Solo traveling is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have. Sure, it’s daunting when you first set off, even if you’ve researched everything you can possibly think of! But once you are on your way there are so many amazing new people to meet, and so many sights and experiences to share, that you’ll forget you were ever nervous about leaving home! [Read more…] about Basic Vocabulary to Know When You Travel!
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The fascinating city of Berlin is a place I have always wanted to explore. When I was growing up, Berlin was two cities, West Berlin and East Berlin. Learning about living in a separated city, and country, was mesmerizing. Our tour guides were Berliners, one from the West, and two from the East. Learning about the divided city from them was pretty amazing.
I have always wanted to take a Viking River Cruise, so I was thrilled when my blogger friend, Suzanne Stavert of Adventures of Empty Nesters, and I were invited to sail! I chose the ship and itinerary, Elegant Elbe, and prepared for an exciting and fun trip! I was not disappointed! And best of all, I learned so much along the way, and for me, that is one of the best things about travel.
The Elbe River is not as famous as the Rhine or the Danube, but I loved the itinerary which took us from Berlin, Germany to Prague, Czech Republic. I hadn’t been to Europe for 10 years, and it was so wonderful to experience places I had never been before. Our exploration of the cities of Germany and Czech Republic, all behind the Iron Curtain of the Cold War, was nothing short of a revelation. It was my first real look at how people lived in places controlled by the Soviet Union. Of course, the trip was full of beauty and wonder, too, incredible countryside, castles, palaces, vineyards and ancient town squares. However, a funny thing happened on this trip, we didn’t sail at all.
Yes, I know, it’s a river cruise, but the drought in Europe had lowered the Elbe River to a point where we could not sail. There was much disappointment, but Viking handled the situation with seamless hospitality. After staying a couple of nights in Berlin, we went to the Viking ship, the Beyla, docked in Wittenberg, Germany. I was bowled over by the elegance of the streamlined luxury ship. It was truly, truly a beautiful ship. Suzanne and I were fortunate to have tours of the bridge and the kitchens, and they were so clean, so perfectly appointed, it was amazing. Our stateroom had a balcony and was absolutely gorgeous! The dining room, lounges and bar were spotless and very luxurious. The food was delicious. We met so many new people, most of whom were dedicated Viking passengers, having sailed with Viking at least once, and most had gone on more than one trip. That is certainly a testimonial to the excellence of Viking Cruises.
After two nights on the Beyla, we switched to her sister ship, in Dresden, the Astrild. Actually, it wasn’t like changing boats at all, the ships were exactly the same, and Viking handled everything smoothly. The crew was different of course, but both crews were absolutely fantastic. Our program director, Benne Bennison, remained for the entire trip, and she was absolutely professional and very enjoyable to travel with. She did an amazing job with ninety people who were disappointed not to sail! After three nights on the Astrild, we went to Prague and a hotel there.
Comfortable Viking coaches took us to all the sights that had been originally planned, and so we had a fantastic time on our non-cruise cruise! I do hope to take a Viking Cruise that actually sails at some point, but hats off to Viking Cruises for making this trip absolutely wonderful! I cannot think of a single thing that wasn’t perfect. Every passenger enjoyed the trip, and planned to take another Viking Cruise. Thank you, thank you Viking River Cruises, for a marvelous experience! Take a Viking Cruise, y’all, and #traveltamstyle!
You’d enjoy reading more about the destinations, yes?
Do you ever look back on your past travels? Go through photos, reread your travel journal? Busy modern life usually keeps us from relaxing and reliving our previous trips. As you read this I will be off on a new adventure, a Viking River Cruise through Europe! Traveling with my fellow travel blogger and friend, Suzanne Stavert of Adventures of Empty Nesters should be fun, interesting, and I hope, educational! I will be posting photos as I go, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @travelwithtam and Instagram @travelswithtam. In the interim, I plan to post past travels and adventures, some of which will be brand new to you! Good wishes and bon voyage!
Take a look at another adventure Suzanne and I took!
Cozumel is a Fantastic Culinary Destination!
I love Cozumel, Mexico, a beautiful island in the Mexican Caribbean. It offers so much to visitors like world class diving, snorkeling, and yes, fantastic culinary delights! I know people in the USA are on edge about visiting Mexico these days, but let me tell you, I feel safer here than I do in my home in Dallas, and I’m betting you will too!
First Class Fine Dining Experiences
Yes, you read that correctly. What are fabulous restaurants doing on a casual, breezy island in the Mexican Caribbean? Well, why shouldn’t you have fine dining along with an easy going ambiance? I love these establishments, and I would love them anywhere in the world! Here are my top three:
- Buccanos at Night. Original, inventive, delicious culinary masterpieces overlooking the Caribbean ocean, owned and managed by a creative, talented family. The scenery, ambiance, and traditional yet casual elegance is a plus to the main event: the food! How can I describe it? How about with photos? And of course, check out their incredible menu, plus they always have nightly specials! You simply cannot visit the island without dining at Buccanos. Period!
2. La Cocay
My family has been dining at La Cocay for many, many years. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and just good times at this fantastic Cozumel restaurant. It is Mediterranean, with tapas and my favorite salad on the planet: the Napa Salad. Don’t miss La Cocay when you visit!
Another fabulous Cozumel institution! No one can visit the island without eating at Guidos! A family favorite, I cannot count how many people we have taken to Guidos over the years. They are famous for their garlic bread! Guido’s is an iconic Cozumel eatery!
Come on down to Cozumel, and bring your appetite!
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