Our pick up was at the Zürich Airport at 10 am, so we went down for breakfast around 8am. So much food, you name it, it was there. That was to be our introduction into how much food will be on offer for our trip
After a delicious breakfast and a few pots of tea, we went back upstairs to get our bags and go and checkout.
We were at the airport by 9.30 am may as well be early than late.
Of course Muriel and I had the APT backpacks and that’s how we met Tania, Peter and Luke. We were waiting in Terminal 1, somehow they were told Terminal 2. Peter was sent on a search and rescue to see if he could find anyone else that may be waiting.
The APT bags stood out like a sore thumb! He went back and retrieved Tania and Luke and brought them up to where we were.
Right on 10am a lovely lady with a card with our surnames on it came to greet us. Now this still puzzles me to this day!… 3 names on the card, however she only had room for 2? Yes, we didn’t get it either. She ordered another taxi that would take 4 people and we waited maybe 5-10 minutes for the second car to arrive.
It was decided that Paula and I would be in the 2 only car and Muriel would travel with Tania Peter and Luke.
It was about a 50 minute ride from Zürich to Basel, so pretty, so green and I knew then that I was in love with this country called Europe.
We arrived at the Basel docks around 11am, both cars. Thanks to Muriel she gave Peter, Tania and Luke an edited version on our story, Paula and I. Oh dear, when we found out we were wondering what was told. It was all good, they become great friends on this trip.
Our drivers took our bags out of the cars and we went to roll them on their wheels down to the Ship (it’s not a boat, it’s a ship – more about that later) when staff came from everywhere and took our bags for us.
We had arrived!
Kinda felt a bit famous 🙂
Our rooms were not ready so we were taken into the lounge where we could have a drink and something to eat. Bit shy so we had a hot cuppa, that changed very quickly when we discovered we could drink alcohol practically anytime of the day. The staff advised us we would be told when our rooms are ready and just relax and enjoy.
The rest of the guests were arriving later in the day. They had combined a couple of tours in France on the Rhone and then were taking a coach to Basel to join us.
Maybe a few more guests arrived not long after us but most were on the other tour.
After an hour we were told our rooms were ready so off we went to see what we had. Small but everything you could want. We had a sliding door to the outside and a couple of chairs to sit and watch the world go by. TV with internet and TV channels and some new release movies.
A lot of hanging space, hangers, cupboards drawers and a cute little bathroom with everything we needed. Hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer and soap. The shower had a small line which was perfect for our smalls.
Our rooms were opposite each other right at the end of the corridor, near the staff quarters. Often we would have our doors open and chat to each other.
We unpacked and then went upstairs to get another drink, housework sure made us thirsty.
There were a few people still waiting in the lounge for their taxi pickup to the airport. They had just finished a tour on this 6 star floating hotel. They gave us a few tips and hints, one was hanging our washing from the ceiling around the big sliding window. This tip was brilliant with the sun shinning in each day our clothes were dry in no time. The other was to book the Chefs table. This was for no more than 24 people, and it was a special meal, wines and service out of this world. This was on the second level and right at the back with huge windows to watch the world go by. So we went and booked this dinner for the Monday.
This is where I will put in that I am Fish, Peanut and gluten-free and I was wondering how they were going to accommodate me. I need not have a thought about it, I was looked after and the food was to die for.
So after a couple of drinks we headed upstairs to have a look around. Walking track, spa, mini golf, lots of deck chairs. The wheelhouse where the captain and his “co captain” steered this magnificent ship along the Rhine and through many very tight locks.
While we were upstairs on the main deck, I was of course busy taking lots of pictures. One of the staff was up there trying to speak to his family back in Romania, he called me Paparazzi 🙂 He became such a good friend on this trip. He was a brilliant waiter and nothing at all was too hard for him.
Not a very clear picture, Constantino is the one waiving at me. We had an on board safety introduction, then they introduced all the staff and crew.
The ship was to leave sometime during the night and very quickly we would be introduced to the locks on the Rhine. Facinating watching us go through them. Paula had been through the Suez Canel many years ago when she went to England and Europe.
Part 2 coming up……..