Friendship Pins and International Diplomacy

During our many years of travelling, we’ve always shown a lot of respect for other countries, their culture and especially their flag.  One way we show this respect is to wear ‘friendship pins’ whenever we visit a country.  These little pins are  lapel pins with crossed flags of Canada and whatever country we’re visiting.  Such a small thing, but we have always been surprised at how much these pins are appreciated, either with us wearing them, or sometimes we give them to our host, or some other person who has shown us kindness. Read More

Biking the Bodensee

The Bodensee is a lovely lake in Germany/Austria/Switzerland that North Americans generally refer to as Lake Constance.  ‘Constance’ come from the city of Konstanz on the west end of the lake.  I’ve always called it by its European name of Bodensee.  Basically, it’s just a wide spot for the Rhine river, flowing down from the Alps, heading for the North Sea.  Your first German lesson for the day is “See”, the German word for Lake.  Your second lesson is “Radfahren”, which means cycling.  Just think ‘radial’ for wheel, and ‘fahren’ which comes from the same roots as ‘ferry’, meaning to travel. Read More

Australia’s Murray River Paddle-wheeler

Just a few words about our ship. The P.S. Murray Princess is the largest paddlewheeler on the Murray River, and actually the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. She was launched in 1986, and is based in Mannum, where she operates 3 and 4 day cruises, and sometimes a 7 day cruise. As the climate and water depth in this location can be unpredictable, it is not always certain whether she can clear under the bridges, or even navigate the river. Read More