Traveling Untethered | Bordeaux, France

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All blog posts are based on our personal travels around Europe, penned by J. Christina.

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Our last international trip was more than 750 days ago before the global pandemic shutdown the world.  Join us as we recap the essence of European river cruising from sophisticated cities to quaint villages.

We began at the southern tip of Dubrovnik, Croatia, and ended in Venice, Italy. Driving overland 1400-miles, zigzagging through six great nations in central and southeast Europe. All the while navigating the most magnificent stretch of coastline in the world, the Dalmatian Coast. 
Miroir d'eau - Bordeaux, France
Water Mirror
Dubrovnik, Croatia

We completed this passage with a smooth transition into Venice, Italy, the Queen of the Adriatic; notably the most beautiful and unique city in the world – a jewel of European Culture.  After nearly a month on the road, we are weary, and ready to embrace our restful and well-appointed European river cruise ship waiting in Bordeaux, France.  Uniworld's River Royale is our home for the next week and is a welcome sight (this ship has since transitioned to S.S. Bon Voyage river ship).

Over the years, we had the pleasure of many bespoke European river cruises. Sailing through Europe’s picturesque riverscapes is simply dazzling. Traveling the waterways offers an enchanting way to see Europe’s charming villages and sophisticated cities, while effortlessly integrating from country to country. Water travel offers guests the unique ability to step off into the soul of these great historic destinations, with ease, grace, and anticipation. 

Having sailed on the blue Danube, the mighty Rhine, and river Rhône, and the ever-romantic Seine while marveling at the mirrored waters of Portugal’s Douro River.  Each voyage leaves us with an indelible memory with vivid recollections from Austria to Romania and overland to Istanbul, Turkey. Or where we tasted the terroir of Côtes du Rhône, while tracing the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh.  All the while, we reminisce about gliding untethered on the Garonne, Dordogne, and Gironde rivers while enjoying world-renowned wines from the Bordeaux and the Médoc region. 

Most river cruises are inclusive, it becomes your floating 5-star boutique hotel, complete with regional tours, gourmet meals, and prestigious wines. Sailings and itineraries run the gamut from romantic and stunning, to awe-inspiring.  What we enjoy most is the variety of itineraries available for river cruisers i.e., active, educational, and leisurely.

One of our most memorable and educational experiences was in Aljmas, Croatia, located along the right bank of the Danube, and looking across the river to Serbia. Where we were transported into the countryside, accompanied by our translator, Paul. Our destination was a pre-arranged, private, in-home lunch at a classified Sobe (so-bays), owned by a multi-generational family offering farm-to-table meals for a nominal fee. Giving tourists a chance to see a more rural side of Croatia and hear their history from locals.

          In  2006  the  Assumption of Mary Church was rebuilt in an unusual shape and facade - Aljmas, Croatia 
                       The  original Madonna and Child statute was found in the rubble after the war

This family was left with meager means due to the Homeland War, but exuded ambition, determination, and pride in growing and harvesting their food from a small parcel. Our delightful lunch was homegrown and handmade, fresh from the garden. All accented by lively Croatian vs English conversation and remembrances of their strife and struggles during the Croatian War of Independence. There are many educational and enduring stories to be discovered while cruising on Europe’s diverse waterways and beyond.  

 Travel is not to be taken lightly - it is a privilege.

*2018 travels 

Uniworld Boutique River Ship (non sponsored)

My Bordeaux Tours

Croatian War of Independence 1991-1995

SOBE (similar to B & B)

    J. Christina is the author and owner of Scribbles and Smiles. Through our blog, we share stories of the wonderful discoveries we have made on our European travels. Christina (Christie) is married to John, a.k.a. Mr. Christie. Where Mr. Christie is right on board with their travel jaunts around the world sharing in their blogging endeavor - hence, their bespoke pen name, J. Christina.

After many years of intrepid travel, we thoughtfully opened our treasure-trove of European travelogues, artfully sharing with a worldwide audience. Intentionally sharing the joie de vivre through our words and images, so others can travel vicariously. 

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