SHALL WE TRY AGAIN???
Mr. Al and I returned home two days ago. We are mostly back in our current time zone…still hard to stay awake around 7pm, but we manage. Getting up early, but we’ve been getting lots done…so it’s all good.
I am again apologizing for my lack of blog posts throughout this experience, but it was like a roller coaster ride where your get whipped around and you’re screaming and laughing, but you can’t manage to talk about it other than “Wowzer! That happened.”
So…I thought I’d blog a series of Post-Adventure Impressions as they come to me…one topic at a time.
Today’s topic is…River Barges.
This fascinated me…probably because I read a fantasy series by Robin Hobb called the Rain Wilds Chronicles. River barges were a big feature, as were dragons. As was a search for a promised land for said dragons.
Besides many, MANY river-cruise ships on the water and proceeding through the locks, there are fascinating barges traveling up and down the river delivering their various goods to the river ports. I never tired of watching them. I assumed the barges belonged to corporations as a fleet. However, many of these barges are family owned, and had been for generations. And the family home is the barge. The telltale sign is if there is a car on the roof of the back of the barge, behind the bridge. At port, as the goods were disembarked, the car would be used to go shopping, picking up personal supplies, etc.
Such an interesting life, don’t you think? Imagine of all the stories that could be written…from fantasy to romance, to suspense, biography, you name it.
Here’s a movie I took of one of the river barges. I do not believe it is family owned, however.
Along with that…I’ll add that my FAVORITE time during the river cruising adventure was just that…cruising on the river. The lighting was phenomenal. I took photo after photo, hoping a few will be paint-worthy. I loved watching towns come and go, catching little vignettes of life. And the birds…lots of herons and other waterfowl. (Swans…the swans would greet you at each port…desiring handouts.) Here are some pics….
I really wish there was more of just “rolling down the river.” Of course, you could choose to stay with the boat if you had one of those tours where the ship dropped you off and then kept sailing to the next rendezvous point…but then, you’d miss the tour where you learned the cultural history of that area, and see things and…and…and…when will I ever be back to those countries, if ever? So… I opted for less cruising and more absorbing all that I could of the art, the history, and the culture of where I happened to be.
See? A wild roller coaster. Could barely process it all.
Which begs the question…would I ever take a river cruise again? Uh…probably not. Mr. Al and I both need lots of quiet time. Less people on a river cruise, sure…but you saw them all the time, because breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served the same windows of time and if you missed that window…well…we never missed that window (delicious food and all!) There were also lectures offered with fascinating tidbits of knowledge that we didn’t want to miss. I do think river cruising is for more extraverted folks because everywhere you went you really kinda, sorta, had to be “on.” But that’s just my opinion.
Would we cruise again? Heck yeah! On a small cruise ship, where there are nooks and crannies to find a little happy spot, and there are days at sea where you can re-group and take a breather from the constant going.
Until our next chat,