Amsterdam to Budapest over Fourteen days. Scenic Tours in July 2013 as our Trip 10.

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We did this trip in 2013 from July 8 – July 22. I took a lot of photographs ….. there was so much to see !! I have made up several linked posts of our photographs on our Personal Experiences website (this one) soon after we came back. However, a few years ago, the website was hacked and the posts from this trip were affected and I had to delete the posts.

Other websites were also hacked. These websites were other WordPress websites and the hacker knew the WordPress settings and could get into the websites. WordPress has since corrected the situation. However, I am redoing this post in February 2021 = eight years later. At the time in 2013, I grouped all the Amsterdam photos together but I grouped all the photos taken along the Rhine River as one big list of photos.

We stopped off at many towns and villages going from Amsterdam to Budapest. I didn’t try to name these villages. There is so much history along the Rhine River. The photos entered in this post are to be looked at for the creative qualities and not their locational qualities.

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From the Scenic Tours website: River Cruises

Voyage across lakes, visit quaint villages and interact with locals, all from the comfort of a luxurious river boat. Far from the restrictions of open ocean, river cruising allows travellers to see beyond major cities and explore the culture and customs of lesser-known gems. While ocean-based ships spend days at sea covering great distances, spectacular scenery follows a river cruise throughout its entire journey.

From restaurants serving exquisite fare, to bars and nightly entertainment, the opportunities between shore excursions are endless. With fewer passengers, river cruising has a much more tranquil ambiance. Simply relax with a drink on the upper deck and watch the sights drift by.

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Travel through the heart of Europe

Admire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Sample the food and wine of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud. Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary, with engaging encounters at every bend.

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Note: To find any word or character, go into Cnt F, press the word or character you entered, and will immediately locate the entry.

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These are some of the things we saw:

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The Rhine River from a distance in Amsterdam …..

Overloaded with adorable canals and bridges, Amsterdam brings the charm from its picturesque canals and bridges to its historic homes, Amsterdam is a full-blown fairytale. The brightly-colored bicycles and tulip stands around town don’t hurt either. Must-see sights include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the world’s only floating flower market. Rent a bike and join thousands of locals peddling around. Other visitors might want to linger in the local coffee shops, which is just a normal part of the city’s landscape.

An empty street of hand – cut stones many centuries old. There are very few cars on the streets in Amsterdam. It is mainly bicycles and occasional trams.

The whole street here was made up of small hand-cut stones about 75 mm x 75 mm all placed in intersecting curves. They were hand placed and cut vs. machine cut and placed. This gave a very personal and historic dimension to the city.

The street of small hand cut stones ends a pond area.

Hydrangeas out in flower in a garden off the street …… the blue colour is very eye-catching against the stone – coloured streets and buildings.

A castle from earlier centuries being viewed as we pass along the Rhine River.

Another castle being viewed as we pass along the Rhine River.

An island and a tower from earlier centuries being viewed as we pass along the Rhine River.

A cathedral being viewed as we pass along the Rhine River.

A cathedral and a castles from earlier centuries as we pass along the Rhine River.

A fortress on a prominent rock pinnacle.

A lovely courtyard outside a cafe created by the stone walls and the overhead grapevines.

The context of the above cafe ….. the overhead grapevines go right across the street. It gives the street a very personal quality. People are walking everywhere ….. there are no cars or bikes.

Entry to the Winzerkeller Restaurant and Cafe.

Crops on a hillside as we pass along the Rhine River.

Imagine the time and energy to carve this garden pot out of a big stone and get it into place !!

The stone vine holder

A little cart loaded with goods from a little shop inside.

The two upright towers are very dramatic …. the first is a bell tower for the adjacent church (see the stained glass window). The second is a storage tower.

Ken and Harriet as part of the Scenic Tours group in the next photo. They are wearing their little black earphones. You could then hear what our tour leader was saying from 50 metres away. She would explain the significance of the buildings we were passing by.

A street market.

The big broadaxed beam in this section of this house, Harriet and I could really relate to. We live in Australia, in Queensland at Chambers Flat. In 1981, we built a unique natural house on our five acres of light open eucalypt bush at Chambers Flat, Brisbane which is 35 kms. out of Brisbane. The house is largely of glass set into a post and lintel construction of 100-year old broadaxed timbers and sandstone walls. The total concept of indoor-outdoor flow gives a wonderful ambience. Where does the bush, the garden and the house end and finish? We have endeavoured to set up our house as a communal house where people are made to feel welcomed and accepted.

See the following posts:

THE HOUSE

External View

Inside the House

OUR LAND OVERALL

This house is very interesting. It is a hand-made house on two levels. The first level is of stone that has been hand-cut. The second level is of timber with a high-pitched roof. Note the light -giving balconies in the roof.

The trimmed roses against the cream-coloured wall.

Boxed flower garden of roses where with the thin hedging, you can comfortably walk up blocks of roses without sprawling sprays of prickly roses touching your skin.

White roses.

Another castle being viewed as we pass along the Rhine River.

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The Scenic Tours Ship:

We caught a taxi from our pre-arranged hotel in Amsterdam to the port where our Scenic Tours river boat was moored.

There were three levels in the back cabin area of the boat. There was a downstairs expensive cabin area being served by an individual butler if you need anything. They had a small external deck you could sit outside and watch the passing scenery.

There was a slightly cheaper and roomy cabin above the lower deck. Then there was the upper deck with tables and chairs you could go to meet and associate with friends you had made on the trip. You could readily watch the interesting passing scenery. Whilst we were there we got to know and made very good friends with this Australian couple ….. Glenn and his wife Sharon. They are still on my worldwide email broadcast from 2013 to now 2021.

The forward part of the boat had a large lounge room. See the photo below.

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Glenn and his wife Sharon

Ken and Harriet got to know this English couple who had a cabin downstairs with their butler available if the needed anything. They were wealthy people who had successful businesses in England and Spain.

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The river as it appeared from their outside deck.

The riverboat lounge and meal room early in the morning before people filled it.

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A riverboat mooring …… see a riverboat going up the river at the top of the photo.

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The Locks of the Rhine

When you see those wonderful river cruise images on PBS, complete with classical music and picturesque castles on green hillsides beside the tranquil Rhine, it probably doesn’t occur to you that the river is climbing mountains, or running down them. But between Rotterdam and Basel, the river climbs over 800 feet.

Before the 18th and 19th centuries, commercial travel along the river had to contend with rapids, eddies and other obstacles. One treacherous area gave rise to the story of the Lorelei, a temptress on a rock who lured sailors to wreck their vessels at her feet. But as commerce grew and engineering developed, canals were built around some areas, channels shifted, and most importantly, locks were built to carry ships up the hill.

That’s one of the unadvertised features of European river cruises: going through the locks. Many are transited at night, but a day-time passage can be fun and instructive to watch. And the experience isn’t limited to the Rhine; all of Europe’s navigable rivers have them except the Po in Italy. The Rhine has ten between the Dutch coast and Basel, the head of commercial navigation.

The locks, as you approach them going upstream, look like a bridge with barriers, clearly marked to make sure ship crews see them. As the ship approaches, the big gate opened, and we sailed into what seemed like a very narrow channel.

Read the website for further information on locks on the Rhine river.

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Nuremberg in Germany with Hitler’s Photographs:

We stopped off at this display in the Documentation Center in Nuremberg of photographs of Hitler and his army in 1940s. We also saw the infamous WW11 sites.

Read about the Nuremberg Race Laws

The Nuremberg Race Laws were two in a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in the gradual process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.

The grandstand where Hitler gave his passionate speeches to his followers in the Nazi Party rallies.

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A riverboat coming back from Regensburg. It is passing us by going downstream. Regensburg is the next town up from our stopover at Nuremberg. The riverboat is juxtaposed to an old building in a Greek style with many columns.

Our group crossing over a bridge over the Rhine River. As per the two photos below, people who had their little black earphones on, could hear what our tour leader was saying from 50 metres away. She would explain the significance of the buildings we were passing by.

Our tour leader.

Our group listening to the explanation of this building.

The vastness of this big town square created by the hand- laying of 1,000s of hand-cut paving stones from many years ago.

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunition factories in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He is the subject of the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark and its 1993… Wikipedia

A street cafe gives a very communal dimension to the town. In Australia where I come from, it is generally much more individualistic. You would have your drink delivered to you as you sat at a table inside the cafe or you would take it with you and go away completely.

The intricacies in this cathedral …… how did they get so much detail into it centuries ago?

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Interior of a church …… very ornate! I discuss at length the role of churches vs. houses churches in three posts on my New Earth Community website at:

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A building in more recent times. Surfaces are plain versus the very intricate and hand-made surfaces as in the church above.

A water fountain provides a focal point in village square.

A clock tower from many years ago, tells the general community the time. People back hundreds of years ago would not have watches to individually tell the time.

Empty tables and chairs in a street cafe photographed early in the morning before people had arrived.

A marker line on a wall showing where the Rhine River had come up to when it flooded since 1501.

A balcony with many red flowers ….. the red and pink flowers are complementary to the pink painted wall behind.

A balcony with many red and pink flowers are complementary to the grey, brown stone in the stone bridge. The stone bridge is a great focal point. It is a hand-built bridge, built hundreds of years ago. Today in our modern world, a series of precast concrete bearers would be placed by crane.

The red flowers in the little balcony pots, makes a very nice eye-catching contrast to the cream plain wall surfaces.

How many years did it take to build this cathedral? How did they build so intricately by hand without machinery?

The interior of the cathedral …… shows again the very high level of intricaises built by hand and without machinery. The stained glass windows let in light but spell out Biblical stories in the days before books were common and many people couldn’t read.

A hanging basket on street sign.

A big street market on the side of a village square.

A street choir in the village square.

The colourful flowers in the balcony pots, makes for a very nice eye-catching contrast to the cream plain wall surfaces and the supporting stone wall.

We had many opportunities to get off the riverboat and explore villages and towns. This is a very serene view of the river and distant mountains with the mountains reflected in the river water. This was across a mown park edged by a green hedge.

A large wooden planter box in the street is very eye-catching. A tall shrub is in the centre and a colourful small shrubs are planted around the outer edge.

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Flower Garden in a Village we stopped at:

There are a series of eye-catching contrasts here in this garden:

  • The colourful curves of the narrow flower beds against the extensive green curves of the mown grass
  • The colourful curves against the straight lines of the dark fence on the right-hand side and the white path lines on left-hand side

The garden culminates in a small formal garden with a large sculptural piece edged by small boxed in gardens of hedges

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A street in Salzburg where Mozart was born:

Mozart’s birthplace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mozart’s birthplace (German: Mozarts Geburtshaus or Hagenauerhaus) was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. The Mozart family resided on the third floor from 1747 to 1773. Mozart himself was born here on 27 January 1756.[1] He was the seventh child of Leopold Mozart, who was a musician of the Salzburg Royal Chamber.[2]

Now a museum, Mozart’s birthplace introduces visitors to the early life of the composer, his first musical instruments, his friends, and his passionate interest in opera. The third floor exhibits Mozart’s childhood violin as well as portraits, documents, and early editions of his music, and the second floor is devoted to Mozart’s interest in opera and includes the clavichord on which he composed The Magic Flute. The structure is owned by the Mozart Foundation.[3]

Cafe Mozart

Image of Mozart in the Cafe.

Ken & Harriet having a try at the horses and carriage.

We had a special music night at the Liechtenstein City Palace. Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a German-speaking microstate situated in the Alps and in the southwest of Central Europe. The principality is a semi-constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein; the Prince’s extensive powers are equivalent to those of a President in a semi-presidential system. Wikipedia

For over 300 years, the GARDEN PALACE and the CITY PALACE of the princely family of Liechtenstein are deeply rooted in Vienna’s history. Both palaces are still privately owned by the princely family.

The Liechtenstein CITY PALACE, situated in Vienna´s inner city, has been renovated for almost five years and appears now in all its former glory. It is held to be the first major building of the High Baroque age in Vienna. The magnificent ensemble of Baroque stucco ceilings, opulent neo-Rococo interiors and original furnishings complemented by Michael Thonet’s fine parquet flooring form a harmonious whole. A selection of masterpieces of the private art collection of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein from the Biedermeier era may be viewed as part of a pre-booked guided tour.

Around 250 m² of magnificent historic rooms on the first (upper) floor and around 320 m² on the second floor are available for exclusive events. In addition, the Minoritenhalle on the ground floor, with its light wood cladding, own kitchen and direct access to the courtyard, offers an attractive and modern alternative, covering around 150 m².

If you want to read more about the Liechtenstein CITY PALACE, its history, the princely family or the Princely Collections visit our download area. There you will find interesting background information.

Harriet, my wonderful wife, Sharon (wife of Glenn shown in the photo below), and a friend of Harriet and Sharon.

Glenn and Sharon

An ancient ornate horse-drawn carriage in the Liechtenstein City Palace …… how they used to travel in bygone days.

A castle from many years ago.

Schönbrunn Palace: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schönbrunn Palace (German: Schloss Schönbrunn [ʃøːnˈbʁʊn]; Central Bavarian: Schloss Scheenbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”) has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.

The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. It has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-1950s. [1]

Schönbrunn Palace’s vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. It has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-1950s.

A raised water pond with pink flowering water lilies.

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The land-based train you could go on to see the vast gardens.

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A sculptural piece to look at from the train.

People dressed and painted as still life people. They are not showing any movement or emotions as in the photo below. In the photo above, the man has obviously broken the rule and is warmly connecting with couple along side him.

We enjoyed some music and dancing from a Bavarian dance group then they came around as individuals to personally introduce themselves …… see the photos below.

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Ken and Harriet overlooking Budapest.

Ken dressed up for a short moment in metal armour and a sword. When we reached Budapest, Ken and Harriet individually caught the train into Prague, the Czech Republic.

In Prague, a sculptured man sitting on a seat with a foot missing. He was so life-like.

Walking along a street in Prague …… there are no cars and everyone is walking. The whole street here was made up of small hand-cut stones about 75 mm x 75 mm all placed in intersecting curves. They were hand placed and cut vs. machine cut and placed. This gave a very personal and historic dimension to the city.

Harriet just loves blue china as in this display.

A very big square in Prague with some very old buildings at the far end of the square.

How people used to travel before cars were invented.

Cathedral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra (Latin for ‘seat’) of a bishop,[1] thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate.[2] Churches with the function of “cathedral” are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and some Lutheran churches.[2] Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures, and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches, and episcopal residences.

Nave and organ of the Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d’Albi in Southern France

Following the Protestant Reformation, the Christian church in several parts of Western Europe, such as Scotland, the Netherlands, certain Swiss Cantons and parts of Germany, adopted a Presbyterian polity that did away with bishops altogether. Where ancient cathedral buildings in these lands are still in use for congregational worship, they generally retain the title and dignity of “cathedral”, maintaining and developing distinct cathedral functions, but void of hierarchical supremacy. From the 16th century onwards, but especially since the 19th century, churches originating in Western Europe have undertaken vigorous programmes of missionary activity, leading to the founding of large numbers of new dioceses with associated cathedral establishments of varying forms in Asia, Africa, Australasia, Oceania and the Americas. In addition, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have formed new dioceses within formerly Protestant lands for converts and migrant co-religionists. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find Christians in a single city being served by three or more cathedrals of differing denominations.

Stained Glass Windows:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term stained glass refers to coloured glass as a material and to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term “stained glass” to include domestic lead light and objets d’art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

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The Cathedral from outside.

A hand-built stone bridge …… how did they build the piers of the bridge many meters under the water?

A big central park in an even bigger public square.

A large stone tower with a generous arch.

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The end of our fourteen days of going up the Rhine River and our few days in Prague.