Amsterdam was very cool with all the canals and the very narrow and lop-sided buildings. There were an amazing incredible number of bicycles. The city was dirty. I have to remember that it was a holiday so maybe it isn’t regularly so. I wished that we had gone to the “Gardens”. I find that if I don’t pre-book an excursion it doesn’t happen.
I was amazed that the river was so peaceful and “calm”….and clean. It was almost like being on a lake with all kinds of bird life…especially swans! Yes there was “some” industry but it was mostly rural and/or pastoral with little quaint villages along the river and castles up on the hillsides. They were cool! And…..in Germany…..no garbage (including no cigarette butts)….anywhere! I was impressed! And if buildings or bridges were damaged because of the war(s) or just because of the fact they were all old, they were all reconstructed and well cared for.
Being on a river cruise, every day it was a new port and sometimes two (nice that they are included in your purchase price ……unless you want to see something out of the usual you could pay an extra charge) and so it becomes tiresome and the places all run together in your mind. I think I prefer ocean cruising for that reason. Atleast on them, every couple of days you have a “day at sea” when you can unwind, catch up on correspondence (write your blog) and digest what you have seen over the last couple of days.
Austria was much like Germany in that it was clean but the villages became cities. They got larger……not so “quaint”. Bratislava, in Slovakia, is a very large city too.
And then there was Budapest. Huge! Magnificent in its heyday but now crumbing…..and dirty! As in other cities, crossing a street no matter if they are narrow and small, is taking your life in your hands because from out of nowhere some jackass will attempt to run you over….horn screaming! And that included being run over by bicycles in Amsterdam.
Our ship was absolutely lovely…..very modern and shiny…..all glass and chrome. The rooms were spacious and the “balconies” weren’t really balconies but you could raise the top half of the floor-to-ceiling window so it was like being outside without freezing or getting wet. Very nice! For a good portion of our ride up the Rhine and down the other side (Danube), the sundeck on top level was closed…..railings and chairs collapsed down…..not that it was warm enough anyway, because the bridges are too low (especially on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal).
I think I’ll stay home for a while now. That is one trip ticked off my bucket list.
One other comment I have to make concerns what I saw while flying back into Amsterdam. Since returning home, there was a news report stating that the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of produce. Amazing for such a small country. From the air, you can see firsthand that not a square inch in that country, is not cultivated.