European River Cruise Basics

If you’re of a certain age and watch TV you have seen plenty of commercials about river cruising.  Long boats ply navigable rivers all over Europe.  Some companies are planning cruise itineraries on U.S. rivers too.  Like all travel options there are pros and cons.  This post examines Kongo’s take on river cruising in Europe. Advertisements

AMA Waterways Rhine River Cruise Review

Kongo recently took a river cruise — The Enchanting Rhine — aboard AMAWaterways™ AMASonata from Amsterdam to Zurich.  This trip included a 7-night water cruise with two day land excursions to both Lucerne and Zurich.  If you’re thinking about a river cruise in the near future Kongo hopes you read on.

Frescoes at Stein am Rhein

Of all the charming, enchanting medieval villages Kongo visited this month while in Europe, none match the little Swiss hamlet of Stein am Rhein.  Located in northern Switzerland where the Rhine River empties from Lake Constance this village of 3,000 dates back to Roman times but it really got on the map all the way back in 1007.

Zürich!

Earlier this month Kongo visited Zürich, the largest city in Switzerland, lies at the edge of Lake Zurich, in the northern part of the country not far from the Alps.  The Ganymede statue at the edge of the lake symbolizes man’s yearning to scale the heights of Olympus and reach beyond his normal state.  As a city, Zurich seems to achieve this goal as it is a wonderful place.  This is “downtown” Switzerland.

Lucerne, Switzerland

After leaving the river boat behind in Basel, Kongo traveled on to central Switzerland to the city of Lucerne for three days.  My, oh my!  This beautiful city may be the monkey’s favorite on this trip.  Charming, old world, beautiful, friendly, and exotic — all at the same time.    Basel was interesting but a dreary drizzle and an unforgiving guide made Kongo glad this border town was in the rear view mirror.  But Lucerne?  Lucerne was a completely different thing altogether.

Chasing Windmills in Clogs

Kongo takes a day trip into the nether regions of the Dutch countryside to chase windmills.  These wonderful machines used to cover the landscape across Holland, perched atop dikes, endlessly churning away grinding meal or pumping water.  Today there are only a few dozen left but they are wonderfully charming.