds were right up there with Hong Kong. I suppose it’s the same everywhere. Close the shops for a couple of days and people react like drug addicts deprived of their fix. Germany these days is a cosmopolitan society as ‘migrants’ come here from Africa and Eastern Europe.
While we were there we visited a nice little church in the central square then we caught the bus back to the ship and read books.
That evening at the daily port talk, cruise director Alex told us that Scenic had accepted that the cruise would not be able to deliver what we’d paid for. We wouldn’t be seeing any of the major cities – Vienna, Salzburg, and Budapest, or indeed Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned, or the magnificent abbey at Melk. Any passengers who wanted to leave could do so with a full refund.
In fact, only fourteen people took up that offer. For some, it was a different adventure as Alex found other fun places for us to visit. For others, timing was an issue because they had planned to continue on to other tours from Budapest. For us, leaving now would have led to problems getting home from Brisbane. Besides, we were also in the ‘different adventure’ group. We were assured even if we stayed on, Scenic would compensate us with real money, not credits, because the cruise had not delivered.
At least we weren’t going to be stuck in an industrial harbour for the rest of the time. The ship would set sail back through the Rhine Gorge (at a rather faster speed, I suspect) to Koblenz. Then we would moor at Mainz for New Year’s eve.
By the way, if you’ve happened upon this page by accident and you’d like to read more about the tour, go to the tour page where you’ll find the rest of our adventures.