[Note: Two sets of Wertheim photos follow this blog entry...scroll down]
Repeat after me: “I am not paranoid. I am not paranoid. The world is not out to get me.” Now a deeeep breath.
Ah. So. I woke up this morning, sat at my computer, and began a running, detailed blog of the day's activities, full of sparkling wit, brilliant observations, and valuable travel information. Started at 6:20 a.m., it is now 5:53. Went to put in another entry, and it's gone. Vanished. Nowhere. (At this point, please insert 45 minutes of assorted expletives.) Where it went, how it went I haven't a clue. And I have absolutely not one shred of confidence that it will not happen again at any moment.
Okay, here's what I can remember having written. (Okay, Dorien, you can slow down on the expletives now. Really. Concentrate.)
We were to dock at Werthheim at 9 a.m. We were there at 7. Wertheim is a pretty little town of about 2,500, with several other small villages relatively close together so that the total area has a population of around 20,000. There is, of course, a castle on a hill dominating the entire city, which was surrounded by a wall, against which many houses were built, using the city wall as their own back wall. Being at the confluence of two rivers, flooding is a yearly event, and as a result one of the four city towers...the only one surviving...developed a definite lean. It's too massively heavy to fall over any time soon, and the lean isn't as bad as the Tower of Pisa, but it is noticeable.
It's a pleasant little city, typically German in architecture, and it has one main church which was Catholic until the Reformation, at which point it became Lutheran. Those who remained Catholic were thereby no longer had a church of their own and couldn't afford to build a new one. So the now-Lutherans set aside a section of the church for Catholic services.
The church itself, while quite large, is refreshingly modest, the only overtly ornate section being, of course, the altar. Otherwise the columns are just square, red-stone.
Lots of detail lost here, but suffice it to say we returned to the ship and left Wirtheim for parts unknown (to me, anyway...something to do with tomorrow's tour being of a huge castle). At 2:30 there was a “German Tea Time” in the lounge, where coffee and local pastries were served. I went up to get a couple pastries...of which I ate a total of perhaps five bites...and a cup of hot chocolate, which I brought back to my cabin. Just as I was sitting down, they announced that we were being passed by the newest ship in the Viking fleet, the Viking Njord, headed for Budapest. Dear lord, the money represented by these river ships, not to mention the amassed wealth of the passengers! A few minutes later it was announced we were being passed by the oldest ship in the fleet, the Viking Sky.
The paranoia thing raised it's head again shortly after I'd commented, in the Lost Blog, that passengers with i-pads cannot, for some reason, hook into the internet from their cabins and must go to public areas to get it. The same is true with some people with laptops. I, however, have had absolutely no problem until I commented on my good luck. Internet connection has been sporadic ever since.
And there, roughly, you have it. Let us now see how long it takes before I mange to lose this one.
Oh, and I did discover that the store from which I bought my new, two-broken-zippers suitcase has a store in Cologne, and I will be able to exchange it. I will check the zippers carefully before leaving the store.
I've not seen TV or the news since I left Chicago. The ship has TV with an assortment of offerings, including Fox News and CNN. Since I refuse to watch Fox, I turned on CNN a while ago to see what's going on out there. The channel is CNN from Abu Dhabi; in English but European oriented. The world will go on whether I'm aware of it or not, so....
Dorien will be posting frequent blogs and photos while on his current European River Cruise. You're also invited to check out his website at www.doriengrey.com.