Our ship departed Cologne during lunch and began its final leg of the cruise towards Amsterdam. We had our third and final team trivia challenge a couple of hours later, and my team managed to win, so we all received a packet of Asbach liqueur chocolates from Rudesheim as our prizes. It was quite an international effort, as our team consisted of two Brits, two Canucks, two Kiwis and an Aussie.
I wandered up onto the sun deck as we passed through Düsseldorf. We were seeing a good deal of commerce and industry on this part of the river, and the number of freight barges had increased. The hills and forests were well behind us now and the nature of the Rhine seemed very different to what we had experienced just one day earlier.
One thing that hadn’t changed was that many people were still coming to the river for recreation and leisure. Throughout the cruise we regularly passed camping and caravan sites that were packed with holiday makers. We saw lots of people fishing along the banks, or just sitting in deck chairs and enjoying the sunshine.
Here in Düsseldorf, although the river traffic was much busier, people were still coming to the beaches and riverside parks for all forms of recreational activities. Some were swimming, others were kayaking. We passed jet skiers and water skiers. It’s been quite obvious that the Rhine plays a big part in many people’s lives in this part of the country.
During the afternoon we farewelled Germany and entered The Netherlands. We’ll take away many fond memories of Germany and the places that we visited.
The ship’s captain invited the passengers to a farewell cocktail event, where the 57 members of the crew were presented to us individually. They received a standing ovation. They’ve been outstanding in every aspect of their service, and I can’t speak highly enough of Scenic as a company to travel with. After spending two amazing weeks with them, we’ll miss their friendly smiles and daily greetings.
The captain’s farewell dinner was one out of the box as well. Lobster tails and scallops for me, beef wellington for Marg. Just perfect.
I’m writing this early on Tuesday morning, and we’re now very close to Amsterdam. We’ve just passed through a lock, our final one out of sixty-six in total on this river journey.