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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmas cruise on the Danube River - Dec 31st/2014....

Today, I ate more breakfast than usual because I expected to skip lunch - two eggs, bacon, hash browns, French toast, a smoothie, cereal, sweet rolls, orange juice and coffee.

The cruise ended today.  Some passengers disembarked today, others of us took advantage of staying on the ship an extra two nights over New Year’s Day.  Another passenger told me that they were departing today because they did not know that they could stay an extra two nights.   I estimate that more than half the passengers stayed the extra nights.  AMA included all the food but did not schedule any tours or excursions for the extra days.  Passengers had to make their own arrangements for sightseeing and other activities outside the ship.

Being New Years Eve today, there were not a lot of places opened and some places were closing earlier than usual.  It was an easy decision for me what I should do on my own today - I walked over to the train station, which was close to the docks, and took a tram to the Rijksmuseum   It is one of the premier art museums in Europe, which was opened for the whole day. 

The Rijksmuseum holds the magnificent Dutch national art collection of some 5000 paintings, 30000 pieces of applied art, and 17000 historical artifacts.  I visited the Rijksmuseum in 2010.  I admire Dutch painting; and Rembrandt and Vermeer are two of my favorite painters.  I arrived at the museum about 10 and left about 3.  Anyone who loves art, especially Dutch painting, should not miss the Rijksmuseum.  I did not take any photos - I needed a break from taking photos. 

We had so many wonderful suppers that it is difficult to pick out one as the best, however, if I have to choose one, this New Year's Eve meal may have been it.  For the appetizer, I had the marinated Atlantic lobster.  For the soup, a tomato flavored consommé with meat strudel and vegetables.  They put some lemon cello, the Italian liquor, on the lemon sorbet.  For the main course, I had the beef tenderloin and grilled king prawn which was a foot-long (no exaggeration); it was a wonderful variation of surf and turf.  I selected their red wine.   The dessert was three items:  crème caramel, rum flavored chocolate cake, and raspberry sorbet.

There was a New Year’s fireworks display which could be viewed from our ship.  I tried to take photos, but I do not think that they turned out very well.  There was a New Year’s Party on the ship. 

Photos belong to Phil Bianco

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