Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Rollin',rollin' down the river" - our first full day cruising!!

Today was our first full day on the river - we just roll along quietly with no effort or struggle. It certainly is the life of the idle rich - will I eat, drink, watch, sleep, perambulate or none of the above!!!

It is certainly most restful and an ideal way to wander through a place like Europe with minimal effort - we are not sure that we could do it for a long time but, for now, it is being lapped up!! Elaine was a bit crook today (we find that occasionally a little bit too much fish can bring on a bad headache  :)  .. it obviously had nothing to do with what she drank the night before!!) It was a good day to just lie in bed looking out the window as we wandered easily upstream towards Vienna all day. We trundled through Bratislava and a little place called Hainburg (just after we came back into Austria) before sliding into our Vienna berth around five ..... very much a 2CH "easy watching" day".

As many of you know Mick was up early to watch us go through the first huge lock at Gabcikovo. This is a hydroelectrc/ river control project in Slovakia (in conjunction with Hungary) that was built in the 1980s. Its scale is huge and makes you appreciate the lack of political vision in our country ... this is what you call infrastructure guys!! Mick was first on deck at 5:30 much to the amusement of the crew members, of course, "why get up to watch a lock?" The boat was lifted up at least 15 metres - it was like sailling up the Nepean from Penrith to Warragamba and then being lifted gently up to the water level in the dam to continue onto the lake. Great fun!!!

The distraction for the masses tonight is a concert by the "Imperial Vienna Orchestra" at the Lichenstein Palace in Vienna, we had early dinner, dressed up and headed out in the coaches for an 8 pm start. This was obviously "just for the tourists" and was a bit like going to Curzon Hall for a group of musicians from Macquarie Uni .... but I'm getting snobby!!!! Some bits of it were quite good and, lets be real, we are in Vienna hearing Mozart and Strauss!!! The patrons lapped it up and it was well-presented .... we didn't think it quite merited the (almost) complete standing ovation but it was fun and a nice night out together!!!

As we start to get into stride with this tour we are taking more control. Today, in Vienna, we are just going to have a day on our own .... we realise that we just do not like buses so we are switching into our own gear rather than join in one of the organised tours ...... another day together in Vienna, how sweet!!!

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