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About notamermaid

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    Rhine, Germany
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  1. Hello Wannawander, Thank you for checking on me, that is very kind. I am fine, life is going along at its new slower pace and today is a lovely sunny Spring day. The references to war are all over the news and in the rhetoric of people, but although we are fighting an invisible enemy I feel safer and think we are more comfortable than our relatives were 70 years ago. I mean, my heating system has got something wrong with it and needs a plumber but I am not running out of coal to heat my house! And how much more connected we are to keep each other company in bad times. Yesterday, I noticed that I did not have my colleague's e-mail address at home (we are both unable to work in our annex building) so I put a postcard in her letter box. Later in the day we had a long phone call together. Kirschstreusel, yummy! I have an English cookery book, well, baking German cakes book I should say. I cannot find it right now, so here is a recipe which sounds as if it should work well: https://cheerfulcook.com/cherry-crumble/ I have just noticed that Kirschstreusel has seven consonants one after the other, that is quite a handful, even for German! And in Wales, as people are not allowed to go out anymore, they have employed goats to trim hedges and rip out weeds!* *It is April Fool's Day, so please forgive me for making an attempt at half a joke. The goats are actually slowly taking over a town, here is the proof: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-52103967 Imagine walking down your deserted street and being run over by a herd of goats when turning round the corner! Find fun and laughter in these difficult times, in the smallest things, and stay connected to dear people, everyone. notamermaid
  2. Ritabob, what is striking and so splendid about all this, is how inventive and creative people have become. Youtube videos, disinfectant form distilleries, a company in Rhineland-Palatinate (where I am) that normally produces paper tablecloths for events now makes disposable face masks. The list goes on and on. In Germany things are largely unchanged (apart from the figures rising), the police is getting a little bit busier with people ignoring the rules, sadly. But the fines are now catalogued and the catalogue is put into practice. Anything from 200 to 5000 euros is not little. I love this celebrity chef's idea in Berlin, he cooks for medical staff: https://www.dw.com/en/gourmet-chef-cooks-for-heroes-in-the-corona-crisis/a-52942172 notamermaid
  3. Thank you jerryd1. Sorry to read that your cruise has been cancelled. I think it is very fair of Viking to make this decision so early in the year. I cannot see river cruising being possible before June at all and even June is sketchy right now already. I hope the Danube cruise you have planned will be everything you wish for and hope to speak to you again latest then. And nice to read you are thinking of the Rhine for 2022 already! Take care. notamermaid
  4. Bavaria's Herr Söder has extended the restriction measures till 19 April. Austria has closed all hotels for the purpose of tourism. Strict measures in Austria remain in place and now face masks need to be worn when shopping. From the sound of it measures that seriously restrict daily life will run into June. With Hungary having also increased restrictions, a return to river cruising on the Danube looks impossible before June in my opinion and I doubt that a enjoyable cruise will be possible even then. Herr Kurz of Austria says that the curve of rising cases is flattening, a good sign. Here is the German dashboard for Austria: https://info.gesundheitsministerium.at/ notamermaid
  5. Have a virtual tour through the Bartholdi Museum in Colmar, it is the man who created the Statue of Liberty: https://www.colmar.fr/visitesvisites-virtuelles notamermaid
  6. I would like to fulfill my promise today with an article on a most unusual barge. Bonn is celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday this year. The early Spring events had to be cancelled and so had the journey of the music barge, formerly known as Jenny the coal barge. Here is the story: https://www.dw.com/en/corona-cant-stop-the-bthvn2020-music-barge/a-52943099 And for those who would like to know a bit more about Beethoven in Bonn, here is the page of the virtual tour through the Beethoven-Haus: https://da.beethoven.de/sixcms/list.php?page=rundgang_en&sprache=en&_mid=Virtueller Rundgang&_mid=Virtual visit notamermaid
  7. A small restaurant near me has gone from serving food lunch and evening to a pick up or delivery lunchtime menu only, Mondays to Fridays. A good idea, especially for older people. Will check that out. Yesterday, my local drugstore had two pallets (!) of toilet paper at the front door. They never display toilet paper in that way. A sign of the times. Cooking and baking, many of us now have a bit more time for that. Why not try out a Danube wave, a cake popular in both Germany and Austria. Here is the Wikipedia page on Donauwelle: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donauwelle And a quick search on the internet will give you several webpages with instructions in English, even some videos. notamermaid
  8. californiagirl, I understand your point. Just to throw in another aspect: the "Viking way" as it has been illustrated by the previous posts is not how Viking does it in the UK. In that country they more or less stick to European wide industry standards. When you look up the UK website you will notice the difference in setup but also in the small print. I am glad to have a wide choice of operators in Europe other than Viking and I hope it stays that way. Even more so I hope for North America that the choice of several operators with - for you - favourable terms and conditions will remain after this crisis is over. notamermaid
  9. What is it like where I am? Hmm, not too bad, all in all. Went to the butcher's yesterday only to find it had closed early due to lack of customers. Could not eat German sausages for dinner. 😁 Absolutely minor hiccup in the grand scheme. I have got sort of used to things and could not even remember yesterday, how long virus control measures are supposed to last. Bad news have been coming in from politics in the UK. Boris Johnson and the UK health secretary tested positive. Prince Charles as we have already heard is in Balmoral with mild symptoms. People, please look after dear Elizabeth and her husband! This morning, I have just read that our measures will be extended till 20 April. Oh well, that means I will probably not be back at work before May. Perhaps I should help out in the fields harvesting asparagus. This is the article from Deutsche Welle: https://m.dw.com/en/germany-wont-lift-coronavirus-restrictions-before-april-20-chancellory/a-52947201 notamermaid
  10. Mrs. Miggins, Thanks for all the info. If life was normal you would be on the return leg of your cruise now. Alas, health matters have taken precedence over leisure, for us all. Hope this post finds you in good spirits. How has the operator reacted, if I may asked, has your cruise been cancelled or postponed with future cruise credit? notamermaid
  11. By coincidence, I heard this mention of celebrating Mardi Gras an hour ago on BBC as well. I was shocked, I feel sorry for the people who were not aware of the threat. From my perspective, having read the effects here in Germany of close contact celebrations, I must say that it was - sorry - foolish to let this go ahead. We had one man who had been infected from a unknown original source celebrating in a carnival indoor event in North-Rhine Westphalia. He did not know of course but caused a cluster of dozens of cases, one of those in contact with him even became the first official case in Poland. I am worried about you people over there. Take care. notamermaid
  12. Here is an article with a short video of the Moselle valley with 360 degrees camera option: https://www.dw.com/en/the-moselle-valley-in-360/a-40060202 And here you can walk through Koblenz: https://www.koblenz.de/leben-in-koblenz/360-grad-koblenz/ notamermaid
  13. 25 years ago, on March 26th 1995, the Schengen agreement came into being. Border controls between the original five countries that had signed the treaty ceased to exist on that day. This is what it is about: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement Twenty-five years on, what has been able to cause the (temporary) fall is not war or a threat of that kind, but a virus. But then it has been called a war we are fighting. These are border controls and restrictions due to Covid-19 in the list: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/schengen/reintroduction-border-control_en France in the region of Grand Est, especially Strasbourg, is desperate. They have asked the German military for help. It is a grim day, little that can lift my spirits. My friend who is in quarantine has got cabin fever and a bug that he is trying to fight that is not coronavirus, thankfully. Keeping his spirits up, better than me. The news here for tourism on the Rhine is that KD (Köln Düsseldorfer), who have the largest fleet of excursion boats, have postponed the start of the sailing season to 1 May. It would normally have been around Easter. But it could be moved even further into the year. It is sad to see no river cruise ships sailing. But they will come again. I am so much looking forward to it. Till then, stay safe, wash hands, hide behind the sofa. Hope you all get the help and support you need and have something and somebody to make you laugh and happy. notamermaid
  14. I like that. By analogy it should be der Covidiot and die Covidiotin for a female person. Die Covidioten is the plural. Oh my goodness, this has turned into a German lesson. Grin... On a fun note, the statistics have come out today. Toilet paper sales in Germany are up by 700 percent in March compared to February. Where do people stockpile it all, cellars are a bit damp!? notamermaid
  15. Purple Grotto, a nice name. Should be the name of a bar. Good music, just a few people, keeping at a nice distance. I am imagining the scene of a club accessed by four steps down, dimmed lighting... I try to hide in my flat, hoping the invisible wolf won't bite. But I still go shopping and for walks. We are still allowed to leave the house at leisure in Rhineland-Palatinate. Contrary to what I wrote before, not only Bavaria is stricter. It is our federal Flickenteppich (patchwork rug) of measures that we wanted to get rid of. It did not quite work. Here are some of the lockdown measures in Europe: https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-what-are-the-lockdown-measures-across-europe/a-52905137 We now have a shortage of agricultural workers as many seasonal workers and "harvest helpers" - those mainly from Eastern Europe - are not allowed into Germany. The authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate have started a scheme plus website which aims to bring farmers in contact with students, those from the hospitality trade and others that are currently not working. Spring with a shortage of white asparagus and German strawberries, unthinkable! 😀 notamermaid
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