We begin our journey, Tuesday, November 19. I hope you will come along for the ride. See you soon.

2 days and counting. Weather looks to be in 50s with little rain. Can’t wait.

On plane headed to Chicago from Houston then on to Paris.

Batting 1000. Exit row to myself and Debbie got row behind me to herself.

Arc de Triomph - Paris

Eiffel Tower - it has cold breeze blowing. Temps in 40s but sunny.

Parisian ham and cheese and wine

You can’t do Paris without visiting a bakery.

For those of you not aware, this is going to be my food and wine tour.

Eiffel Tower at night

Dinner - Basil Ravioli

This is what I hate about Facebook but pizza

Eiffel Tower during light show.

Tomorrow Normandy.

So best laid plans. Who knew there are 2 streets named the same. One in Paris and one outside of Paris. Well we went to wrong address and missed Normandy. So far we have experienced rush hour in Paris twice today.

The Eiffel Tower designed by Gustav Eiffel for the Worlds Fair of 1897. It is 337 meters tall. 37 bridges cross the Seine River. Paris divided into 20 districts. Each district has its own city hall.

The Arc de Triumph took 30 years to build. It was completed after Napolean’s death. There are 282 steps to the top.

The Royal Academy Opera House stage is the largest theatre in the world only based on size. The stage is 3 stories tall and can hold 450 artists but only 2000 spectators.

The Louvre was the former Royal Palace. It was built over 300 years.

The oldest bridge over Siene. It is rock structure.

Roman ruins more than 2000 years old.

The oldest tree in Paris. The seeds were brought here from Canada in 1602.

The Notre Dame Cathedral took 167 years to complete. The church was built using flying buttresses.

There was only 1 security person on duty at time of fire and it was his first day. The fire equipment that was supposed to be on location was not so it took an extra 1/2 hour to get equipment to site.

The bell towers are 220 meters high. The metal scaffolding melted together during the fire so they will have to be cut down. The scaffolding is currently holding part of the cathedral up. The coronation of Napolean took place here. The Cathedral can hold 9000 people.

Notre Dame -front

Memorial on shop. It says tombs of 2 anonymous and Jean Dussarps.

St Jacques church

Tomorrow Luxembourg

Today we are in Luxembourg. Their Christmas markets opened today. We are also visiting the American Cemetary where Battle of Bulge was fought commanded by General George Patton. The American Cemetary opened in 1962. \240There are 5076.3 people buried at the American Cemetary. There is 1.3 women buried here. One third of General Patton’s wife is buried here. \240His children buried her remains here surreptitiously.

Luxembourg is the flag carrier for many ships even though they are not on any water way. There are tax reasons for this. Alcohol, cigarettes and gas are the cheapest commodities in Luxembourg.

Approx 140,000 people a day come in from France to work. Luxembourg has decided that starting in March, 2020 all public transportation will be free.

Lunch wonderful noodle dish


Ice Skating Rink

Upper town looking at Lower town

City Center

Jewish marker

General Patton’s grave overlooking his troops

Memorial at American Cemetary

Medal of Honor winner at American Cemetary

Entrance gate of American Cemetary

Does it remind you of Petticoat junction?

Today we are in Trier, Germany. Trier is the oldest city in Germany. It was founded by the Romans in 1700 BC. \240Trier was an important supply point for the Romans along the Rhine. The Trier bridge dates back to 1400 AD. In Roman times, Trier had 60,000 inhabitants. The amphitheater seated 50,000. \240Currently population is 115,000. Camel cigarettes is the biggest industrial employer. Luxembourg is 7 miles from Trier. Tourism is major economic advantage. 4 million tourists visit each year. It is Champagne producing area of Europe.

The afternoon is spent cruising the Moselle river.

Tonight we are in Bernkastel. Visited the Christmas market and saw some ntetesting buildings.

View from our room on ship

The remains of amphitheater

The remains of Imperial Roman Baths


How they identify owner of vineyards

Imperial Palace which is one room. This is the largest single room remaining from Roman times. It was built before Constantine ruled. The walls have average width of 10 feet. It is constructed entirely of brick and mortar.

The Catholic Bishop’s Palace currently used as a Protestant Church

Inside the Imperial Palace which was built in 300 AD and reconstructed in 1950.

One of the largest pipe organs in Germany.

The ceiling of the Imperial Palace. The building was heated through use of hot air being blown under the floor and in the walls. The Imperial Palace was used as a security room against attacks.

The Market Square including the market cross.

Porta Nigra the last remains of Roman walls of city of Trier

Sights along the Moselle

Advent calendar house

Leaning house on corner


Today we are in Cochem, Germany. Cochem has a mustard museum and that is what this area is famous for. \240It was Memorial Day while we were here so most stores closed except restaurants and wine stores. Cochem is a beautiful town of half timber houses.

Our ship under the beautiful bridge

Chair lift closed November through March

Some sights while cruising the Moselle

Koblenz, Germany

Koblenz sits at the juncture of the Moselle and the Rhine rivers. We have now turned onto Rhine for the rest of our journey. \240We will be sailing down the Rhine this afternoon looking at castles.


City statue that spits water when someone walks by.

Marksburg Castle - the only castle on Rhine in original state.

The largest vineyard in the Rhine Valley

Maus Castle - took 30 years to build. Built by the Archbishop of Trier. Called Maus Castle because it is smaller than most castles. \240It is privately owned today and used as a residence.

Rheinstein Castle - Now a luxury hotel

The only entrance to the church is to go through the bar.


Gutenfels Castle was rebuilt and now is a hotel.

Mainz, Germany

Home of the founder of the Gutenberg Press, \240Johannesburg Gensfleisch zur Laden sum Gutenberg. The Gutenberg Press was the first movable-type Printing machine. The black ink is a mixture of soot from burning coal and linseed oil. The red, you don’t want to know. His most important invention was what is now called the Gutenberg Bible, printed in the 1450s. It was printed in black then coloring added by hand.

Walk and don’t walk traffic signals with little gnomes

Easy to navigate. The red street signs indicates it runs down to the river. The blue indicates that street runs parallel to the river

Cabanas first eating at Christmas Market

The Dom (Cathedral)

Entrance to underground

Speyer, Germany

Speyer is home to the Technik museum. This museum has a Boeing 737 on display as well as Volkswagen cars.

For a small town, the Christmas market is incredible.

The detail is so incredible you can see the steel mesh of the armor.

Monument outside Speyer Cathedral

Beautiful fall colors in Germany

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is very much in the Christmas spirit. We shopped for a lot of food.

Debbie said it brings new meaning to the phrase “roll out the barrel”

Canal boat in locks

Smallest house

Christmas decorations

Christmas market

Basel and Zurich, Switzerland

Basel was built by the Celtics in 70 BC. The Cathedral was damaged by the earthquake in 1300s and was finished being rebuilt in 1500. Henry II was the main contributor of money to rebuild the cathedral.

In Switzerland, the divorce rate is 49%. 33% of population smokes and each resident eats approx 26 pounds of chocolate per year. You are taxed if you own a dog but not a cat. The amount of the tax is based on the weight of the dog.

If you want to build a house in Switzerland, you must notify the neighbors and show them the plans then get 100% approval before building.

The Cathedral

Ferry with no engine. It is pulled across on the cable.


Entrance to the city pools is free. Two rivers flow through Zurich. The post office is open until 10 pm 7 days a week.

All children go to public school. Only approx 20% of students go to high school. The remainder are doing an apprenticeship.

Tina Turner lives in Kusnacht. She purchased the Christmas decorations for the town.

The population of Switzerland did not die during WWI but the died after WWI due to lack of food. They were to weak to survive.

The church on the hill

The only vineyard in Zurich

The buildings on the water are bath houses. Only the spas are open. The baths are for swimming in Lake Zurich which is drinking quality.

View looking back at Zurich dock

The clinic of Karl Jung

Tina Turner’s house on the Gold Coast

This is the Cold Coast. The middle class section.

Beautiful colors of season

Lindt chocolate factory

Abbey built in 853. It received the first organ after reformation in 1853 to mark the 100th anniversary. Established by Charlemagne. \240The second tower was cut away in 1732.

Reformation church

St Peters church

The back of the Abbey. Mark Chagall creates the 3 stained glass windows on the left


You can fill water bottles from any of the fountains in town.

Swavorski Christmas tree in main train station Zurich. Insured for $1.2 million.

Montreux, Switzerland

We took the train from Zurich to Montreux eithe 4 train switches but we made it. Montreux sits on the edge of Lake Geneva.

It’s so green and beautiful here. The above pictures were all taken from train outside Erstfeld.

I can’t describe how beautiful Switzerland is. Just as you think it can’t get any prettier, you go around a corner.

A car ferry up the mountains

Hotel du Glacier has birdhouses on the roof

Omg Montreux is beautiful. It was raining steadily all afternoon. When we arrived our room was not ready but they had upgraded us to a room overlooking Lake Geneva. The Christmas market was like no other.

Boat on Lake Geneva

We had fondue for dinner

This was at Christmas market. So pretty.

Freddie Mercury statue

Christmas lights

Ferris Wheel at Christmas market

Singing reindeer

They write Christmas wishes on them and hang them from Christmas tree and around doors and windows like garland.

Our hotel

Santa makes a grand entrance flying in over Lake Geneva

View from our balcony.

Montreux to Lucerne to Zurich

Golden Pass panoramic train through Alps. \240Extremely foggy this morning so change of plans. White out conditions on Jungfraujoch. Heading to Lucerne today. \240

Lake at Spiez

Blue water of Interlaken. \240The water is so blue because of the minerals from the melting glaciers.


Welcome to Lucerne

Covered wooden bridge in Lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne monument

Trying for Jungfraujoch again today. Today was AMAZING. I couldn’t think of anything better to do on our last day.


Ice Palace

Ice Palace


Ice Palace

I’ve Palace

Charlie Chaplin and the kid - Ice Palace

The town of Grund