Wednesday, May 20, 2015

European Vacation - Day One. . .and Two

Ready to leave home
After over a year of careful planning, our first trip to Europe for a Rhine River cruise became a reality. We were so excited on our day of departure as we drove to the Denver International Airport where we met our traveling companions, Joel's brother and sister-in-law, Darren and Debbie. But sometimes the best-laid plans go awry, and we found that our flight to Zurich via Iceland Air was cancelled due to the plane's mechanical problems. We were booked on the next flight three hours later, and we knew we were going to miss our connection in Reykjavik (Iceland) unless the airline decided to hold the plane. They didn't.  When we arrived in Iceland, we received the disappointing news that we wouldn't be leaving until the next morning, meaning we would miss our excursion to Mount Pilatus in the Swiss Alps. Bummer! The airline made "lemons into lemonade," however, as they put us up in the Hilton, fed us three scrumptious meals, and made us feel very welcome. The hotel even provided after dinner entertainment in the form of a local brass band - a fun evening!

A view of Reykjavik, Iceland

In the afternoon, we had time for a trip to the Blue Lagoon Spa and enjoyed the comfort of geo-thermal springs. The weather that day was a cloudy 45 degrees, and the life guards were wearing parkas, but we were toasty warm in the 100 degree mineral water. Surprising to us, Iceland has much to offer tourists, and we just might choose to make that a layover destination on a future trip.

Debbie and I are in the middle of the photo.

The next morning, we flew to Frankfort to catch a short connection to Zurich. As we made our way through the Frankfort Airport, we recognized American music playing loudly over a sound system. . .Elvis' Burning Love! We got off the escalator and rounded a corner to see that, not only was it Elvis music, it was an Elvis impersonator entertaining a crowd!  I guess there is no escaping them!  ;)

The Rhine River had experienced high water from rain and melting snow in the days leading up to our cruise, so the cruise line changed our departure location from Basel, Switzerland to Strasbourg, France. A two hour bus trip through the French countryside was the next leg of our journey. We were so thankful when we finally set foot on the boat, and felt both relieved and eager for the amazing week ahead. 

No comments:

Post a Comment