Gordon and I got up early to check out of the Prague Hilton and catch the bus to Nuremberg. We had to take the bus because the Moldau is too shallow for a boat the size that Viking uses. We were driven to Nuremberg and let loose on the town square to explore and have lunch. Gordon and I found a local restaurant and ordered the speciality, the finger sausages. Between Gordon’s high school German and the waiter’s high school English we managed to do all right. I even practiced a little bit of German without causing an international incident. We stopped for ice cream and admired the fountain in the square. The fountain was covered the last time we were in Nuremberg so it was nice to see the finished product (I don’t think Gordon was ready for this picture). Then we got packed on the bus for a riding tour of Nuremberg. We’d already been to the castle last trip so we didn’t miss much. We got out of the bus at the spot next to an unfinished stadium where Hitler started the whole Nazi nightmare. Nobody in our group was interested in standing where Hitler stood to speak but I noticed some other tourists were up on the podium. Gives you the shivers. One of our group wanted to know where the Nazi salute came from and our guide, even though she’d just explained that Hitler was copying the Romans with his proposed (although unfinished) Coliseum, couldn’t answer. I suggested that the Nazi salute was referencing the Roman Ave: you know, “Hail Caesar”, Heil Hitler? Made sense to me. But I was impressed that the Germans aren’t trying to hide the Hitler connection. They’re facing it and trying to learn from their history so they don’t repeat it. It was time to get back on the bus to go to our boat on the Danube.

We got installed in our cabin. Gordon had popped for a room with a veranda so we had a lot more room than on our last cruise. We even had a chair! We got cleaned up and went to dinner. I was so tired at that point that all I remember was that I ordered the scallops. Two Welsh couples were sitting at our table and everything was great until one of the wives got on the topic of Arab refugees. She informed me that all the refugees should be shipped to the US: “I’ve been to the States and you have all that room in Arizona and New Mexico. And England is a Christian country. They don’t fit in. You Americans are the only people who can actually assimilate people.” I wasn’t sure if she just wanted to get rid of the Muslims in England or if she wanted to transplant most of Syria to the US but she glowed at her own generosity and good-feeling. I just looked at her stupidly. I was so tired that I couldn’t think to respond that the land she proposed giving away probably belonged to Native American tribes and that the land that the guvmint owned had no water or somebody would already be there. But you have to be touched in a back-handed way by people’s faith in the United States. They’ve just gotten so used to the USA solving their problems they want to dump everything on us. I don’t think the other Welsh couple agreed with her. They seemed embarrassed and I noticed they never sat together for the rest of the trip.

I wish I’d argued but, as I said, I was exhausted. I’d been touring non-stop for a week and I needed rest. I couldn’t even finish those excellent scallops. I just mumbled and excuse and left for my cabin. I didn’t even wake up when Gordon came in; I slept for 11 straight hours. Gordon told me that the man seated next to me at dinner ate my dessert and thanked me very much. I needed rest more than dessert so he was welcome to it. But I was ready to start looking at things again which was good. We had lots of German towns to inspect.

The Nuremberg town square. Note the cobblestones. Europe is covered in cobblestones. Thank God for tennis shoes. I’d have broken an ankle in anything with heels.



About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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