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River Cruisers: How Are Things Where YOU Are?


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September along the Moselle will be gorgeous. We drove a fair distance along the river one September, in my new Audi, after spending a day in Trier. Great memories of charming small towns and scenery! Enjoy retirement and your trips.

Yes, we are looking forward to it. Now I need to unwind as many pre-paid expenses as possible. I’m hoping Lufthansa will extend validity of vouchers so I could use it for the new trip. Alternatively, use the vouchers for Africa, but I’m iffier about that trip taking place.


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15 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

For those of you who live in the Great White North, aka Canada:

 

We have a Canadian Rockies tour (not on a river, unfortunately)  scheduled for early Sept.  TA just contacted us with info shifting its departure by 2 days.  Final payment is due in early July.

 

I don't have much confidence this trip will happen.  Canadians, do you foresee things being open in early September?  I imagine somes places here in the US may be in their second surge around that time.  Schools and colleges are preparing for more remote learning in the fall.

 

Right now some provinces are attempting to open up, others are just thinking of releasing plans to do so, but no firm dates for BC as of yet.  I know even though the eastern provinces seem to have it under control, they are still keeping their borders closed, but I don't think BC closed it's border other than to international travel.  If you are going on the Rocky Mountain Express it may be different than if you are just doing a driving tour, as self - isolating & the 2 metre distance is being talked about staying in effect for quite a while.  

 

I would say check back in a while, I don't think our Prime Minister is ready to open the boarder until July or so.

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After six weeks of cooking and eating at home, decided to try a recipe that I have always wanted to try.  German snitzel: it was wonderful.  Not difficult, just a few more steps than I normally like. Even convinced DH to help.  Have fond memories of eating it in an outdoor cafe in Cologne (sigh).  We will get back to Europe. Europeans will come here.  One day at a time is my mantra right now..

Jazzbeau, heard on TV last evening that the gov. of Maine has extended the stay at home policy indefinitely, won't even allow hotels to take reservations.  You just might have to take up JPAlbany's offer of having Chris cut your hair.  Hope I misheard that  or someone spreading something not true,  Stay safe and well.  Pat 

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20 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

For those of you who live in the Great White North, aka Canada:

 

We have a Canadian Rockies tour (not on a river, unfortunately)  scheduled for early Sept.  TA just contacted us with info shifting its departure by 2 days.  Final payment is due in early July.

 

I don't have much confidence this trip will happen.  Canadians, do you foresee things being open in early September?  I imagine somes places here in the US may be in their second surge around that time.  Schools and colleges are preparing for more remote learning in the fall.

Provinces are making plans to reopen individually... Manitoba is the 1st to do so (they have not had many cases....) - and much of the country is watching to see how this goes. It is a gradual opening - but, it is happening.  Most (if not all) of the country has taken the "shelter at home" edict quite seriously - and this has helped in our efforts to flatten the curve.  The worse provinces (for number of cases) are Ontario, Quebec & Alberta.  You won't be anywhere near Ontario or Quebec on a Canadian Rockies Tour - so Alberta would be the biggest worry.  But, their numbers are still quite small in the scheme of things - 5000 cases with 87 deaths (as of noon today...). I think that most of the western provinces will soon start looking at what a gradual reopening will entail.

 

To be honest, the biggest issue may be in your country.  If your numbers don't flatten, I can't see the border opening any time soon. But, your trip isn't until September - with final payment due in July - so you should have time to see how things are going up here north of the border....

 

I have not done a tour of the Rockies (yet) -->  I am assuming you are travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer.   If so - I hear it is an amazing experience... Hope it all comes together for you!!

 

Fran 

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3 hours ago, pacmom said:

After six weeks of cooking and eating at home, decided to try a recipe that I have always wanted to try.  German snitzel: it was wonderful.  Not difficult, just a few more steps than I normally like. Even convinced DH to help.  Have fond memories of eating it in an outdoor cafe in Cologne (sigh).  We will get back to Europe. Europeans will come here.  One day at a time is my mantra right now..

 

 

 

Ok, since you made schnitzle, now you should try spatzle & rotkohl. 🙂  Sauerbraten is fairly easy if you have the time....

 

We are finally starting to warm up here, but now you have me wanting comfort food.

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27 minutes ago, Daisi said:

Ok, since you made schnitzle, now you should try spatzle & rotkohl. 🙂  Sauerbraten is fairly easy if you have the time....

 

We are finally starting to warm up here, but now you have me wanting comfort food.

 

DW and I took a German cooking class several years ago.  Spatzle is hard to make!

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38 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

DW and I took a German cooking class several years ago.  Spatzle is hard to make!

 

My sister even makes a gluten free one now...it's only hard when you are making a large batch...passing it through the spatzle maker can wear your arm out!  Not sure how those in Germany on here have theirs, we like to fry ours in bread crumbs after it's been "cooked".  We will often make it early, then heat up in the fry pan before serving.

 

I grew up with Swiss family as 2nd parents, so that is what we always had...with fasnachtskuechlein for desert...:)

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Daisi said:

 

My sister even makes a gluten free one now...it's only hard when you are making a large batch...passing it through the spatzle maker can wear your arm out!  Not sure how those in Germany on here have theirs, we like to fry ours in bread crumbs after it's been "cooked".  We will often make it early, then heat up in the fry pan before serving.

 

I grew up with Swiss family as 2nd parents, so that is what we always had...with fasnachtskuechlein for desert...:)

 

Fry them?  That sounds very Southern, y'all.  Then just pour melted cheese and gravy on top to complete the dish.  But wait, isn't that Poutine?  I guess every country has a South [as Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston sort of said]

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Lol... nope not Southern at all.  You use a little butter, some bread crumbs, and they come out a bit dryer than if they were just boiled.

 

Never thought of trying Spatzle on my poutine...could be interesting!

 

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3 hours ago, franski said:

Provinces are making plans to reopen individually... Manitoba is the 1st to do so (they have not had many cases....) - and much of the country is watching to see how this goes. It is a gradual opening - but, it is happening.  Most (if not all) of the country has taken the "shelter at home" edict quite seriously - and this has helped in our efforts to flatten the curve.  The worse provinces (for number of cases) are Ontario, Quebec & Alberta.  You won't be anywhere near Ontario or Quebec on a Canadian Rockies Tour - so Alberta would be the biggest worry.  But, their numbers are still quite small in the scheme of things - 5000 cases with 87 deaths (as of noon today...). I think that most of the western provinces will soon start looking at what a gradual reopening will entail.

 

To be honest, the biggest issue may be in your country.  If your numbers don't flatten, I can't see the border opening any time soon. But, your trip isn't until September - with final payment due in July - so you should have time to see how things are going up here north of the border....

 

I have not done a tour of the Rockies (yet) -->  I am assuming you are travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer.   If so - I hear it is an amazing experience... Hope it all comes together for you!!

 

Fran 

 

Thanks for your reply Fran.  I wish we were taking the Rocky Mountaineer, but that would increase cost of trip by close to 50%.  It's a bus trip, flying in and out of Calgary.  Tough to socially distant on a plane and bus..........

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All in all, yesterday was a sort of good day for Germany - under the circumstances. It was Walpurgisnacht - the eve of Saint Walburga - and the customary festivities like dancing (we call this Tanz in den Mai) could not happen, due to the ban on events and the social distancing, together with the closure of establishments for drinking and eating. But the government and the heads of the states met via video conference and the federal government then issued the outline for the weeks ahead. The restrictions and easing of restrictions is up to the Länder, i.e. the state governments, to implement.

 

For my state Rhineland-Palatinate this means: social distancing remains in place until at least 10 May (which is Mother's Day), no restaurants, no cafés other than what is already allowed (pick- up, delivery, pick-up ice-cream parlour) - not so good

playgrounds re-open soon - good

schools and nurseries not open beyond what is already in place (a kind of emergency being looking after) - not good

museums reopen soon - good

sports not beyond what is already allowed, i.e. alone or with just two others (golf as a kind of solitary activity is allowed) - not good

church services and other congregations for prayer allowed - good

large scale events have been specified as being anything from concerts, street festivals, KIrmes and village fetes. As of now they remain banned till 31 August. There is the idea of letting small events happen, but there is no maximum number or outline for rules yet.

 

All those new allowed activities have strict rules in place.

 

Here are the measures as seen for Germany in a report by Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-lifts-coronavirus-ban-on-religious-services-opens-up-playgrounds/a-53293936

 

And the largest economy in Europe that we are has good news, too. Car companies are returning to work. Yes, ze Germans want to sell more cars again, ha! :classic_wink:

 

Which reminds me: here in shops and other places where there is customer contact, usually at the till, we have protective plastic shields now, like you might have in a bank, i.e. a glass screen between you and the accountant. For warding off those evil droplets when coughing, or plain breathing. Do you have them and what do you call them?

 

Other news: the overall rate of new infections is down, but deaths are up. Overall, we have not seen a spike in deaths (yet) like other countries, by that I mean the amount of overall deaths statistically for this year has not been above the range of the average for the first four months of a any year, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Our health system has at no point been overwhelmed, although there were a few short-term issues with PPE. And the estimated virus reproduction rate was up to 1, we were holding our breaths as that meant the government might go back to stricter rules yesterday. But in the morning the disease control people announced the new estimate - 0.76! A good base for the new easing of the restrictions. The caveat is: the government has warned us that on May 6 when they meet again they will reassess the situation and may go to more restrictions again if the need arises.

 

If all goes well, decisions will be made on 6 May on the new way of sending children and teenagers back to school and a decision will be reached on the future of football matches. The expectation is that the Bundesliga will do Geisterspiele - games behind closed doors. Geisterspiel should enter the Oxford English Dictionary immediately - it fills a gap in the English language 😄.

 

The hospitality trade is rather unhappy, but the government just sees no way of being able to check compliance with social distancing rules in such settings.

 

All rules for cross-border travel stay in place, but we may hear more on 6 May.

 

On a personal note: My office building annex will now stay shut until at least 10 May, so will see how it goes from there. Just wondering if my job is secure after May... In these times when basics have become a scarce commodity I am happy to say that the good quality kitchen paper towels and my favourite soap are available again. Hooray!

 

So, unto the main thing - river cruising, when will it happen: ...ehhpsh... (utterance that means no idea and notamermaid shrugs with shoulders). Sorry.

 

Stay safe and have a good weekend.

 

notamermaid

 

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We have the plastic shields at our cash services...and being Canadian, we are also using hockey sticks at several places to "distance" for the hand-held credit card machines!  I think it started at a fast food drive thru, but lately, I've seen it at our pet store, and have heard about it at the local hardware shop and a few restaurants that have take out windows.  Gives a few chuckles which are needed.

 

It looks as if Canada's curve is starting to flatten out, unfortunately, with the virus getting into our senior's homes, the death rate is still on the up.  However that death rate is for mostly seniors, so those of us who are at home, it seems as if we are doing this social distancing right.  Ontario has a 3 stage plan to slowly open, and word out yesterday was it could happen soon...hopefully by mid month to the end of the month.  I really don't think anyone really wants to rush it, as we have been so lucky so far with our hospitals being able to cope.  Some of the provinces are down to 0 cases , but they were able to close their borders and that helped a lot.  The one Territory that had no cases now has one, hopefully that will be the only one. 

 

I think by the sound of our top Doc's, we are starting to slowly see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Research and testing is being done throughout the country, and as you say notamermaid, if drugs can be found that assist with the cure, that will help a lot.

 

Take care all, and hopefully we will see the boats on the rivers soon.

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

And the largest economy in Europe that we are has good news, too. Car companies are returning to work. Yes, ze Germans want to sell more cars again, ha! :classic_wink:

 

Yes, we need a new Audi!

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On 5/1/2020 at 9:19 PM, notamermaid said:

Which reminds me: here in shops and other places where there is customer contact, usually at the till, we have protective plastic shields now, like you might have in a bank, i.e. a glass screen between you and the accountant. For warding off those evil droplets when coughing, or plain breathing. Do you have them and what do you call them?

 

Here in Melbourne we have these screens now at all supermarkets.  Great idea, and one I hope that they keep when this is all over, if it ever is.

 

Thanks so much for the reports, notamermaid.  Really interesting to hear what is going on in Europe.  I did read today in the newspaper though that there had been a spike in new cases in Germany since a slight relaxing of the regulations.  Is that true or like much in the newspapers, total nonsense?

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About politicians...

On 4/27/2020 at 4:33 PM, Babcia7 said:

You are fortunate to have a leader who is also a scientist and probably bases her decisions on data and factual information.  

Angela Merkel has some good advisors in the RKI - our disease control people - and virologists at leading university clinics. How to put it into practice without offending too many people is another matter. The federal government has a kind of strong advisory role and gives the frame work in this, the state governments implement the measures, that is why they differ a little from state to state. Apparently, at the beginning of the lock down in March, two heads of state clashed over the rules in their respective states. It was a heated argument of "two male egos", but Frau Merkel was able to calm down the situation, they say...

 

Talking of leading ladies. I like New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, especially her idea of keeping a diary of contacts. As we in Germany have had the test and trace strategy implemented from "day one" I am very familiar with that idea, I always try and keep a conscious record of who I have met in my head, which is pretty accurate as I hardly see people, perhaps I should write the record down when I begin to go out more.

 

notamermaid

 

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4 hours ago, djh1959 said:

Thanks so much for the reports, notamermaid.  Really interesting to hear what is going on in Europe.  I did read today in the newspaper though that there had been a spike in new cases in Germany since a slight relaxing of the regulations.  Is that true or like much in the newspapers, total nonsense?

 

The infection numbers did go up after easing of restrictions, but I do not think it was a real spike, depending on when cases are reported electronically an unusual rise can occur, especially when test results come in more slowly over the weekend. Sadly, cases in care homes are increasing, naturally causing more deaths than among the population seen as a whole. On Friday I heard that in Germany the average age of infected people is 50, while the average of those dying from the disease is 81. While we are on figures: Deutsche Welle in today's coronavirus reporting says under the time header 03:57 "The number of confirmed cases in Germany has increased by 793 to 162,496, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has revealed.

This represented a decrease of 152 on the previous day's amount of new infections as the number of daily cases in Germany continues to steadily decline.

The reported death toll rose by 74 bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,649."

 

That is promising, will see how it goes when hairdressers are allowed to open next week and all shops are open.

 

djh1959, if you would like to read a little more on Europe and elsewhere here is the Deutsche Welle daily news report on the coronavirus: https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-russia-reports-record-10000-new-cases/a-53314901

 

We have again been warned about too much travelling, so in anticipation of restrictions for travel abroad being in place for longer, Germans have started booking places around the Baltic coast resorts. There certainly are some nice spots "over there", it is just that the sea is a little cold... My travel plans are nil and void, as the UK is still a "coronavirus-chaotic" place to go to and Alsace is out because of the state of emergency having been extended into July, no idea how Belgium will fare in July. So I was throwing ideas around with a dear lady whose booked holiday is likely to be cancelled. Hanover and Münsterland area with a couple of moated castle sightseeing trips around North-Rhine Westphalia was my idea, she suggested Franconia with Würzburg and into Regensburg. We both agreed that we would like to see Augsburg this year, with its Fugger buildings. Better do it this year, it became a World Heritage site last year, so who knows how full it will be next year. Will see how things go, for the moment I am looking forward to local museums reopening soon. I have got my family, the neighbour's cats, my computer, library open again , museum open again , notamermaid is happy! :classic_smile:

 

Take care.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Did I hear that a vaccine was discovered by a team from Oxford?  They are testing animals and it worked; now they want to test on humans.  here is link to article.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/30/astrazeneca-partners-with-oxford-university-to-produce-covid-19-vaccine

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There was an interesting article in the Washington Post (might be behind paywall) about the ethics of changing the rules for tests on humans of new vaccinations in the time of a pandemic. Normally, you are not allowed to give the virus to anyone as part of a vaccine trial, even with consent, but waiting to see if someone potentially contracts the virus can take a very long time. They believe that actually giving people the vaccine voluntarily, with full consent, should be allowed.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/27/pandemic-ethics-case-experiments-human-volunteers/?arc404=true&utm_campaign=wp_week_in_ideas&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_ideas

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2 hours ago, gnome12 said:

They believe that actually giving people the vaccine voluntarily, with full consent, should be allowed.

 

Like Jenner did? (Edward, not Bruce). Not sure what "informed consent" looked like in his day...

 

3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Franconia with Würzburg and into Regensburg. We both agreed that we would like to see Augsburg this year, with its Fugger buildings.

 

Some of my favorites. You know I am a big fan of Würzburg! Nice memories of that city.

 

Germany%202013_06-241-L.jpg

 

And Augsburg is nice too; we spent an afternoon there (until we were driven indoors by a hailstorm!). There was a lot of construction going on when we were there, so it would be nice to go back to the Romantische Straße, and see what it looks like now.

 

The Fuggerei was an interesting place to look around. We were there after hours (the hailstorm cut our plans short earlier in the day) so we didn't want to stay long and disturb the residents. So we had some cherry strudel and Riesling in the Rathauskeller instead!

 

Germany%202013_06-208-L.jpg

 

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20 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Talking of leading ladies. I like New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, especially her idea of keeping a diary of contacts. As we in Germany have had the test and trace strategy implemented from "day one" I am very familiar with that idea, I always try and keep a conscious record of who I have met in my head, which is pretty accurate as I hardly see people, perhaps I should write the record down when I begin to go out more.

 

notamermaid

 

Notamermaid, Jacinda Adern is apparently meeting (virtually of course) with our prime minister and State premiers tomorrow.  We have an app for iphone and android here that uses bluetooth to keep track of our contacts.  We have been assured that it is safe.  Apparently all data is stored on our phones, if you are then confirmed positive, with your permission they can track all contacts and then contact them.  Sounds like a good idea to me, security doesn't worry me, because I am not doing anything wrong.

 

Thanks too for the link to the Deutsche Welles article.

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djh1959,

We will most likely get the app, too. Our data protection people did not like the original plan of storing the data on a central server, so only phone storage it will be. Just wondering what will happen with those people who do not have or cannot operate a smartphone. Pen and paper memory in addition to technology is still going to be helpful. Such a phone app is being tested in England on the Isle of Wight. They need 50 to 60 percent of the population to have the app otherwise the tracing of contacts does not work sufficiently, the experts say.

 

I have read the update on the TUI Mein Schiff 3 this morning. The cruise ship is docked in Cuxhaven with the collected crew of several ships on board and no passengers. The crew were getting ready to leave for their home countries, when several reported not feeling well last week. One crew member was tested positive for coronavirus and after testing a couple of hundred that were then negative the authorities nevertheless decided to quarantine the whole ship and all are being tested. 2899 people! Some that had left earlier now have to self-isolate at home. The implications of just one case are enormous, there is no way anyone is going to get me on a huge ocean vessel any time soon.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Nice pictures of Wurzburg we like it too.

Last there in December seems like an eternity now. Also lovely in sunny weather.

Yes the phone app by the sounds will exclude people without an appropriate phone.

Doubt the gov will hand out new ones.

Nevertheless contract tracing will still be possible albeit slower.

Not yet clear about the details around how state authorities will deal with the data, storage and privacy issues.

Every state has different rules around public health, opening schools, shops, transport etc.

Nice to hold on to happy travel moments and plan for more.    

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notamermaid, I wanted to take a moment and applaud the government of Germany, and your Chancellor Merkel. During this interesting time in our world, your leadership seems to be a model for how to steer through a crisis. 

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