This is a report about a river cruise on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam that I took in September 2016. I wrote up a narrative including maps as a PDF, but this forum doesn't like attachments or links to such documents. So, here it is, one day at a time:
This is an account of a cruise on the Rhine River taken by my wife Frances and me in August and September 2016. The cruise was organized by Viking River Cruises, and we sailed aboard the Viking Hlin. We were not strangers to river cruises, having gone on four such tours previously, three of them with Viking. We were also veterans of as many independent trips.
Saturday, August 27 (Washington to Paris)
We spent most of Saturday getting ready for our evening flight. We took the cats to the vet for boarding. We finished our packing. We took out the garbage and recycling. After an early dinner, we ran the dishwasher, reset the thermostat, and unplugged some electronic gear. Then there was nothing to do but wait for the Supreme Shuttle.
The shuttle showed up within a few minutes of the appointed time. We were the only passengers. We zipped to Dulles in good time, trying not to pay attention to the number of electronic devices the driver was using. He dropped us off at the Air France terminal in good time.
Check-in went smoothly, and there weren't many people in the security line. Having endured that minor humiliation, we restored our possessions to their proper places and took the little train to the gate.
As usual, we were way early. Since we had already eaten, there was nothing to do but read and work sudokus. Finally, it was time to start boarding. I have never decided whether it's better to sit and wait for the line to shorten or join the scrum in order to get on a little earlier. We usually compromise and join after it is already long. At least on international flights, there is always enough room in the overhead bins. We stowed our backpacks, strapped in, and put on our sound canceling headphones. We had aisle and inside seats in the center section, which was four seats across. The other middle seat, next to Fran, was empty. At the other end was a young woman who looked remarkably like Rose Tyler from Doctor Who. I was a bit concerned that we would be victims of some alien menace before The Doctor came through to save the survivors, but nothing came of it.
Because it was a night flight, they turned down the cabin lights. I didn't want to disturb anyone by turning on my reading light. So, I just tried to sleep. That didn't work very well, but I dozed a little. They served us a meal, which was surprisingly good. It being Air France, wine was free. They even gave us a little champagne. Later in the flight, we got a little panini as a snack.