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Christmas Markets along the Danube

Passau and Vishofen

rain 39 °F

We started the day in the beautiful village of Passau in the heart of Bavaria. Passau was an ancient Roman colony of ancient Noricum called Batavis, Latin for "for the Batavi." During the second half of the 5th century, St. Severinus established a monastery here. The site was subject to repeated raids by the Alemanni. In 739, an English monk called Boniface founded the diocese of Passau, which for many years was the largest diocese of the German Kingdom/Holy Roman Empire, covering territory in southern Bavaria and most of what is now Upper and Lower Austria. From the 10th century the bishops of Passau also exercised secular authority as Prince-Bishops in the immediate area around Passau. In the Treaty of Passau (1552), Archduke Ferdinand I, representing Emperor Charles V, secured the agreement of the Protestant princes to submit the religious question to a diet. This led to the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. During the Renaissance and early modern period, Passau was one of the most prolific centres of sword and bladed weapon manufacture in Germany (after Solingen). Passau smiths stamped their blades with the Passau wolf, usually a rather simplified rendering of the wolf on the city's coat-of-arms.

The village is perfect for a quiet walk through its streets and to visit the Cathedral and Christmas market.

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During our on board Bavarian lunch, we cast off the lines and headed for our final stop Vishofen. As a final send-off, nature gifted us a wonderful rainbow just as the sun set.

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We arrived at Vilshofen an der Donau about 5:00pm. Upon docking we jumped on four buses and headed off to the Schweiklberg Abbey where we were treated to a "Decemberfest", hosted by the Vishofen Beer Queen. There was great beer, pretzels and entertainment. We returned to the ship, walking through the center of town and its Christmas market. A great way to end our adventure. Tomorrow we leave at 6:00am for the 2 hour bus ride to the Munich Airport and the flights home.

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Posted by rpickett 14:00 Archived in Ghana Tagged and passau vishofen Comments (6)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony

Photo Album

My photo album of this trip is up and running click Alaska 2019

Click the first picture to enlarge, and then you can scroll through using the arrow on the right hand side!

Enjoy!

Posted by rpickett 13:28 Archived in USA Tagged and alaska canada Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony

Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier

sunny 60 °F

Our voyage north in the inland passage continues this morning. We again had two enrichment lectures.

First up was Rob Caskie describing the incredible building of the Alaska Canada Highway during the early stages of World War 2. It was a truly remarkable effort is some of the worst conditions possible.

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Following Rob, Dr Jay Wolff continued his stories of the history of Alaska and its personalities with a talk titled "Dangerous Dan, A Dog Name Balto and the Rest of the Story". Jay is an amazing storyteller of history and he entertained all as we learned some rather obscure history.

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After lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon transiting Endicott Arm to get to Dawes Glacier. We were blessed with great weather and spectacular views. Dawes Glacier was named in 1891 by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for Henry Laurens Dawes, lawyer and statesman from Massachusetts. The glacier was originally called "Young Glacier" in 1880 by John Muir for Reverend S. Hall Young, his companion.

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Posted by rpickett 11:10 Archived in USA Tagged and glacier arm endicott dawes Comments (0)

India

Ramthambore and Jaipur

sunny 78 °F

This morning we did our third total and second 0700 safari in search of the tiger. This is what you do bounce around on a safari vehicle and stare at the countryside, which today was wonderful. Sightings are actually pretty rare. We encountered one of the trackers the government employs and he had seem some prints, but no tigers. However we did manage to see a Sloth Bear. The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is an insectivorous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, mainly because of habitat loss and degradation. It has also been called labiated bear because of its long lower lip and palate used for sucking insects. Compared to brown and black bears, the sloth bear is lankier, has a long, shaggy fur and a mane around the face, and long, sickle-shaped claws. It evolved from the ancestral brown bear during the Pleistocene and through convergent evolution shares features found in insect-eating mammals. All in all between the leopard and the bear, we saw two animals that are sighted far less frequently than tigers.

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After a breakfast and a shower, we left for Jaipur, about 4 hours away, and arrived at the hotel at about 1600. It is along side the lake, and Globus booked us into lake side rooms, which have a small balcony.

This evening we went inside the Pink City for dinner at a Noble family's house, who host lunches and dinners to help maintain the residence. The family has owned the house since the 1700's. We also had a quick demonstration of Turban and Sari tying. It was a wonderful evening.

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Posted by rpickett 04:06 Archived in India Tagged and jaipur ranthambore Comments (0)

United Kingdom

England, Wales and Scotland Photo Album

My photo album of this trip is posted. Click United Kingdom to view the album. Click on a picture to go full screen and you can "slide show" through the album.

Posted by rpickett 14:11 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged and scotland england wales Comments (0)

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