After a wonderful breakfast, with everything you could possible wish for spread out and available, though I stuck with a bowl of fruit with yoghurt and some gluten free bread and cheese, we all met for a safety briefing. Later in the morning there was a talk about the Czech Republic given by the Programme Director, Simon. Simon was a bouncy, cheerful, amusing chap who certainly enlivened things, though he was a little difficult to take first thing in the morning.
After lunch - again there was a choice of snack, cafe style lunch served in the Viking Lounge, or a three course lunch in the dining room; we opted for a snack - we were taken by a local guide for a walking tour of the town of Litomerice.
Litomerice is a really pretty town which was undamaged during World War II and has some wonderful buildings in the market square. The building you can see here is painted and has some sgraffito on the walls.
Can you see some quilt inspiration here?
Litomerice began my fascination with the ornate roof and window styles and the imaginative painting of the buildings that lasted throughout our trip, in the Czech Republic and in Eastern Germany. I took loads of photographs, but I'll only show you a few of them!
The tour ended with a visit to a micro-brewery, where we were able to taste three different types of beer. Unfortunately, I can't drink beer at all, though I love it and Christopher doesn't really like fizzy, lager type beer, so he barely touched his samples. As you can see, the 'sample' glasses were nearly as big as the half pint jugs we get in UK pubs. There were a few people who managed to finish their though!
Doesn't this flower shop look inviting. We went in and bought some packets of seeds. We had no idea what they were called, though they'll probably prove to be plants that we could have bought back at home.
Back on the boat we began our trawl through the cocktail list! We never drink cocktails at home, but it was fun to try them out during our holiday. Christopher usually had the alcoholic cocktail of the day and I had the non-alcoholic cocktail of the day.
After a wonderful three course dinner, there was a talk on the floods of 2002, when the Elbe and other local rivers rose about six feet and devastated the areas close to the river. Some towns were particularly hard hit as they had only recently finished rebuilding after the communist occupation.
We were more than ready for bed after our first full day on board the Viking Fontane, although we still hadn't set sail. Apparently they had had to change the tour a little due to refurbishment works being done on a lock further up the river.