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About franski

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Travel (obviously....) - love the planning as well as the actualy experience!! Quilting, gardening,
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Most river cruise lines - although Avalon "fits" us these days....
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    I love any trip that takes us to Budapest....

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  1. When in October? There is a marathon in Budapest in the fall - this year, scheduled for October 10-11... this can play a bit of havoc with sightseeing in the city if you are there at that time. Fran
  2. Hi - we have cruised Budapest to Nuremburg twice. The first time was with AMA - where we had some days ahead in Budapest, and a few days in Prague at the end as part of the package. The 2nd time was with Scenic - did Budapest on our own before we got on the boat - and stayed in Nuremberg for a few days after we got off. For the strudel stall - it is on the main floor... The strudel doesn't look like our strudel here - more filling than pastry. They just cut a large piece and you wander and eat it. My husband went traditional with apple - I had apricot & cheese... If you want to bring paprika home, the market is a good place to buy it. No problem bringing it home - but you need to pack it in your luggage. The upstairs of the market is full of handicrafts - and it does have some restaurants. If you need to use the washroom while you are there, the one on the top floor is cheaper than the one on the main floor. So much to see in Budapest if you have the time... the House of Terror, the Cave Church, the Hospital in the Rock, the Shoes on the Danube memorial. Most tour companies will take you to Fisherman's Bastion, the Matthias Church, Hero's Square - but there is so much to see other than that!! Enjoy!! We are scheduled to have a couple of days there in October - if Covid doesn't scuttle our plans... Fran
  3. In Budapest... make sure you visit the Grand Market. The strudel stall is amazing... If you are there a day or two before your cruise, I would suggest dinner at Café Kor. In Regensburg - try to make time to visit the Wurstkuchl - the Old Sausage Kitchen. Besides sausages (either for a meal with sauerkraut, or on a bun as a snack) they sell mustard. Very tasty. In Nuremberg - make sure you buy some of their Lebkuchen... Lebkuchen are available throughout Europe - but the ones in Nuremberg (IMHO) are THE best... Enjoy!! Fran
  4. Pat - I am also a retired nurse... and so it is frustrating to me to see people wearing PPE improperly. And - how in the world do people get N95s when our front line workers are still struggling to get access?? Stores in my area are really good about sanitizing carts. Most have removed baskets (you have to push a cart - does help you keep your distance...) and some will not let you bring in your own bags. One store doesn't even handle your merchandise. They ask you to hold the item up - and they scan it - and then you put in in the plastic bag(s) they provide. Almost all stores ask that you do not pay in cash - they prefer payment by credit or debit. Many have a "click & collect" option - so, I order on line - and pick it up at the store. Restaurants are not open here - except for take away. We try to order in once/week - to try to help local businesses. And, churches are not open - but I "attend" weekly via Facebook (we have the option of a U-tube live stream as well...) --> thank heavens we have a young minister who knows how to works this stuff!! I should be doing more purging/cleaning - but, have spent the time sewing. Lots of Covid quilts out there these days!! Blessings to you as well... Fran
  5. Well, if yesterday was an indication of how people will react to a loosening of restrictions, we are in big trouble here in Ontario. Parks were opened to allow people the opportunity to get out and enjoy the sunshine. But, in one park in Toronto, the picture looked more like a crowd from a rock concert... No social distancing - and I understand lots of poor behaviour (ie: drinking, and using surrounding properties as urinals...) Our Covid numbers have been going up over the past few days - and, with behaviour such as that which we witnessed yesterday - I wouldn't be surprised if our Premier tightened things back up. I hadn't thought about the issues of *where* in Europe the rivers/borders might be opening up... We are actually scheduled to cruise from Bucharest to Budapest - and then have plans to fly to Krakow for a few days before coming home. So, although some of the borders might be open - perhaps not all areas where we want to go will be accessible!! Fran
  6. That is my understanding as well. We are lucky that we live within easy driving distance of the airport - and, are retired - so the 14 day self-isolation - while annoying - is manageable. Our friends are also from the area - so they can also self-isolate. The issue may be the 3rd couple - as they are from the East Coast. Not sure how that would work for them - as even crossing the provincial borders results in a 14 day quarantine at this time. Hopefully things will settle over the summer. Fran
  7. In regards to masks... my concern continues to be that people foolishly believe that wearing the mask provides them with protection - and then they ignore the guidelines around physical distancing. I cannot tell you the number of people that I see wearing them improperly (ie: not covering their nose and mouth, have it over a beard - with the beard hanging below, wearing them while driving alone in their car, walking around - coffee in hand - with the mask pulled down etc), not handling them properly after removing them (ie: putting them into their back pocket or purse) - with no indication of when (if at all) the mask was laundered. If someone gets too close to me (and believe me, I am not out much at all these days...) - it is usually because they are wearing a mask and feel they are "safe". So - I choose not to wear a mask unless it is mandated - as I am not convinced about the value in doing so. I do a lot of my shopping on line, and for places I need to go in person , I choose a store that I know takes the social distancing guidelines seriously - and restricts numbers in the store, has signage about the way to walk through the store etc. These are my choices - but I read lots of literature on (non-medical) masks - and none of it is robust. If a store decides I cannot shop without a mask, then I can choose not to shop there if I do not want to comply. Fran P.S. Don't get me going on people wearing gloves!!
  8. notamermaid - I am very thankful for your thoughts & insights... The flights to/from the EU are what I am watching. I continue to think positively that things will have opened up by the time we are scheduled to fly out (Sept 30th). Our flights route through Frankfurt - on Air Canada & Lufthansa - and I received an e-mail last week stating that flights to/from Toronto would be starting again in June. Not looking forward to the extended wearing of masks - but, if that is what is required, I will do so. Fran
  9. I do agree, however, we have already had this cruise cancelled once by Avalon. At that time, we were not offered the option to move our cruise - as others on our sailing did (I was in contact with someone here on CC and they confirmed moving their booking was one of the options offered). I was not impressed. The price jumped significantly - so we did not immediately rebook. It was only when we were able to book at close to our original price - once we factored in Welcome Back credits obtained through another Avalon cruise, and found a good sale - that we decided to rebook. I completely understand that Covid-19 is an unknown entity. And, I do not expect that Avalon would be able to move bookings without a price increase. But, given the instability of the current travel world, I would hope that they will be a little flexible with the final payment date. Fran
  10. I wonder if the cross country/border travel guidelines will depend on where you are from. For example, the country you want to travel to may decide who they will accept (or not...) into their country. Fran
  11. And, if your sailing is for after September 1st (which ours is...) - you currently are bound by regular trip cancellation policy - and final payment dates still apply. Our final payment is due in early July - and, if this is upheld - we will need to decide if we want to pay the rest of the money, or back out at that time. Seems rather unfair - IMHO - to make us make the final payment so early. Our TA is not working, as they are deemed "non-essential" - and the office was shut. So, we will need to make our payment directly to Avalon if she is not back to work. And, to make us pay in full - when anyone booked up until August 31st can cancel without penalty - doesn't make me happy. Also - if you do move your booking, you have to pay the "new" price - except for Oberammergau. If your cruise in 21/22 is more than you paid for your 2020 trip, you need to pay the difference. There is no mention of transferring any cruise credits - so the difference for us would be substantial. At this point, I am hoping they will delay the final payment date. If they won't - and they stick with the cancellation/rebooking guidelines currently on their website, I expect to walk... And, I will not rebook. Fran
  12. I am really hoping that we get to sail as planned in early October... We got such a good deal on the trip that we would never be able to rebook for that amount. If the options are to rebook and pay more money (we are talking an extra $3000 for the 2 of us...) - or walking away from the $500 deposit - not sure that I would rebook. Plus - we booked our own air - and I highly doubt we would get return for $1100 next year... Fran
  13. Great that they are thinking ahead... Here's hoping they *do* restart in September... We are booked for the 3rd of October!! Fran
  14. Another fellow Ontarian here... I have been sticking to the once/week grocery shopping - which I hate. My DH does a Costco run every 2 to 3 weeks. We have the odd run out for bread (small bakery - usually the only person inside) and for prescriptions as needed. We decided at the start of this to "order in" lunch or dinner once/week (not a usual thing for us...) from a local small restaurant (which one varies from week to week....) - to try to support our local economy. I am trying to buy things on line that support local businesses. Plus, anything that gets delivered keeps that sector employed. My concern about loosening things up is that people will become complacent. When you add in the availability of cloth masks & disposable gloves, people have a false sense of security. Most people who do not work in health care do *not* know how to safely don or doff said PPE - and put everyone at risk. We really need to continue to practice physical distancing - and, for some reason, people think they don't need to keep their distance when they have a piece of cotton over their face. And, don't even get me going on gloves... Seriously - fleece? Leather? Can't see those being washed - so we have no idea how many places they have been, or how many things they have touched. I tend to shop where I know the store takes the distancing directive seriously... Where they only let 1 person/family in to shop - and have clear guidelines regarding personal space at the checkouts. And I carry lots of hand sanitizer.... Opening restaurants worries me... as does the thought of re-opening mall space. Thankfully we aren't there yet... Fran
  15. Heidelberg isn't right on the river... But Speyer is. The 1st time we did the Rhine (for the Christmas markets) we could have gone to Heidelberg but opted to stay in Speyer. We went to the technology museum as well as walked the town. Felt the day was well-spent. It was nice to *not* have the long bus ride that day. The 2nd time we did the Rhine, we went to Heidelberg. We did see the castle. It was nice - and I am glad we went. But, the bus ride was long - and to be honest, I didn't enjoy the day more than the time spent in Speyer. To each his own... They may offer Heidelberg as an optional - so those that wish to go can, but they would need to pay for it. Fran
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