Saturday, November 21. Paris to Reims cross border to Luxembourg, stop for a tour, then cross border into Germany to where ship is docked
Pullman Eiffel Hotel Chef’s last wisdom at breakfast today: the only thing free no matter the country is happiness.
Suitcases out in hotel hall at 6:15 am; left at 8:25. Enough time for a breakfast that included two lattes. Even though I’m looking forward to the cruise, I’m sad to leave Paris.
Just outside Paris is Disneyland Paris. Used to be called EuroDisney but the word Euro fell into disfavor. The parks see 15 million people per year.
The ship program director, Stephany, traveled in our bus. Very funny gal.
First stop: two hours from Paris, a bathroom break. Outside of Reims. In the cathedral of Notre Dame in Reims, French kings were crowned. It’s a Champagne province. Only Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned in Notre Dame in Paris as emperor. We had a teeny espresso at the stop and a Rocher chocolate. Reviving.
Slowdown across the French border, but we weren’t stopped.
Four hours from Paris, we stop at Luxembourg for lunch and a tour. Christmas market there was very busy, but we had no time to browse. I had a vegetable Quiche and salad. So good to eat greens again. Tour of Luxembourg was nice. Country was interesting. Population about 500k. Rich in steel production. 70% of workers come from outside of country. Archduke mainly a figurehead after euthanasia law passed. Saw ruins of old walls, parliamentary buildings, church. All people speak Luxembourgian, French, German, English. Not to mention their original language.
Bus ride to American cemetery where Patton and thousands of WWII fallen are buried. Nice tour around the very green lawns while snow fell. Ken took the cemetery pictures (the panoramic above and the mausoleum here). My fingers were too cold
Sailed through the German border. Lovely welcome with lemon scented hot cloths on board the Idun. Quickly unpacked, taking all the space, so it’s good that I’m traveling alone. Captain’s welcome aboard included free-flowing champagne. Lots of empty chairs. Dinner was five courses, bonus starter and dessert. Our chef, Ross, is Scottish. Empty tables. I had a salmon starter, salmon filet, and a couple bites of the cheese board.
We later learned later that fifty people canceled the cruise because of the Paris bombings, so instead of a full complement of 190 people, we had about 140.
Never got above 40 degrees F today.