This next installment of our grand European adventure records the beginning of our river cruise aboard one of the Viking River Cruise longships.
A lovely bus ride through the Swiss countryside took us from Zurich to Basel.
We enjoyed an informative walking tour of the city - old-world twisty cobbled streets, quaint shops, intriguing restaurants, and trams and bicycles posing a risk to pedestrians.
Interior courtyard of a government building.
After the tour we boarded our ship, the Viking Hild, checked in to our stateroom, freshened up a bit, unpacked a few things, then headed to the restaurant for a buffet lunch. We sat with and got to know a foursome of women who travel together regularly. The food aboard the ship was divine from beginning to end. I’ll probably mention the food several times, but it was delicious and so deserves mentioning. I can’t fathom how the chefs created those feasts in their tiny kitchen.
We set sail and soon went through the first of many locks that control the water level along the Rhine. We barely skimmed below the ginormous gate and got sprinkled with river water as we passed under.
The incredibly young-looking captain and a crew member making sure we were headed in the right direction.
The river is a veritable highway for all manner of cargo and we encountered many barges.
Quite often, a husband-and-wife pair of captains live on board, and need a vehicle for when the ship is docked. We even saw barges with a small playground – the children would be homeschooled.
We freshened up and joined the other passengers in the lounge for Happy Hour, the toast to Captain and crew, and the presentation by our cruise director, Mathias.
We found a table in the dining room, no set seating arrangements, and enjoyed getting to know two couples – one from Florida and one from California. Our menu choices were always varied and each evening included a special regional dish. That night it was veal ragout – I can’t bring myself to eat veal, so instead I enjoyed the Thai green curry. Yum! I started with the white bean soup and it, and all the soups I ate onboard, was delicious. My dessert was a plum tart. Lots of wine accompanied dinner and we were almost the last group to leave the dining room, hehe.
I'm unsure why tomorrow is declared Drink Wine Day in the US of A. Why is tomorrow so special? It can't have anything to do with the harvest, me thinks. Perhaps it's a way to fight the mid-winter doldrums. I think you'd stand a better chance of raising spirits (ha!) with a Chocolate Day, or a Eat Cake While Wearing Jammies Day, but maybe that's just me.
Here's the link to the official DWD website if you want to check it out. Yummy looking wine cocktail recipes in the side-bar that I may have to investigate further.
In other news, I baked these blueberry muffins yesterday. The recipe is my go-to muffin recipe from Alton Brown. I adapted it by using one cup of frozen blueberries from the stash in my deep freezer. I buy many pounds of wild blueberries every summer and divvy them up into one cup portions, which are a convenient amount for most recipes.
Yes, the recipe makes a dozen muffins, and yes, there is one missing from the photo. That's because it was in my tummy as soon as it was cool enough to eat. Son1 and his partner arrived about an hour later and each ate a muffin as an afternoon treat. Breakfast this morning took care of a few more. I think I'll be baking another batch fairly soon.
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As I mentioned last week, I’m in full-on pumpkin spice flavoured foods mode. I baked these pumpkin cookies and took them to our friend’s house for our weekend stay. They were a definite hit. And boy, were they a nice treat during our deconstruction/demolition project.
The recipe only calls for one cup of canned pumpkin puree so, hm…What to do with the remaining pumpkin? Well, I’m giving this recipe a try.
Pumpkin Roll Bars
Janet made these and passed along the recipe so I know they’ll be tasty. I’ll let you know what Hubby and I think.
The mainland as seen from the lighthouse at Boar’s Head.
For less than $3 per bottle you too can enjoy delicious wine in the comfort of your own home.
Many moons ago we used to brew our own beer. Then we moved, life changed and happened, and it’s only now that we’re getting back into being our own brew-masters and vintners.
Much like cooking and baking you can do everything from scratch, or you can start with a mix, i.e. a kit. Everything you need comes in one box, you just add water.
Firstly, and most importantly, you need to sterilize all your equipment. Yes, it is time consuming but you don’t want a stray bacterium to ruin your batch. Hubby is in charge of that chore. Actually, he does most of the work, letting me help in the bottling. And consuming.