Thursday, December 19, 2013

Around the world in 60 days, Part 4: from Basel to Amsterdam along the Rhine by boat




Several years ago, I went on a trip for 60 days that involved literally going around the world.

This world trip included some favorite places and also a handful of exotic new ones.

It was to be the last word in passionate travel -- this amazing 60 day journey that circumnavigated the globe by air, land and sea.

This is part 4 of that trip.





SAILING FROM BASEL, SWITZERLAND
TO AMSTERDAM

After France, we took a train to Basel, Switzerland to board a river boat that would take us down the Rhine from Switzerland to the Netherlands via Germany

It was our first time on a river boat, and it was certainly very different from being on my favorite Silversea cruise ship, although equally enjoyable.


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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

For starters, the rooms, which were all the same in size, seemed unthinkably compact to us -- especially at the outset.

What a cabinet of a room, compared to the spacious cabins of the top ocean liners.

Amazingly, we found space for our five pieces of luggage and all its contents in this closet of room, and actually, we lived happily here for over a week.





THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A RIVER CRUISE AND AN OCEAN CRUISE



River cruises, of course, don't have the same standard of luxury or amenities as the bigger sea ships -- but they have their own charm all the same.

Because it's such a small ship, people are friendlier and the atmosphere is much more congenial.

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Also, river boats are able to stop anywhere along the way, in the quaintest of towns. More often than not, the town and all its attractions are just a few steps away from the boat.

This isn't the case with large cruise liners that often have to dock several miles from town because of their size, in the middle of nowhere, and then passengers just get bussed to the city center.



VERY GOOD ABOUT SHOPPING

Up until this point, I'd been quite good about shopping, conscious of the fact that I should not buy stuff I would have to lug around the world for 60 days.

So I only bought things I absolutely couldn't resist like a sari in Agra (which I wore to the Peninsula New Year's Eve party) and a Goyard travel bag in Paris, when my friend Fides and I visited the Goyard shop along Fabourg St Honore.

A MATTER OF FATE



But during our boat's stopover in Strasbourg, I accidentally passed by an Hermes shop while taking a morning walk.

They just happened to have a Birkin in my favorite size (30) and in the Hermes color Havanne, which is a mix of coffee and brown.

Call it serendipity in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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