Sharon Miceli, one of Online Vacation Center's experienced Personal Vacation Managers, continues her journey on the Danube River in December, as a guest of AMAWaterways aboard the river cruise ship Amalyra. Sharon...
|The bright lights of the Christmas Market contrast a gray day in Regensburg|
Our itinerary shows us in Regensburg today but the Amalyra is still in Deggendorf as the waters of the Danube, though slowly receding, are still too high to allow passage under the bridge separating us from our destination. Not to worry, however, it’s a mere one-hour bus ride to Regensburg and AMAWaterways has us on our way after lunch.
|An AMAWaterways "Quiet Box"... a personal audio headset so everyone on tour can hear the guide|
It was the first time we tried out the complimentary “quiet boxes” that AMA Waterways provides for its guests. These devices, worn around our necks, are simple to use and have earpieces that allow us to hear our tour guides without having to be right next to them. It was great to be able to stop and snap photos or have a few moments more to admire the architecture without missing a word of our local guide’s accounts.
As we crossed the oldest standing Stone Bridge in Europe our guide pointed out where we would normally be docked, only steps away from the Unesco World Heritage Site of Old Town Regensburg where, in the shadow of the St Peter’s Dom (Cathedral), Europe’s finest example of German Gothic design, we find their popular Christmas Market.
|Three views of Regensburg's Christmas Market|
Armed with mugs of hot, spiced wine known as Gluhwein to keep us warm we strolled up and down the aisles admiring the brightly displayed goods. Ornaments, toys, candles, clothing and lots of edible goodies made for a festive backdrop to this annual tradition.
|A Christmas Market Carousel|
Rosie-cheeked tots squealed with delight as they whirled around on the carousel whose riotous colors seemed to pop against the early twilight. A dusting of snowflakes as light as air and in no hurry to land completed this enchanting scene. It was marvelous.
|Building windows make a perfect advent calendar, high above the Christmas Market|
Returning to the Amalyra we were greeted with what would become a familiar routine. The Captain himself was standing at the door and welcomed us “home” while the staff offered us more Gluhwein; a warm welcome for both body and soul.
Thanks, Sharon! Looks like a wonderful trip so far!