European Vacation – Day 9 – Düsseldorf

The ms Inspire is docked in Remagen just south of the famous bridge from World War II.  Operation Lumberjack was a military operation during World War II with the goal of capturing the west bank of the Rhine River and seizing key German cities, near the end of World War II. The First United States Army launched the operation in March 1945 to capture strategic cities in Nazi Germany and to give the Allies a foothold along the Rhine.
One unexpected outcome was the capture of the Ludendorff bridge, a strategic railroad bridge across the Rhine, in the Battle of Remagen. Despite German attempts to destroy the bridge, Allied forces captured it intact and were able to use it for ten days to establish a beachhead on the far side, before it finally collapsed at 3:00 PM on 17 March 1945 after months of aircraft bombing, direct artillery hits, near misses, and demolition attempts.
The battle was depicted in the novel The Bridge at Remagen by Ken Hechler, which was later adapted into the film of the same name.
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Sunday started with a presentation and sampling on the history of beer at 10:00 am.
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 Beer tasting with our tour director Paulo and Joe.
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Brunch was served at 11:30 am as we cruised north on the Rhine River.  Our riverboat arrived in Düsseldorf at 1:00 pm.   Priscilla and I went on the beer tour.  Each brewery makes only one beer and that is what they sell in their beer hall.  You choose your beer hall depending on which beer you like best.  Their advertising is clever – A day without beer is a health risk.  Flush your kidneys with a minimum of 2 liters of beer per day. The beer is served in 10 ounce glasses and costs $2.50 per glass.  When your glass looks empty the waiter brings you another and another until you put a coaster on top of your beer glass.  The waiter marks your coaster with an ink line to keep track of how many beers he has served to you.
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We have spent some time on this cruise with Joe and his wife Nita.  They are from Oklahoma.  I asked Nita about her name and she said it was short for Juanita.   When she was born in Oklahoma her mother wanted to name her Virginia but her grandmother said if you want to name your daughter after a state then you should name her Kentucky.  The compromise was to look at a list of possible names and they chose Juanita.  When she moved to San Antonio twenty years later she had  to continuously explain why she did not look Mexican and shortened her name to Nita.
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At 5:00:pm we cast of the dock lines to cruise north to our final port of call Amsterdam.  We will arrive in Amsterdam at 1:20 pm.
Priscilla is the Halloween pumpkin carving contest winner (1st place) with her entry “Stary, Stary!”  Who is that handsome (hairy) gent holding the winning entry!  There were 12 other entries.
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i will let you decide what this piece of artwork depicts.
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