Evening over Amsterdam

In September 2017 we headed back to Amsterdam for a Rhine cruise ending in Budapest – but with a ten-day extension visiting Cracow, Warsaw, Berlin, and Prague. We’d done the Amsterdam – Budapest trip before – only the other way. This time we’d explore some of the other options we hadn’t taken last time. Or at least, as best as we were able. Sometimes life doesn’t happen according to plan.

Europe – a series of unfortunate events. Day one in Amsterdam, and arriving mid-evening after a long, long flight from Australia.

Zandvoort aan zee – and an unexpected trip. We visit Amsterdam’s beach suburb (pass) and have a nasty encounter on a tram.

A lazy Amsterdam weekend. We mooch around town, meet a refugee, and I take some photos.

A visit to Bonn. Romans, medieval history and post-war Germany. Along with a reminder of the Nazis.

Rudesheim, the Rhine Gorge and Miltenberg. Life’s changing along the rivers. I fear pretty soon the area won’t be much more than a theme park.

Oops, the boat broke. I did say this trip was a series of unfortunate events. But we did get to see the wonderful architecture at the Prince-bishop’s palace at Wurzburg,

Bamberg and milch kaffee. Bambergs is a pretty town built over a river. We discover milch kaffee can be pretty ordinary.

The Main-Danube canal – and cases of gastro. The canal is a wonderful feat of engineering – but the cases of passengers vomiting was a worry for all.

Regensburg. We eat sausage-in-a-bun in the town square and come across some more memorials to the Jews

Cruising the Danube. While everybody else catches the train to Salzburg, we get to see the prettiest stretch of the Danube.

Melk, the Wachau Valley, and Durnstein. You can’t take photos in the abbey anymore, and the climb up to Durnstein Castle is a step too far.

Vienna and Budapest, where I don’t see much of Vienna, and see a bit of Budapest – at a cost.

Off to Eastern Europe. We’ve finished the river trip. Now we’re off into the lands that used to be behind the Iron Curtain. And I have an appointment with a doctor.

Auschwitz. Nothing more to say.

On to Warsaw. We watch Roman Polanski’s movie, The Pianist, on the way to Warsaw and win a couple of contests.

The train to Berlin. Where we encounter the after-effects of tropical storm Xavier, visit Potsdam, and reflect on the Holocaust memorial.

A side trip to Dresden. Incendiary-bombed in the war, it has recovered well – even if the weather was ordinary.

Prague. A visit to the castle and the cathedral – and a piece of Czech carrot cake.

Of falcons and fools. We visit a Czech chateau and see a wonderful falconry show. That’s where the ‘fool’ bit happens.

And that’s it for this trip.