ABOARD THE SCENIC JADE – It is only 3 p.m. and already we have had a perfect river cruising day. That is because we could pretty much do what we wanted with it.
Our day began with what I call a “morning at sea” – that is, we cruised along the Main-Danube Canal all morning. This is what we all visualize of when we think of river cruising … lazy hours spent gazing at fishermen on the shore, wondering at the names of small towns, watching kayaks and catching ourselves catnapping in between. Unfortunately, many days we have to be up early for a full or half day of touring.
So some slept in, others ate early and then spent time on the sundeck reading or chatting, others played cards and some even went to a rather fun presentation by the housekeeping staff on how to fold towels into animals.
The theme today is German and thus our lunch was a delicious buffet of Bavarian specialties … schnitzel, sausages on pretzel rolls, sauerkraut, spaetzle and more. The waiters, clad in lederhosen, passed around cool mugs of lager and the on-board musician Martin sang German oompah songs accompanied by keyboard and trumpet.
So when we docked in Regensburg at 1:30 p.m., people were primed to get off and go either walking or cycling. Rather than join a formal walking tour of this medieval city with a group of 25+ folks, Chet and I decided to go it on our own and try out Scenic Cruises’ unique Tailormade touring system. Upon boarding, each passenger is given a GPS unit with earphones that can be used one of two ways: Either you can follow the narration of a group tour guide, or you can opt to tour on your own and the unit will not only show you exactly where you are on the map but will also narrate points of interest near you.
The taped tour for Regensburg began with a welcome that introduced the narrators, which in this case were Albrecht Altdorfer (a 16th century artist and city architect) and Her Royal Highness Helena of Bavaria who came to the city in 1858.
Walking along the riverside from the ship, we approached the famed stone bridge and our units chirped indicating there was something to see. That turned out to be the Historic Sausage Kitchen which was right in front of us (No. 21 of 27 points of interest). We turned a corner or two and it chirped again, this time explaining the huge David and Goliath mural on the building in front of us.
So then we just began wandering and the unit kept filling us in on interesting details. After we made it to St. Peter’s Cathedral we realized that we had pretty much seen everything we wanted to and because it was the German holiday of Corpus Christi the shops were not open we decided to meander back to the ship. And because we returned the ship before almost everyone else, it is nice and quiet for me to write!
All in all, a great river cruising day thus far.
June 19, 2014
Photos by Cynthia Boal Janssens