Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


We had dreamed of taking a Rhine River cruise for several years, but the time was never right until this past Spring. Thanks to our wonderful travel agent Jennifer McFaden of Sunshine Journeys, we boarded Viking's Mani longboat in Basel, Switzerland on May 1 to begin our 8-day adventure.

Since returning home, several people have asked what I enjoyed most about our cruise through parts of Switzerland, France, Germany, and The Netherlands. I thought a few minutes and decided there wasn't any one thing I enjoyed more than the time spent with my sweet hubby.

Next on my list of favorites were the cruise itself on Viking's Mani and Eir longships, the architecture, castles, cathedrals, the small villages, the countryside as seen from both ship and bus, the food, and the people. Specific favorites were Basel, the tour in the Black Forest, Colmar City, Strasbourg and Alsace, Heidelburg, Marksburg Castle, the windmills, and our fellow shipboard passengers.  

Our cruise ship, the Viking Mani. 
Click on the photos to enlarge.

After boarding the Mani in Basel, Switzerland, we unpacked and headed into Basel, home to 40 museums. Viking provided the much needed umbrellas.

Basel's Old Town

I found the architecture--a mix of modern and very old--fascinating. The building below is only one of the incredible examples of old architecture in Basel.

The Munster Cathedral (pictured above and below), the most famous landmark in Basel, is 1,000 years old, and has been called the Evangelical Reformed Church since 1529.

The knight above is slaying a dragon.

Basel's first bridge across the Rhine was built in 1225 and connects Switzerland to Germany and France.
A flooded Rhine River.  

We docked in Breisach, Germany, on our second day, and boarded a Viking bus--a very comfortable Mercedes-Benz--and headed off toward the Black Forest. 

One of many small German towns.

Wisteria growing on a lovely old house. 

A freshly-plowed field ready for planting.

A field of tulips.

An example of German humor, which I like.

The next post will take us to the spectacular Black Forest in Germany. Hope you will join me.

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