Saturday, May 22:
After breakfast, we arrived in Dresden. The busses and guides were waiting for us. We took a city tour and an inside tour of the art museum. Back to the boat for lunch. The afternoon was free to explore on our own. Some visited a flea market near the dock while others returned to the city center for more sightseeing and shopping. The weather was still cold with intermittant rain showers. After dinner, the crew put on their show. It was mostly comedy skits with some songs. They all tried hard and we appreciated their efforts.
Sunday, May 23:
Woke up to cold (40 degrees) and rain. It continued all morning as we passed through some of the most scenic parts of the Elbe. The flat farmland has been replace by deep scenic vallys punctuated at short intervals by Christmas card like villages. At 10:45, the chef served a special morning treat of hot dogs, ham, sauerkraut, new wine (hot wine) and free pilsner beer. The rain intensified to a horizontal storm and the cold remained at around 40 degrees. About half of the passengers have elected to remain on board the boat rather than go on the scheduled afternoon tour. The rain let up and then stopped just as the tour departed. The views of the gorge from the Bastei were spectacular! This was easily the scenic highlight of the trip. The fresh clean air in the forest was an unexpected bonus. The rain started again just as we were leaving to return to the busses, but by then we didn’t care. Back on board the Clara Schumann we made ourselves some more hot chocolate and warmed up. The rainy day provided the atmosphere for another short nap. After dinner, we were entertained by a folkloric group of Czech musicians. It was a very good show and we bought their CD for a souvenir. Sadly, we have to pack tonight. We have to vacate our cabin by 8:30 in the morning.
Monday, May 24:
Up at 6:30 for breakfast. Did the last minute packing and proceeded to the lounge to await the busses to Prague. We loaded up promptly at 10:00 and departed. After a 1 hour drive, we started our walking tour. We visited “Old Town”, the Astronomical Clock, stopped for lunch, passed the Jewish section and finished at the Prague Castle. Once again the “special” travelers made themselves known by asking questions that had just been answered. We arrived at the Hilton Prague at 4:00. Checked in, took showers, had a short nap then down to the restaurant area for dinner. Typically the hotel food is very expensive as compared to the local restaurants. This was no exception. It cost $50 for 2 chicken sandwiches and some French fries. It wasn’t good. Those who ate in the buffet restaurant said their food was worse and it cost them $70 per couple. Advice: Don’t eat in the hotels!