Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

The next stop on our own self-guided tour was the Church of St. Emmeram where we were able to hear the organ since the musician for the church was practicing. Even though he was only working on his pieces for the next service, it sounded pretty wonderful to our ears. Those cavernous stone churches are definitely the best sounding boards for the pipe organ. We went to a German lesson on board at 5 PM and then it was time for our Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party in the lounge—champagne and hot hors d’oerves—another great start to our cruise. We had a port briefing about our visit to Passau tomorrow and then it was off the Captain’s Welcome Dinner at 7. Six courses of pretty delicious food: fish mousse, French onion soup, but the best thing was the crème brulee which finished off the meal - and us! After dinner we all went the horse races in the Lounge to try our hands at some gambling, riverboat style. It’s pretty obvious that the River Aria could not handle a real horse race, so instead we had really big chess pieces decorated as various characters (like Dolly Parton, Mickey Mouse, Sailor, Bavarian Hunter, etc.). The dance floor was marked with tape to create squares and two greatly oversized soft dice were thrown to move the pieces along the board. It was silly fun and one of our group won $4 on Bavarian Hunter and another won $7 on Sailor. At 10:30 PM, we all went up on the sundeck to watch the River Aria set sail on the Danube heading for Passau, Germany. It was a lovely evening and a beautiful sight to see Regensberg slipping away behind us. The wheelhouse had to be lowered to get under the last bridge in the city. Many bugs played in the lights of the ship and the lights of our now favorite medieval city twinkled in the air and water. It was all very calm and peaceful with next to no motion felt and very little engine noise heard.

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