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Category: Europe 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Koln to Dusseldorf at 2,000 Miles an Hour

I finally finished a couple of time-lapse videos from our recent trip to Europe! I think they’re pretty cool. Of course, I was there, so they may not have the same impact on you, but I hope you’ll check them out anyway.

To create these, I zip-tied the camera on a monopod to the railing on the ship and set the camera’s built-in intervalometer to shoot 999 frames – one every three seconds. The videos compress 45 minutes into 40 seconds.

The first video was shot when we left Koln. The ship turns downstream at the beginning, and whizzes past the city and the Koln Cathedral on the left.

Get the Flash Player to see this movie.



The second video was shot as we approached Dusseldorf. At the end of the video, the ship spins around and docks.

Get the Flash Player to see this movie.



Amsterdam

What an awesome way to end our trip to Europe! Amsterdam has it all. We started the day early with a trip to the floating tulip market, a tour of the cities lovely canal system and a quick tour of a diamond factory. Then it was back to the ship for lunch. It just happens that our trip coincided with the short tulip growing season, so we spent the afternoon at the unbelievable eye-poping Keukenhof. I have never seen a more beautiful garden. The colors were so bright that they hurt my eyes. A trip to a flower garden would not normally appeal to me, but this place was truly amazing. Well worth the trip!

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Our timimg was perfect in another way as well. It turns out that April 30th is the day of Amsterdam’s biggest party – Queen’s Day. More than one million wild party-goers flooded the city of 750,000. The streets were jam-packed – live music was being performed everywhere, and spirits were very high. 😉

So, without a doubt the most fun was the Queen’s Night celebration in the Red Light District where I saw some of the loveliest sights on the entire trip. (Ahem) Unfortunatley, cameras are not allowed, so I can not share them with you here. I recommend you go and see for yourself as soon as possible!

Kelly and I finished our last night of our trip with a slow stroll through the magnificent Amsterdam Central Train Station before heading back to the River Queen for the last time.

More pictures from Amsterdam.

Dusseldorf

I made this panorama of the riverfront from the deck of our ship in Dusseldorf without a tripod, and the stitching of the 8 images did not go too well, but you get the idea.

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I also made two time-lapse videos of the trip from Koln to Dusseldorf, and they turned out pretty cool, but the files are too large. I’m looking for a way to produce acceptable compressed results.

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It was also in Dusseldorf that we ate the best lunch of the trip. I had lamb fillet in green peppercorn sauce, which was every bit as good as the lamb served at my favorite Bay Area restaurant – Soizic. They prepared salmon in the same sauce, and it too was delicious. It was also here that we first tasted spargel – the white asparagus cherished by Germans. Yum!

Castles and Currywurst – The Trip to Koblenz

Today was the first day we saw the sun since arriving in Europe. And what a lovely day it was! Before today, I was worried that I might not get any photos on this trip to rival those of from our Thailand trip. It turns out though, that Germany is home to some pretty fabulous castles. The coffee’s not bad either. Or the currywurst. Or the ice cream.

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(I am really surprised at just how dificult it is to get connected to the Internet from Germany. Unlike Thailand, which seemed to have an Internet cafe every 100 feet, they are a few and far between here. We have a computer on the ship, but it has an e-mail only connection, so it is not possible for me to make a blog entry. After three unsuccessful attempts to get on line in K

Heidelberg and Rudesheim

Despite mostly gloomy weather, we are having a wonderful time. The pace is fast and furious. Today we toured the castle in the beautiful city of Heidelberg and saw a barrel with a capactity of 58,000 gallons of white wine. Unfortunately, the barrel is empty these days. From there, we sailed to Rudesheim and took a quick tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Museum and it’s huge collection of bizarre musical machines.

After a bit of wine tasting at the nearest weinstube, we tried our first Rudesheim Kaffe. The drink consists of Asbach brandy, sugar and coffee topped with a large scoop of whipped cream and yummy chocolate bits. Delicious!

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Finally, we dined on pork and sauerkraut at the Rudesheim Schloss. The food was fantastic! The only odd thing was that the restaurant’s excellent wait staff and band catered way too much to Americans. To begin with, there were American – not German – flags on each table. That seems a bit odd to me. Then the band played music suited only to an American audience. Sure, they threw in the occasional Beer Barrel Polka, but went way-y-y too far to make us feel like we were anywhere but in a restaurant in Rudesheim, Germany. They played such well-known German folk tunes as John Denver’s Country Roads, The Yellow Rose of Texas and even I Did it My Way. Things got really wierd though, when they perfomed the dreaded chicken dance to the delight of the half-drunk American crowd. This was about all I could take, so we strolled slowly through the invigorating evening mist back to our ship for an after dinner cocktail. We’d need our strength – tomorrow will be another busy day…

More photos…

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