This is the part where the Expat Explore, Jewel Tour officially starts (well, actually it started in Amsterdam where we met up with the rest of the group, but as we’d been in Amsterdam before them, we saw this as the official start ☺ )
A little bit about Expat Explore: it’s a company that was started by two South Africans. They had gone traveling through Europe when they were younger and (of course!) realized how expensive things were. They then started a company that does great tours at a fraction of the normal price! Having done a trip through them before, I decided that I have to get Boyfriend to do one with me as I really loved how organized they are, the accommodation is great and they really take such good care of you as a person. They include many optional extras as well and this makes it so much easier to plan your holiday. They also have a great selection of tours to choose from and as I’d done the Europe Escape before and Boyfriend has seen a few of those places, we thought we’d do a tour that allows us to experience quite a few places together as a couple for the first time.
Here’s the link for more info on the ‘Europe Jewel’ tour.
We arrived in Bhoppard in the Rhine Valley, which reminds of a children’s book when you arrive. It seems like it was a set built by a Hollywood exec to make you feel like you’re in a different, quaint little town with cobblestone streets. ‘Adorable’ might sound patronizing, but I promise that that is not my intention. ‘Adorable’ is really what this town is! It’s not overwhelming or intimidating, just so sweet and you wish you could capture everything in a picture.
About Boppard; it’s also considered the Valley of Loreley. Read more about Loreley here.
Boppard was once a Roman Fort and in 2002, The Upper Middle Rhine Valley was announced a part of the UNESCO World Heritage. That means it’s right up there with the Pyramids in Egypt, the Grand Canyon in USA and the famous Taj Mahal in India!
We did wine tasting in Boppard and enjoyed delicious Ice Wine! Boyfriend loved it so much that he ordered a box of the Loreley Cuvee & Riesling Spatlese ☺ Thereafter we decided to follow up the tasting with some dessert at one of the local ice cream parlours and a visit to the Cuckoo clock shop before heading for a boat cruise. We got to spend more time with the rest of the group and got to know each other a little better.
Very soon it was time to checkin at the Rhinelust Hotel, which is on the Rhine River, get ready for dinner and….. KARAOKE! First things first: Dinner was a delicious mix of traditional German and ‘international’ cuisine (meaning things that we can eat at home) but I like to completely immerse myself in a country and the culture, so I enjoyed everything ‘German’ on offer.
Thereafter we all had the ‘honour’ of partaking in some Karaoke and this was so much fun! This lasted until pretty late because despite initial shyness, people realized they were on holiday so all the normal rules don’t apply and that means you need to get in on the action.
PS: Thank you to our friend Robbie Rabie for the pics