Great Trip But Glad To Be Home.

Hi everyone! We got home on Wednesday 20th and I’ve struggled to put out a post since then. However, here goes, on what will be a very condensed version of the trip.

Basically, we flew from Seattle after driving there. Our outward flights took us first to Salt Lake City and then on to New Orleans in two relatively short hops.

 

Passing Time At Salt Lake City

Passing Time At Salt Lake City

We landed at New Orleans and began to explore. We saw the French Quarter and ate there too, enjoying the food and the music. Coffee and beignets at Café du Monde were a must too. We enjoyed the sights and sounds as well as the smells of the city, visited Bourbon St. and did all the usual touristy things.

We Loved Those Beignets

We Loved Those Beignets

With Some Of The Greats

With Some Of The Greats

French Quarter Architecture

French Quarter Architecture

After three great nights in New Orleans we boarded the American queen steamboat and headed upriver to Memphis, some 600 miles and seven nights away.

Two Beautiful Ladies About To Go Upriver.

Two Beautiful Ladies About To Go Upriver.

Closer Look At The American Queen.

Closer Look At The American Queen.

The river was wide and brown from sediment dumped into it by the Missouri river farther north. We saw the occasional “tow” (even though barges were being pushed).

Ol' Miss...Brown And Wide.

Ol’ Miss…Brown And Wide.

We made quite a few “landings” at river ports along the way, Helena, Vicksburg and Natchez among them. One of the more memorable ones was to a former sugar cane plantation at Oak Alley. When we got off the boat and climbed the levee, a majestic sight was in store. We looked along an avenue of 900 year old living oaks, to the mansion house at the far end. What a sight it was! The stop there was beautiful and we learned a lot about slave labour, sugar cane growing and the life of the plantation owner. It was great stop.

The A.Q. Landed At Oak Alley. From The Top Of The Levee

The A.Q. Landed At Oak Alley. From The Top Of The Levee

Mansion Through The Living Oaks.

Mansion Through The Living Oaks.

The Plantation House Close Up.

The Plantation House Close Up.

Eventually we landed at Memphis and picked up a car from the airport to drive 200 miles east to Nashville. The little Chevy Sonic proved to be a dandy car.

The Chevy Sonic, Perfect For Us.

The Chevy Sonic, Perfect For Us.

New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville

New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville

The drive to Nashville was horrendously wet. We drove in pouring rain most of the way and we were both very glad to get to the hotel. Once again we toured the city and saw a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Another highlight was church on Sunday morning. We visited the Cowboy Church run byPastor Harry Yates, and his wife, Joanne Cash Yates, the sister of the late Johnny Cash.

On The Air At The Opry

On The Air At The Opry

Home Of The Cowboy Church In A Strip Mall.

Home Of The Cowboy Church In A Strip Mall.

Joanne Cash Yates Sang For Us.

Joanne Cash Yates Sang For Us.

After an enjoyable two days in Nashville we drove back to Memphis. The return trip was much prettier and faster on a hot sunny day. Highlights here of course were wandering Beale St., listening to music and eating ribs, and a five hour visit to Graceland, home of Elvis Presley the next day. I liked Elvis’ music but another side of the man which greatly impressed me was the amount of funding he gave to local charities. There was a whole wall of his trophy room which contained the cheques he’d written in support of different groups.

Part Of The Wall Of Cheques For Charities.

Part Of The Wall Of Cheques For Charities.

One Tiny Part Of Elvis' Trophy Room

One Tiny Part Of Elvis’ Trophy Room

W.C. Handy's Home Now On Beale St.

W.C. Handy’s Home Now On Beale St.

Boot Store In Memphis. Buy One Pair, Get Two Pairs Free. Beware The Price Of The First Pair!

Boot Store In Memphis. Buy One Pair, Get Two Pairs Free, But Beware The Price Of The First Pair!

Our time in Memphis came to an end after two days there. We began our journey home at 3.30 in the morning Comox time, 05.30 Memphis time.Two short hop flights of about two hours each, via Denver, got us to Seattle where we picked up our car and drove home.  We arrived home  in Comox 19 hours after our start. Boy, were we glad to be back at the ranch!

I’ve added some more random pics from the trip in a slide-show below.

Goodbye for now and God bless.

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Viking River Cruise-Apr./May 2013 (15)

Sunday, May 05, 2013-Day 16
We had a leisurely breakfast as there was nothing major scheduled for the morning. The ship had left Nuremberg last night en route for Bamberg, and continued travel along the canal. However, we had been told that due to a major event, a huge marathon run, happening in Bamberg, we would not be able to dock at the scheduled place or do the scheduled activities. This was indeed a shame, for Bamberg was one of the few cities in Germany not destroyed by allied bombings. As such it is the largest old town in Germany to retain its medieval structures. Because of this, it was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993. It was a shame we were not able to see it, but it gives us one more reason to come back to this gorgeous part of Germany. Instead of a tour of this old medieval city, we would now be shown the Seehoff Palace, just outside the city.
At 10.30 our cruise director Vlad informed us of a trivia contest happening in the lounge,  so we, Don and Lynore mosied up to take a peek. Along with Gloria, our naturopath friend from Seattle, we formed a formidable team. Winners of the contest would be informed at the briefing tonight and presented with their liquid prize. More on that later.
About 11.45 the Idun docked near a huge pile of scrap metal on a dock in downtown Bamberg. It was to be our temporary docking place. We had lunch then boarded the buses at 1.30 pm. We were off to visit Seehoff Palace, a beautiful country home just outside the town of Bamberg. At the same time that we boarded the buses, the ship left its moorings for Hassfurt where it would wait until we re-boarded later in the day.
The ride to the palace was a short one. The entry to the pace was impressive as the palace (really a very large country home) sat on a rise and we looked up to it as we entered the grounds.

Seehoff Palace From The Entrance.

Seehoff Palace From The Entrance.

Because of the restructuring of the tour, our guid ‘fessed up that she new little about this place. We appreciated that, and as such, she was asked no awkward questions by the group. However, what she did, (and this was no mean feat) was to translate from German to English, what the local guide told us. We toured the house and it was very lovely. I especially liked a little angel painted on the ceiling of what must have been the ballroom. He was shooting an arrow from a bow. No matter from which point in the room you viewed him, he was always pointing his arrow at you.

The Angel On The Ceiling

The Angel On The Ceiling

Basically, the history of this place was it was built as a country retreat by some rich folk, who lost their fortunes and had to sell the house. Later, they regained their wealth and re-purchased their home to take care of it and install the gorgeous gardens for which the place became famous. Sadly, the gardens are no longer here but acres of grass and parkland. Our guide toured us around the grounds and did he best to give us as much info as she had been able to muster since hearing about her changed tour venue. At four pm we were all taken to the large fountain which erupted right at four with water going everywhere. It was a good sight, but Bellagios it was not.

Waiting For The Fountain At Four

Waiting For The Fountain At Four

Befoer the bus left, we managed to squeeze in an ice-ream at the cafeteria. The treat was lovely but the seat was even more welcome. At 5.30 our bus left for the ship and we boarded. As we headed in for dinner later on, we were told that there was abig problem with the air-conditioning on the ship but they were working on it. After a hot dinner, in more ways than one, we headed for our rooms and crashed! Yet another good day was had by all in spite of the changes.
Tomorrow we dock at Wurzburg.
Goodbye for now and God bless.

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