Sunday, November 15, 2009
Munich and Arrival in Passau
The overnight flight from Chicago was a full one, but actually quite pleasant. I had dinner in the airport, so I was able to board the flight and get ready for some sleep. I was amazed to find that I slept from about take off until 4 am EST. I managed to wake up in time for a hot towel and a light breakfast. I tried to watch part of a movie, but we were too close to Munich. Next thing I knew we were on the ground a full 30 minutes ahead of schedule. We deplaned and then walked what seemed to be a mile to passport control. Then we had the wait for luggage, another 40 minutes. The Uniworld representative was waiting for me outside of customs and took me to the minibus. We had a few other people to pick up and then we were on our way. It was a solid 1 ½ hours from Munich to the boat in Passau. We arrived about 3:15 local. I was taken directly to my room, which is small, but beautiful. The small room size is hard to get accustomed to on these river boats, but this time I have it all to myself. I hadn’t eaten anything since the very light breakfast on the plane so I went down to the lounge where they were serving tea. I managed to get a light sandwich and some tea cakes and of course some caffeine! I picked up a book before I left, so I have been reading that every moment I’ve had since leaving. I had finished tea and was getting ready to head to my room when I heard someone call my name. My aunt Rena was also having tea. It was great to see a familiar face. She and her husband had arrived from JFK a few hours before me. We sat and chatted for a good bit. I then went to my room and managed to get everything unpacked (Mom – it’s amazing how much more drawer space I have when it’s just me!!!). I decided to take a shower – what a good idea. I felt a hundred times better after that. They have one of those rain shower heads and I didn’t want to get out! It was time for the welcome session and safety announcements by the crew. We found out everything there was to know about the ship and more. We will meet tomorrow at 9 am for the tour of Passau. They have a glass museum and factory here, so I’m looking forward to seeing that after the tour of the cathedral. I went to dinner shortly after 7 pm. I ended up being seated with 2 sisters who were on the shuttle with me and another younger couple, who were a couple of years younger than I. The sisters were from LA and Phoenix while the young couple was from Toronto. Turns out that the young girl and one of the sisters works for the same company and had even talked on the phone a number of times. It was really one of those “small world” scenarios. The ship is definitely not sold out – there were a number of tables that were not set for dinner. It seems that there might be just over 100 people on board. The food at dinner was very good. I had a salad, horseradish soup (I would love the recipe for this – it was tremendous), followed by roast beef with a side of pumpkin soufflé and some sort of chocolate ice cream with orange coulis and pineapple meringue (who thinks up these things??). Best part of the day came when I found out that they have wifi onboard for 15€ unlimited for the whole trip!!! It’s not the fastest, but it gets the job done. I am sitting in the lounge listening to the piano player while I type this up (Mom – it’s the same guy from last year on the Rhine – Time to Say Goodbye???). Hunter will be on his way to the airport in a bit, so I’m hoping to talk to him at that time and then it will be about time to head to bed so I will be ready for tomorrow. The weather is cool and cloudy, but not too bad. Here’s hoping the sun will be out tomorrow. No pictures to show for tomorrow, but we should have some after tomorrow morning’s tour.