Along the Rhine
Judy & Lee Schaeffer and Others
ACIS TOURS

ACIS 2003Tour Details
A cruise along the mighty Rhine was at the heart of this richly scenic tour.   Shipboard accommodations to alpine towns and cosmopolitan cities immerse us in the local culture. Spectacular scenery, magnificent European art, bustling cobblestone squares, and charming tree-lined canals in Holland and Belgium. 

Additional Trip Details and Links

First All Digital Trip - Too many pictures to put online!
  I'll send you a CD or video tape!

MSN MapPoint for Europe  - Enter any City Name

DAY 1: Departed from U.S.A.  Pittsburgh - Newark  Flight 2358 - Aircraft RJ145
                                                     Newark     - Zurich     Flight    78  - Aircraft Boeing 767-200
DAY 2: Engelberg
Arrived in Zurich, the financial capital of Switzerland which was covered with graffiti!  After a quick tour we had lunch on our own in a foreign language and currency.  We took our bus south through hills and valleys to the Alpine town of Engelberg, situated in the northern German-speaking region of the country.

DAY 3: Engelberg
We sprang for the optional trip up Mt. Titlis.  At 10,000', one of the highest points in this Alpine wonderland - Pictures -- Weather and Live Cameras   . Every now and then the clouds parted for a picture-perfect views of high peaks, rolling valleys, and shimmering lakes. In the afternoon, drive to the lakeside resort of Lucerne, a prosperous market town with roots in the Middle Ages. We walked on the wooden bridges that span the River Reuss and relax in cobblestone squares lined with brightly colored houses. Return to Engelberg for dinner everyone else enjoyed a special Swiss fondue dinner while I had fish. .  Ramada-Treff Hotel

DAY 4: Brienz - Interlaken - Basel (2) - Rhine Cruise
Spectacular Alpine scenery as we drive to Brienz and continued to Interlaken, the heart of Switzerland. We had a wonderful lunch at a cafés along the main street and savored the views of Jungfrau Mountain.  Continued on to Basel, an industrial city that is also a renowned center of arts and learning.  Cruise embarkation beginning at 6:00pm at Elsasser Rheinweg, St. Johannstor.  Dinner on board as we departed from Basel at 7:00pm and sailed all night to Strasbourg.- Map.

MS   Viking Deutchland

DAY 5: Strasbourg (2) - Rhine Cruise
We had a city tour of Strasbourg from 10:00am-12:45pm.  Strasbourg is the home of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and a magnificent cathedral with its soaring spire. Much of the city’s activities center around the main squares of Place Kleber and Place de la Cathédrale.  Lunch was on board the ship after which we departed for the Black Forest and Baden-Baden. Return to boat at 6:15pm at Rastatt and sail on to Speyer. Dinner on board.  Dock at Speyer at 9:30pm.  The cruise takes us to Alsace, a French region strongly influenced by its proximity to Germany.   Speyer was a small but very interesting city to tour at night. 

DAY 6: Rüdesheim (2) - Boppard - Rhine Cruise
Departed Speyer around 7:00am and sailed to Mannheim for an excursion of Heidelberg (official site - partially in English)from 8:15am to 1:00pm. (Since my ancestor in Germany was the Berger Meister of Heidelburg I was "Von Schaeffer during our visit!)  We caught up with the boat at Mainz, the city of Gutenberg, at 1:00pm and sail on to Linz am Rhein.  Passing Rüdesheim and Boppard, where the river bends westward and widens dramatically. This area is known as the Rhine Gorge and is traveled by almost as many pleasure steamers as commercial barges. Lunch and dinner on board Arrive into Linz at 10:00pm.  Linz is another seldom seen treasure where virtually all of the buildings have been restored.
Rhine river map with Boat landing stations
Koblenz
Worms am Rhein
Old castles from Rudesheim to the Lorelei

DAY 7: Amsterdam

We departed Linz at 6:30am and I was too sleepy to see the bridge at Remagin.  We arrived into Cologne at 8:30am.  Coach and walking tour of Cologne from 8:30am to 10:30am. Depart from Cologne at 10:30 am and sail to Dusseldorf.   We disembarked from the cruise ship at 1:00pm in Düsseldorf, the prosperous business center of Germany.   We drove through the region of the Ruhr Valley to the Netherlands. Dinner tonight was an interesting sample of Holland’s colonial heritage, a rijstaffel dinner, featuring dishes from Indonesia.  Overnight in Amsterdam.
Grand Hotel

DAY 8: Amsterdam
Holland is a flat, fertile land dotted with windmills and church spires. Explore the bustling street life and tree-lined waterways of its capital, Amsterdam, founded in the 13th century on the River Amstel. A guided tour illustrates how Amsterdam has become a vital center of European art. See Dutch and Flemish masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum. Also included is a visit to Anne Frank’s House. We spent the afternoon on our own walking the canals and taking pictures.  We took and evening ride on one of the canal boat tours and had fish and chips at the local Pizza Hut.
Amsterdam Centre Hotel.

DAY 9: Bruges
Drive to Belgium and the medieval town of Bruges, which appears to have been frozen in time. Neither world war caused destruction in the town, so it has retained much of its medieval charm. An afternoon sightseeing via a boat ride through the city’s canals. After dinner at a cafe on the town square, we had the evening free to wander the streets and visit the candy shops.
Hotel Academie Bruges (2)

DAY 10: Paris
We drive south through the sites of many of the great battles of World War I to Paris. We witnessed a scary ride though rush hour traffic and learned to ride the underground to climb the Arch and take a stroll on the Champs Elysées.   After dinner we took the elevator   to the top of the Eiffel Tower, (Offical Site - English) .
Home Page Hotel Lutetia (you may need to hit STOP on your browser) (Where Hitler stayed!)

DAY 11: Paris
With a local expert, we toured the city by bus ending up at the awe-inspiring Notre Dame, situated on the Ile de la Cité.  There was an ordination in progress so we could not enter but saw it on an video screen in the plaza.  Our feet got very tired roaming the halls looking at the priceless treasures of the Louvre (Official Site - English). We walked back to the hotel doing one of the most enjoyable Parisian pastimes- strolling along the boulevards lined with open-air cafés and stylish shops. This evening's highlight is a special farewell dinner with wine included.

DAY 12: Return to the U.S.A. via a Boeing 777

Regions of Germany

I made good use of my GPS along the way.  Technical Details: Lat & Long from the MSN MapPoint Web Site extracted from the URL


This was my first All Digital Trip using my Canon MiniDV video camera and Canon A40 still camera.  There were no problems except a little interference from the TV transmitters on the top of the Eifle Tower but that was better than fogged film!  Next time, I'll take the laptop! 

The still pictures look great on the laptop computer but we still would like some prints of the better pictures.

I checked with the photo department at Target. They will print images in 24 hours from a CD or a Compact Flash Media card for $0.29 each.  This is the "quantity" price for the online services so it looks like a good deal.  Also, you can use large image files which would take too long to upload. The prints are 4" X 6" so they are going to crop a strip off the top and bottom of a landscape format print. To get the best results, you need to make a folder of the images to be printed and then crop the images yourself to avoid any cut of heads. Then save this folder to your Compact Flash Card or burn a CD.  Do not crop your origional images.

Origional Image
Original Digital Photo


Croped to 4x6 format
Cropped to 4 X 6 Format

For any 4" X 6" prints, I have done the math for you:
For a high quality image of 1944 X 2590 pixels. To make a 4"x6" print, it needs to be cropped to 1725 X 2590 pixels. This is easy to do if you have a photo editor such as iPhoto Express (on the CD disk with my pictures) that displays the numerical size of the area to be cropped. Once you have dragged the crop box to the full width and the 1725 height, you can hold the shift key down which locks the H/W dimensions.  Then you can drag the corner of the box to crop a smaller area while holding the 4 X 6 ration. The the whole box can be dragged exactly over the area you want to print.  Reverse the height and width dimensions for vertical prints.

Boarderd Print to print full height
Full Image with Added Boarder

If you want the total height printed, then you need to add a border to the side of the print. For a 1944 X 2590 pixel image, that border should be 328 pixels wide.

Using iPhoto express, select PHOTO and "FRAME and SHADOW". Then unclick the Frame and select SHADOW, and set the X Offset to 328 and the Y Offset to 0 and the Color to white. The program holds these settings for subsequent prints. 

When using iPhoto express, go to FILE, SAVE AS, select JPEG file format and then set the compression between 95 and 100 for minimum compression and maximum quality. 100 makes rather large image files so you may want to use 95. The same applies to any other photo editor.

For other resolution settings, the images should be cropped as follows for 4" X 6" prints:
Normal Pixel Width   x  Height  Cropped     Boarder        Reduction to 4x6 at 96 pixels/inch

These were calculated by taking the image WIDTH and multiplying it by 4/6 (.66666) or dividing it by 1.5  
The Boarder is 0.1274 of the image width. 

For 5" X 7" prints multiply the WIDTH by 5/7 ( 0.7142) which is almost the 4x6 ratio so it only needs to be done for very critical prints. 

For 8" X 10" prints, a small amount cropped from the sides of the original image. For an exact crop, multiply the full image HEIGHT by 1.25 to find the proper width.


Ekert Drug can only make prints from CD and they charge $7.00 for 3 on an 8"x10" page!
Giant Eagle can make them from media cards for $0.40 but they say their reader is not reliable.
Ritz Camera claims they can make prints in 10 minutes for $.0.50

Digital prints can be uploaded and prints ordered online at Target/Kodak:
http://target.com/common/page.jhtml?content=target%5fss%5fphoto%5fcenter
https://picturecenter.kodak.com/start/kpcSTHomePage.jsp?retailerid=TARGET

Other online digital printing services.
http://www.snapfish.com/   - Looks like the best online service.
http://www.shutterfly.com/