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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Trip of a Lifetime

This post could easily be called what I did on my summer vacation, but I think that would be understating the recent vacation my husband and I took to Europe.  This is my third trip to Europe and I must say it far exceeds my first two trips and what I expected from this trip.
This time around we decided to try a river cruise and we sailed down the Danube River and the Rhine River.  We traveled on a Viking River Cruise which held 156 passengers.  The trip started in Budapest and ended in Amsterdam.
We enjoyed the usual sights and smells one would find on this kind of trip such as the incredible pastry shops, the fabulous architecture, the wonderful iron work, but, oh, there was so much more.  I can't tell you how exhilarating it was to go to the dining room for dinner and see swans swimming right up to the window I was sitting at.  There was all kinds of natural wild life indigenous to the area that came right up to our sailing vessel.
When we got to the Rhine River, we came upon castle after castle.  I have never seen anything like it.  One must remember that much of this whole region was bombed during World War II, and it has been rebuilt in such a way that is true to the original architectural charm of centuries past.
The gardens were magnificent as well as the incredible statuary everywhere we went.  I never got tired of seeing it and photographing it.
We also saw a lot of modern art and sculpture which blends perfectly with the old.
I must have photographed over a hundred doors.  Some of these doors are 500 years old and yet they have been preserved and valued over the centuries.
Our cabin steward made us about seven of these amazing towel origami animals.  Isn't this critter so cute?  My first one was a swan that greeted us right after we saw the first swans outside the dining room.
One of our final stops was Kinderdijk in Holland.  We had a great tour of these enormous old windmills that are still functional today.  The entire trip was an immersion in the culture, the land, the history, and, quite frankly, a little bit of heaven.
If you ever have a chance to enjoy a trip like this one, I highly recommend it.  This was not like traveling the big cruise ships.  This was a small group of like minded travelers enjoying a true trip of a lifetime, and Viking made it fun and interesting.  I came home feeling so renewed and energetic and that's what vacations are really for. 


Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Sounds like such a fun trip, love your pictures. My sister and her husband took the same trip a few months ago, and they loved it!

Lynda Bergman Decorative Artisan said...

Maggie, what a wonderful trip you had. Interesting about so many castles and being rebuilt. Lynda

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It sounds like you had a great time, Maggie!

Art and Sand said...

My husband hates the idea of a cruise surrounded by so many people, but I think a cruise this size would be wonderful.

The origami towels are so cute.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

That cruise sounds wonderful. I have seen the advertisements on TV about the cruise and I think it would be fantastic.
Your pictures are great. Thanks so much for sharing.

miss flibbertigibbet said...

Welcome back!! It sounds SO heavenly! I'm so glad it was restful and rejuvenating for you and your husband! Now...back to work!! Oh no!!

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Welcome back! I loved seeing your pictures and hearing about your trip! Did you get some ideas for your painting? I'm hoping to take my trip of a lifetime in a few years!

NanaDiana said...

Maggie-It looks like you had a wonderful trip and the scenery is magnificent. I am so glad you had a good time and coming home feeling renewed is what it is all about. xo Diana

Donna said...

Wow, what an amazing trip, Maggie! I'm so glad that you both had a wonderful time. Love your photos, can't wait to hear more about your trip!!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh Maggie, that looks like a fabulous trip!!! So intimate and being able to go by river boat! I toured the Greek Isles on a cruise ship, not intimate like your trip, but I loved coming back to a room on the boat every night instead of packing up and moving to a new hotel every night. Thank you for sharing your trip, so we can all dream!


Bliss said...

Welcome home. Now lets hear about the food you ate!