We got up really early so that we could watch the ship set off for our first morning on the River Elbe. By six o'clock we were huddled against the cold and watching from the sun deck as the ship cast off and went through the first of two locks we would negotiate that day. We declined to join in a Qi Gong exercise class at seven o'clock and went down for breakfast. Then we were able to sit in the lounge for a while and watch the world go by.
Later in the morning Simon, our PD and Jana, his assistant gave us a German lesson, which was great fun since Simon spoke not a word of German and Jana was Hungarian!
At last, the sun came out and we were able to sit up on the sun deck, huddled up in coats, gloves, scarves and hats and relax. That's what we had been waiting for. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the only occasion when it was possible, as the rest of the time it was too wet and cold and windy. Hey ho!
By lunchtime we had crossed into Germany - there was a battered red buoy in the middle of the river which denoted the frontier. The crew went all out to entertain us with a Taste of Germany lunch. They decorated the reception area and the lounge and served up sausages, pork, sauerkraut, potato salad and other German goodies. And Milan banged out some very loud oompah oompah tunes on the piano.
By the end of lunch we had arrived in Bad Schandau, in Saxon Switzerland, and went on a visit to the Bastei rock formation, a fascinating National Park preserving what had been a fortified area in times gone by.
Can you imagine climbing up these steps?
In the evening Simon had organised a music quiz, which had some really difficult questions. I was quite pleased with myself as I was the only person who knew the name of the baddies in The Yellow Submarine film - the Blue Meanies of course.