Thursday, April 11, 2013

Viking's Grand European River Cruise: Kinderdijk

Viking River Cruise, Day 2:  Kinderdijk, NL (Facebook collage)
(click any collage to enlarge) 

Day 2 of the  Grand European Tour was really the first full day of our river cruise.  And once again, as with our starting point in Amsterdam, we were in familiar territory:  our own backyard, 15 miles from home.  In fact, if it's not too much information, it's where Astrid and I want our cremains placed.  That's how soulful it is to us.  

 We docked at Kinderdijk during breakfast time but didn't disembark till 9:30 a.m.
So Astrid and I went on the top sun deck to get the lay of the land.
We love to see how things work!

You can probably tell which of these images were taken from the sun deck...a new view for us both.
On the other side of the river was the Krimpen aan de Lek water tower, from 1909.
(Most of you know I "collect" water towers and weathervanes!)

Time to get off the boat for our first excursion of the tour.
Time to see what our boat looked like from the outside.

Truth be told, we did NOT take the tour, since this place is "old hat" for us.
We decided to wander off on our own for the 2 hours we had free.
It's almost impossible to get all 19 windmills in one shot, by the way.

 It was a cold, grey winter's day on that Sunday, 17 March, 2013!
[Check out real wintertime at Kinderdijk with snow here and here if you want more.]

Once back on board, waiting for lunch, we watched the pros undock us...

 ...and then backed up on the Lek river to turn onto the Noord river to get us to the Merwede river...
(with Rotterdam in the background and passing the Sliedrecht water tower from 1886)

 ...and then passing Noah's Ark in Dordrecht (yes, you heard me)...

...(how about adding a rain texture to make it look like the real deal!  :)... then actually passing by our own city, Gorinchem, while eating lunch!
That's our Grote Kerk, our water tower (now an aparment building) from 1886,
our De Hoop windmill from 1764, turning as we passed by,
and the Loevestein castle on the other side of the river from where we live.
(I took these pictures inside at our lunch-table's window!)

All of that our first morning out!  Then it was time for fun and games after lunch:

Safety Drill and Dutch Sjoelen (Facebook Collage)

First we had a safety drill, participation mandatory.
Notice how you can pick out the crew from the passengers.
Will those blue vests really keep them afloat???

Then we played old-fashioned Dutch sjoelen, a game Astrid grew up on.
On Facebook I mentioned that of the 10+ players, Astrid lost by only one point.
Here you can see her explaining the ins-and-outs to Alex, our Program Director.
(I'm adding images of passengers who became dear friends.)

What a great first day, after Kinderdijk, to relax while sailing to Gologne, Germany, for our next stop the following day.  It was a chance to get acquainted with the ship and the passengers....

...and Peter, our cruise pianist...

...who entertained us all in the ship's wonderful lounge.

But of all the places I grew to love the most, it was the enclosed Aquavit Lounge
at the front of the ship, after passing through the main lounge.
It's where we ended up eating breakfast every day going forward.
Full of light and charm because of the openness and skylights.

So, how's that for a whip-snorting start!
We even danced our tails off that first night, as I recall.


  1. hah! 2 posts in one week, what a treat.

    were the excursions/tours part of the package or do you pay them separately?

    i'm enjoying this documentation a lot. also very green with envy at all the photo ops :)

    1. At 15 days, Maria, I do NOT want to drag this on for 15 weeks, so, yes, I'm working hard on getting these posts published as soon as I get them ready. HA!

      There was a tour/excursion every day that was included in the overall price, which is different from my experience with the big ships. There was an extra excursion we did take one day for which we paid after we realized we'd be stupid if we didn't avail ourselves of it. I'll tell you about it when I get there. :)

      In the meantime, photo ops galore. You'd totally love it!

  2. That is amazing what we did that first day... Kinderdijk was fun and I saw some things I did not see before, like the work-shed. The 'Titanic-drill' was fun, a good thing to do and I am so glad we never had it to use for real. The picture of you and the 'floating-thing' shows, never let go of your camera, 'women and children and cameras fist'......
    Sjoelen......ha, that was great and it was a nice warming up, this was a group of people that came alive.
    The dance-floor was good and the pianist played 'Moon-river' a nice English waltz.
    I am so glad you take all these pictures, that keeps the memory alive :)

    1. While working on that first full day, I realized how much we did and saw! And yet it all was in familiar territory. Maybe that made it more special because I was proud of it and wanted everyone to see where I now live!!! We are so lucky!

  3. So enjoy traveling with you two through your photography! Love, love, love the rain texture with Noah's ark! Now that is so cool!!! Can't wait for more!

    1. Isné it wonderful that we can share each other's journeys like this, Robin. I feel the same way about following YOU whereever you go! And thanks for your kindest of words, always.

  4. Oh yes the lounge, the light! Wonderful first day. I laughed out loud at the blue life vests! LOVE the rain treatment of Noah's ark, and the photo of you looking amazed on the stairs. :-)

    1. Those blue life vests surely blow up on contact with the water, you think??? HA! Somehow it was appropriate to see Noah's Ark that day. :) While sitting on the stairs, I was looking at the HUGE light fixture there, which I see I didn't include. I'll have to remedy that!

  5. Your ship is so pretty! And how wonderful that you could take those shots of your home from your ship! And that you could add the rain to Noah's Ark ... you are an amazement!

  6. Let's hope those blue life vests have a string or something to make them inflate! Taking photos out the window while you eat delicious food... does it get better than that? I will be back to see the next post - have dogs and horses to take care of :) Oh.. and kids. ha

    1. You tickle me to death, Margaret, When I picture your life, I'm always ready to go to bed! :D Needless to say, thanks for taking the time to visit ME!

  7. What a great start. You took some great pictures – I enlarged them. Any picture with a windmill is nice, but yours are super nice. The ship looks very comfortable.

    1. Many thanks, Vagabonde. It was fun seeing our own backyard through the eyes of the other passengers. :)