In June 2011 my husband Glen and I went to Germany and Austria for five fantastic weeks of travel.
While we were in the Austrian Alps we saw, in every tourist shop, little beavers, dressed in lederhosen and felt hats, which yodelled when their tummies were pressed. They were very cute but I resisted the temptation to buy one when we had several more weeks of carrying our own luggage still to go.
The following week we were in the Bavarian Alps and one day we went in a cable car up into the mountains to Alpspitzbahn, at an altitude of 2033 metres above sea level. When we walked out of the cable car station there, hanging on a sales rack, was one lone beaver. We couldn’t leave him there, so we bought him and instantly named him Justin…well, he sings and he’s a beaver – what else would he be called!
After our stay in the alps our next adventure was a river cruise on the Main, Rhine and Moselle Rivers, which we booked through ICE Gallery by exchanging our credits. It was the most amazing experience and the highlight of our trip, and this was where the adventures of Justin Beaver began.
On our arrival, we were shown to our cabin and we unpacked our bags. I had been carrying Justin Beaver in my backpack and I got him out and sat him on the bedside table. We went up to the lounge for the welcome event to meet our fellow passengers. Later we came back to our cabin to get ready for dinner to find Justin sitting on the window sill looking out at the river. Then, when we returned to our cabin after dinner, the maid had been in to turn down the beds and Justin was now tucked up in bed for the night. The next morning we could hardly wait to see what Justin was doing when we came back from breakfast. And we weren’t disappointed – he was on the bed, sitting next to a rabbit which had been cleverly constructed by the maid out of our bath towels and my sunglasses.
Every day when we came back to our cabin, we found Justin doing something new and exciting. Often he would be sitting on the window sill enjoying the river scenery. Every day he had a new “towel” friend. One night he was reading the next day’s itinerary, with his pen ready to make notes. And the next night he was tucked into bed, watching television with the remote next to him. The housemaids were certainly having as much fun as we were, and the people in the adjoining cabins asked every day to see what Justin was up to. He became quite a celebrity.
This little touch of humour really added to our river cruise and made it even more memorable. If it weren’t for our ability to exchange our Credits with ICE Gallery we would never had so much fun on our holiday!