While we were touring Weltenburg Abbey Kelheim, and Liberation Hall, our ship made its way onto the main Danube Canal. This canal is what our cruise itinerary described as a 106 mile long engineering marvel that stretches from Kelheim on the Danube to the Main River near Bamberg. The idea began as a dream mentioned by Charlemagne in 793 AD, but was not fully realized until 1992. The stretch contains 16 locks and brings the river level down or up over 1300 feet depending on which way you are traveling. What this means today is that you can literally travel from the Black Sea to the North Sea or vice versa without ever leaving a boat. It is a cruiser's heaven as well as an economic cash cow.
So onto the canal we went full of pretzels and more beer. Our smiling Captain was there to greet us as we re-boarded.
Once again the river flowed past, lined by fertile fields.
And few bridges
Our trips through the locks by this time were becoming rather routine, but this series did seem higher than the ones on our upward journey. Here we are on our stateroom balcony and well above the ground level.
Going down. Our balcony rail is now even with the ground level.
We retreated into our cabin as we continued to settle into the lock.
And it kept on going down until all we saw was the side of the lock.
Just plain mind boggling!
The rollicking party atmosphere was tunefully enhanced by a pair of strolling accordionists.
The following morning our ship's chef conduction a tour of the kitchens.
I can assert that they were gleaming, spotless, supremely organized, and occupied so little space as to make all of us marvel at how they could turn out hundreds of glorious meals a day.