|Tom was carrying his dress shoes in a bag when the dress code on the dinner cruise stipulated no sports shoes were allowed. However, on a rainy night, they made exceptions when most of the passengers were wearing sport shoes.|
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|As we walked down a few flights of stairs to the boardwalk along the River Seine, searching for the dinner cruise boat we’d booked, the Bataueux Parisiennes.|
Today, we’re sharing photos from Part 1 of our exquisite dinner cruise on the River Seine six years ago. Tomorrow, we’ll share photos from Part 2 of the dinner cruise with more photos.
|As soon as we were seated, we were served these little French pastries and champagne. I didn’t try the buns but took a few sips of the delicious champagne. Tom ate all four of these pastries plus three of the white buns.|
|Dark clouds were looming over the city for days as it rained heavily off and on.|
Instead, I can’t help but focus on the “year ago photo” at the bottom of today’s post, taken on our first of two days and nights we spent in Amsterdam, The Netherlands while we awaited a much-anticipated cruise Baltic cruise, we’d longed to experience for years.
|Most of the photos shown here today and tomorrow were taken through the blue glass dining enclosure on the boat.|
Once we arrived in Amsterdam, flying from Dublin after a three-month stay, we found ourselves in a lovely boutique hotel overlooking a canal, we were in awe and overtaken by the beauty and uniqueness of this special city.
|We passed under one of many ornamental bridges.|
Chomping at the bit to get outside and walk the narrow sidewalks and streets, a wave of disappointment washed over me as I faced the reality of my situation. It had been almost six months since my open heart surgery and I could barely walk more than a few meters without feeling a need to stop and rest.
|This foie gras appetizer was amazing. I savored every morsel along with the single perfectly cooked cold asparagus spear, lying atop a line of what tasted to be an anchovy paste.|
Having been on many heart-related drugs with serious side effects, including the FDA’s designated “black box” drug Amiodarone and two others, my legs just didn’t work well enough for me to embark on long walks.
|Tom’s appetizer of grilled prawns and vegetables. He doesn’t normally care for shrimp. After sharing a few prawns with me, he said, “There was nothing offensive about this.” Nice.|
By the time, we reached Amsterdam, I had weaned off all of the drugs, but was left with weakness and leg pain exacerbated by walking which I still suffer from today, along with cardiovascular disease which also contributes to leg pain when standing or walking for long periods.
|Some of the spires of Notre Dame.|
Subsequently, my memories of Amsterdam, center around the struggle to walk when there was no other way to get around the city than on foot or by boat. Not one to complain, I forged ahead while Tom patiently waited every five minutes or less for me to rest long enough to continue on.
|As the boat continued on the River Seine. The 2½ hour cruise eventually turned around to go back the way we’d come enabling us to see the other side.|
In any case, we saw a lot in those two days, probably not a lot less than we would have under better circumstances. While walking during those few days, my mind was filled with concern over how I’d walk when we were scheduled for several walking tours at various ports of call during the upcoming cruise.
|At this point, we were nearing the turnaround spot.|
We’d signed up for a few small group tours before the heart surgery and we were committed to our share of the costs. All we could do is forge ahead to the best of my ability. I refused to cancel it all.
|There were many dinner cruise boats on the River Seine for considerably lower prices, as low as US $51, EU $39 per person which were less luxurious with standard fare. We’d researched extensively to decide on the Bateaux Parisiennes which was highly rated on various websites.|
As it turned out, we only had to cancel one of the two-day tours in St. Petersburg. There was no way I could keep up with the group on a second all-day walking tour. This was very disappointing, not only in losing the money, which was non-refundable but also missing the second day.
|There were many day tour boats along the river.|
I felt bad for Tom when he had so much anticipated this particular cruise, but he never complained or seemed frustrated with me. Instead, he held me up during the long walks on each tour, as I hung onto his arm.
|The sight of all the well lit boats on the river at night was captivating.|
Somehow, we made it through the remaining ports of call on that cruise resulting in many wonderful experiences and photos along the way. It’s hard to believe it was only one year ago. I still struggle to walk without pain, but my current 5 miles, 8 km, daily walks have definitely been instrumental in improving my ability to walk for longer distances.
|Tom was certainly enjoying the included two bottles of wine plus two glasses of champagne served when we were seated. He prefers the white over the red.|
No matter where we end up after we leave India, I will continue to walk, if safe outdoors and if not, indoors. If I walk every hour for 12 minutes each, by the end of any day, I could manage to get in the necessary steps to maintain this current goal.
Photo from one year ago today, August 9, 2019:
|Arriving in Amsterdam for a two-night stay before our upcoming cruise, we looked forward to a boat ride on the canals. For more, please click here.|