On Thursday our bus departed the riverboat at 10:00 am for Speyer, Germany to see the spires on the Speyer Cathedral. The Technik Museum is also in Speyer. We visited the museum first. On display is a fleet of full sized airplanes including a Boeing 747 and the Space Shuttle. The planes are open for you to tour including walking on the wing of the 747. You can also stand in the payload bay of the space shuttle. There are 100’s of classic cars, trucks, busses and other vehicles beyond description.
The Boeing 747 is staged in take off position.
It might be hard to see that I am standing on the wing of a Boeing 747.
We had lunch at a hoffbrau house and dined on beer, pumpkin soup, sausages and sauerkraut. Very traditional.
Our next stop which was right across the square from the restaurant was the Speyer Cathedral. This cathedral claims to be the worlds largest Romanesque church. It was built between 1030 – 1124.
Life on the ms Grace is magical. Tonight Tauck hosted a formal seven course meal. It was poetry in motion with perfectly choreographed plating and serving. The highlight of the evening was a lederhosen clad band with a saxophone player that looked like Fabio and an alpine horn player. This band knows how to get geriatrics up on their feet and dancing.
There is an Aussie couple from Melbourne onboard Iliana and Anne. We were chatting about the song Waltzing Matilda. I looked it up and realized I knew nothing about it. How sad the swagman (hobo) committed suicide for stealing a lamb while waiting for his bulli tea to boil instead of being hung by the police. His ghost haunts the billabong to this day.
This is a billabong
A billabong (, BIL-ə-bong) is an Australian term for an oxbow lake, an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. As a result of the arid Australian climate in which these “dead rivers” are found, billabongs fill with water seasonally; they are dry for a greater part of the year.
Many of my blog readers are familiar with Gabe and Angela’s adventures to circumnavigate the world in their Island Packet 47 sailboat Pilar. Priscilla and I joined them for the first leg of their cruise from Miami to Cuba and Jamaica. They continued on through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos and crossed the Pacific Ocean. They are currently in Coomera on the Gold Coast of Australia which Is just south of Brisbane.
Gabe and Angela are the red dot.
Through some miracle of navigational planning the ms Grace will cruise the Rhine River tomorrow. We will move from Mannheim to Mainz.
The captain must have seen the commercial traffic that was transiting the Rhine.