Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Viking Cruise Recap #3- Avoiding a 6 hour round trip bus ride got us an awesome joyride, and surprise bears!

So originally on the itinerary the day was supposed to be spent in Meissen. If you are a person in the know, which I was not, Meissen is world famous for their porcelain. Since we were still doing more motor coaching then boat sailing Quinn and I decided that we were going to have a relaxing day on the ship instead of loading into the buses for the (what ended up being) 2 hour 45 minute bus ride each way there and back. Being ignorant of porcelain and not wanting to be on that bus for that long, we were looking forward to just being on the boat. However our captain had a surprise for us and the about, 20 other people who decided to skip Meissen. (For the record, everyone who went to Meissen raved about how beautiful the town was, but Quinn and I still talk about how thankful we are we stayed on the boat!)

Not far from where we were was a thing called the Magdeburg Water Bridge. Please don't ask me how it works because I really don't know. But the jist of it is, you go through a lock, it rises you up and you go over this bridge filled with water that passes over the top of the Elbe river. It's basically an engineering marvel. There was enough water in this area so the captain was able to take us through. We went through the huge locks, and over the bridge. Then the captain had another surprise; before turning around and heading back he was able to pull the boat over so we could hop out for a quick photo opportunity.

(Once again, and as always, pictures are Quinn's and mine, please contact us before using them)

Here we go!

Field trip fodder

Our backside

The gangplanks are surprisingly steep. I'm actually hanging on for dear life. I don't know how I never saw anyone fall. Also Quinn was yelling at me to hustle my bustle to get up the gangplank before people walked into the picture, so that explains the face. 

Not very much wiggle room going through the locks. Just a matter of inches!

The next day we went to Torgau, BY BOAT. (That's only partially true, we got picked up by the boat, we went to the town on the bus.) Torgau is "famous" as the place where the Russian forces and the Allied forces met at near the end of WWII. There's a memorial to that event and a castle and that's about the only things in town. But I liked Torgau because it seemed pretty untouched by hordes of tourists. Also, because Quinn and I bopped into a  little boutique and she bought a foxy black romper and I got a cute green and white polka dot purse. Our first souvenirs from the trip!

So what made the castle special is that there is this beautiful outdoor staircase that is special because there is no middle support. Also it's outside because that's how you show off the fact you were rich. 

So on the top of this very high tower there is a viewing platform that you can climb up to. Quinn and I had put that activity solidly in the "no thank you" column; but then our Program Director/Cruise Rockstar Radim was like "have you guys gone up in the tower yet? I'm going right now you should come with me!". And because we love us some Radim, and because we're idiots we both go "OK!". So these stairs are rickety and old and wood and spiraled. It was super hot and narrow and about 3 stories in we realized that this was a BAD idea. We neared the top and thought we were almost delivered from our suffering. And then we turn the corner and are confronted with a turnstile. Have to pay a Euro to finish this stupid climb. So luckily I was the keeper of the change, and I had enough for me and Quinn and the guy who walked us behind us and was Euro-less. The good news is that the views were beautiful.

Quinn's signature door shot! #Quinnshot

The Elbe river....and not our boat. We had to wait on the boat.

Our bartender was like "Oh watch for the bears in Torgau?" and we're like "Andrea is crazy. There's no damn bears in Germany." Andrea was right. There was a bear that lived in the palace's old moat. There used to be two but the other one died a few weeks before we got there. So, sorry Andrea, you were right!

Lots of beautiful roses in Torgau!

Tomorrow we get to Dresden, and I break it down with some real talk about the cruise.


  1. Replies
    1. That was the one wild animal of the trip. Though we did see a herd of sheep being lead near the river by some sheep dogs!

  2. That bear looks so sad and lonely. :( I hope they get him another friend soon.

    1. I know! So sad, they'd been together for more than 20 years! The town seems fond of the whole bear idea so hopefully they will get another one soon!


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