European Travel Web Sites

•September 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

European travel links

ROME, ITALY (apartments in Rome) (info on Villa D’Este) (Through Eternity Tours) (Zi’Mberto Restaurant) (Wine Bar in Trastevere)


Paris Hideaways (Fat Tire Bike Tours to Versailles) (Orsay Museum) (St. Chapelle Chapel) (Orangerie Gallery of Monet) (Galeries Lafayette Mall) (The Louvre) (Paris Museum Pass) (Rodin Museum)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (Prague Apartment rentals) (Prague tourism) (Prague Walking Tour)


BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (Paprika Restaurant)


VIENNA, AUSTRIA (Schonbrunn  Palace)

COLOGNE, GERMANY (Cologne Cathedral)

BRUGES, BELGIUM (B and B) (Flanders Fields Tours with Nathan) (Bruges Brewery) (Vlaamsche Pot Flemish Restaurant)


AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (Rijksmuseum) (Van Gogh Museum) (Hotel Old Quarter) (Boom Chicago Dinner Theater) (St. Nicolas Boat Club canal tours) (Afsluitdijk north of Amsterdam) (Sampurna Indonesian Restaurant near Flower Market) (Sloten Village north east of Amsterdam)




Amsterdam and Friesland, Holland

•December 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

Sadly some journeys just have to end and this is the last posing from Reg45. New adventures await us as always. Here then are the last fotos of our trip without commentary…

Sunset Over the Windmill...

As I look at these one last time, I reflect on how very fortunate that I got to see all of those places and to meet all of those wonderful people. As a farm boy growing up in southern Ontario (Canada) I could never have imagined the journey my life would take. Walking the back laneways of our farm after dark, I would often sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. I guess there really is some power in affirmations….thank you Larry for being a huge part of who I am …..and for always being here for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bruges, Damme and Flanders in Belgium

•December 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

Bruges’ main square, bordered by medieval buildings, dominated by a bell tower and populated by horse-drawn carriages, is one of Europe’s most beautiful squares. This is the commercial heart of the city centre and where all day’s sightseeing tend to begin and end. Brugges is easily accessible on foot or one of the many bicycles, Our B and B gave us bikes for the day so we could ride along the canals to the north…

Cruising by boat

As seen in the movie "In Brugges"

Marcelline, Gabriela and us

NO Canadian should ever miss the Flanders Tour…

Brooding Soldier at Vancouver Corner in Flanders


While here we signed the Remembrance Book and I left a poppy in remembrance of my grandfather who had been gassed while serving in WWI…it was an emotional moment.

End of the Damme Road...right or left???

Tomorrows will be the last installment as we reach Amsterdam and travel north to Friesland…..

Cologne, Germany

•November 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Having arrived in Nuremburg it was now time to head for the train again. We left the station with terrific memories of the people whom we met on the cruise. We shared a cabin on the train with a couple who were also heading for Cologne or Koln as the Germans spell it. He was American and she was from Shanghai, China. They were travelling on business. A few hours later we arrived at the station in Cologne…a station that sees hundreds of trains per day from all over Europe! Just exiting was a challenge, even more so than finding our B and B. When you step out of the train station, the first thing you see is this –


Cologne Cathedral

As Mr. Rogers would say…”Look way up!”

Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom) is the city’s most famous monument and the Cologne residents’ most respected landmark. It is a Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. In 1996, it was designated a World Heritage site; it houses the Shrine of the Three Kings that supposedly contains the relics of the Three Magi (see also[19] ). Residents of Cologne sometimes refer to the cathedral as “the eternal construction site” (Dauerbaustelle).

As you walk around it you see –

Face of the Cathedral

Inside you see this –

It goes on forever...

No, that is neither Larry nor I in our choir robes…the smog in the background is from the recently burned incense at the Mass.

There is lots more to see in Cologne, such as…but the following photo is how the city looked after the bombing in World War II –

Almost total devastation...except for parts of the cathedral

There can be no more words after this photo…


Thanks for dropping in…

Regensburg and Nuremberg, Germany

•November 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After leaving Melk we travelled next to another small town, Passau, where we took in an organ recital and later that evening sailed to Regensburg in Germany…

Regensburg, Germany

Regensburg was a WWII Area Headquarters of Military District XIII (German: Wehrkreis XIII) commanded by Lieutenant General Bruno Edler von Kiesling auf Kieslingstein. The headquarters was in command of the military forces of Regensburg, Passau, Straubing, Weiden in der Oberpfalz and Amberg. Regensburg also had a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, and was bombed on August 17, 1943, by the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission and on February 5, 1945, during the Oil Campaign of World War II. Unlike most other major German cities, Regensburg had little damage from the Strategic bombing during World War II and the nearly intact medieval city center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most important cultural loss was the Romanesque church of Obermünster, which was destroyed in a March 1945 air raid and never rebuilt (the belfry survived). Also Regensburg’s slow economic recovery after the war ensured that historic buildings were not torn down to be replaced by newer buildings. When the upswing came to Regensburg in the late 1960s, the mindset had turned in favor of preserving the heritage.

Aside from the WWII stuff, Regensburg has excellent sauerkraut and sausages as you saw in the earlier blog. The other historical footnote is that the present Pope Benedict calls this home, even though in fact he was a professor here and his brother has a house there still. Strangely, the cathedral is being restored at great cost!

The architecture is wonderful, as are the frescoes on some of the buildings –

German Goliath?

After noshing in Revensburg, we set set off during the night for Nuremberg, our last stop on the cruise. While the city was beautiful, as I said before, I was not impressed with the attempts to restore the former Nazi parade grounds and stadium. The market was incredible –

Nuremburg Central Market

MMM...great cookies!

Next stop, historic Koln/Cologne by train…

Vienna, Austria and Benedictine Abbey at Melk

•November 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

We boarded the boat in the afternoon and spent the first night traveling along the Danube west to Nuremberg (our ultimate destination on the cruise). While in Budapest we met our new friends Ann and Caroline who were from the Isle of Man (off the coast of England).

Cruise Friends...front Susan, Caroline and Ann

Our first stop along the way was Vienna. Unfortunately we only had a few hours to tour the city, but we made the best of it in the rain. After the mandatory city tour we set off on our own by subway to go to Schoenberg Palace to see a concert and tour the incredible gardens…too soon we had to head back to the boat for our overnight trip to our next stop in Melk and a visit to the monastery…

Major tourist attractions include the imperial palaces of the Hofburg and Schönbrunn (also home to the world’s oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn) and the Riesenrad in the Prater. Cultural highlights include the Burgtheater, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Lipizzaner horses at the spanische Hofreitschule and the Vienna Boys’ Choir, as well as excursions to Vienna’s Heurigen district Döbling.

There are also more than 100 art museums, which together attract over eight million visitors per year.[26] The most popular ones are Albertina, Belvedere, Leopold Museum in the Museumsquartier, KunstHausWien, BA-CA Kunstforum, the twin Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum, and the Technisches Museum Wien, each of which receives over a quarter of a million visitors per year.[27]

There are many popular sites associated with composers who lived in Vienna including Beethoven’s various residences and grave at Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) which is the largest cemetery in Vienna and the burial site of many famous people. Mozart has a memorial grave at the Habsburg gardens and at St. Marx cemetery (where his grave was lost). Vienna’s many churches also draw large crowds, the most famous of which are St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Deutschordenskirche, the Jesuitenkirche, the Karlskirche, the Peterskirche, Maria am Gestade, the Minoritenkirche, the Ruprechtskirche, the Schottenkirche and the Votivkirche.

If you should ever go, one day is definitely not enough for Vienna!!!!!

Schoenberg Palace, Austria

Palace Fountains

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey or Stift Melk[1] is an Austrian Benedictine abbey, and one of the world’s most famous monastic sites. It is located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Danube in Lower Austria, adjoining the Wachau valley.

The abbey was founded in 1089 when Leopold II, Margrave of Austria gave one of his castles to Benedictine monks from Lambach Abbey. A school was founded in the 12th century, and the monastic library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. The monastery’s scriptorium was also a major site for the production of manuscripts. In the 15th century the abbey became the centre of the Melk Reform movement which reinvigorated the monastic life of Austria and Southern Germany.

Today’s impressive Baroque abbey was built between 1702 and 1736 to designs by Jakob Prandtauer. Particularly noteworthy is the abbey church with frescos by Johann Michael Rottmayr and the impressive library with countless medieval manuscripts, including a famed collection of musical manuscripts and frescos by Paul Troger.

Due to its fame and academic stature, Melk managed to escape dissolution under Emperor Joseph II when many other Austrian abbeys were seized and dissolved between 1780 and 1790. The abbey managed to survive other threats to its existence during the Napoleonic Wars, and also in the period following the Nazi Anschluss that took control of Austria in 1938, when the school and a large part of the abbey were confiscated by the state.

The school was returned to the abbey after the Second World War and now caters for nearly 900 pupils of both sexes.

Since 1625 the abbey has been a member of the Austrian Congregation, now within the Benedictine Confederation.

In his well-known novel The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco named one of the protagonists “Adso von Melk” as a tribute to the abbey and its famous library.

Melk Abbey Library


•November 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Just in case you think we stopped in Budapest…not to worry. After two weeks in Canada we came back to a dead computer. Our motherboard died but hopefully we will be up and posting early next week. Sorry the laptop has no photos….stay tuned for the Viking River Cruise….