Strasbourg: The Fantasyland Of Europe


Strasbourg
After our many stops in Germany, the AmaCello finally arrived in France.  I had never heard of the town of Strasbourg prior to it being on our river cruise itinerary so I didn’t know what to expect.  Having previously been to Paris, I guess I was expecting something a little more metropolitan, but I was delighted with the picturesque qualities of the town.

And it all started with the swans.

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Castles, Cabinets, And Wine, Oh, My!

After discovering that Germany was much cooler than I anticipated, we spent our next day cruising along the Rhine from the comfort of our heated ship.  It was cozy inside the main room as the passengers gathered around windows, cameras and iPads at the ready, to snap photos of the gorgeous winter landscape that felt like the inside of a snow globe.  Around every bend in the river, there were vineyards, churches, and castles.  Yes, castles.

Castles

Though not exactly like the palaces of kings and queens that little girls dream of being swept away to, the castles were amazing.  Clearly strategically built structures, they were scattered along the banks and positioned up on the hills, the high ground a clear advantage for seeing an enemy approaching.  Now, I know there are castles out there that more closely resemble the ones in those princess stories I loved, but I really enjoyed seeing these militaristic fortresses and hearing the history behind them.

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Misconceptions Abound

In the past, whenever anyone mentioned Germany, my mind instantly formed a negative picture. Images of war-torn cities, concentration camp victims, and hoards of David Hasselhoff fans played like trailers in a movie theater. I just couldn’t understand why anyone aside from frat boys wanting to raise their steins at Oktoberfest would ever want to vacation there. Needless to say, Germany was never on my travel radar of places I must visit.

But I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

After the delightful and surprising Amsterdam, our cruise ship, the Amacello, brought us to Köln, or Cologne. It was my first experience of Deutschland and I was immediately in awe.

Clockwise from Top Left: Cologne's Town Hall, wood carvings outside of a Christmas market, Cologne's coat of arms, travel buddies for life

Clockwise from Top Left: Cologne’s Town Hall, wood carvings outside of a Christmas market, Cologne’s coat of arms, travel buddies for life

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Falling Down On The Job

 

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A view of Heidelburg from the castle

Wonderlings!

It’s not that I’ve been avoiding you all, I swear it’s not. It’s just that I’ve been having so much fun enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the land along the Rhine. I think about you all the time and wish you could be here with me on this lovely holiday. There is so much I can’t wait to post about when I return home. I want to share it all with you and I hope you’ll enjoy the ride.

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When You Miss A Little Dog

Greetings from the Rhine River, Wonderlings!

We have left Amsterdam and are making our way to Cologne. Luckily, there have been no leaky ceilings or instances where anyone has been thought to have wet the bed. All is good, all is cold.

I wish Jake were here to snuggle with in our cabin. His furry little body always finds the perfect way to get completely tucked into mine, making us both warm. But, as we are on our vacation he is on his.

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A Pissin’ Good Time

Now that you all know about the kind of fun things my dad and I do together, it is only fair to share some stories starring my mom.  And this is how I stay the favorite daughter.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m their only daughter.  That’s merely a coincidence.

Getting on with it, my mother and I are freakishly close.  Have you seen Gilmore Girls?  That’s nothing compared to the antics we get ourselves into.  One of our favorite things to do together is travel.  We have cruised through Alaska, gambled through Vegas, and hula-ed through Hawaii.  My mom works in the travel industry so sweet vacations at even sweeter prices have spoiled me completely.  I don’t know what we’ll going to do if she ever decides to retire.

Travel Buddies

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