After planning a river cruise trip along the Danube with friends for 18 months, we finally took off from Denver in August. Our first flight was to Munich with what was supposed to be a quick layover before continuing on to Prague. We all know that travel doesn’t always go as planned! Much to our disappointment when we arrived at the Munich airport there was a security issue and the airport was shut down. After flying all night with very little sleep, waiting in the long lines for hours wasn’t what we had envisioned our first day to be. Finally, when we were able to talk with a customer service agent, we were told that our flight was now going to be the next day. This was a big disappointment as we missed some of our excursions we had scheduled.
Once in Prague, we made sure to see some of the well-known places such as the Charles Bridge and Dancing House. On a day trip, we found Kutna Hora, a small town outside of Prague, to be a big surprise and were glad we visited. The cathedral had 70,000 human bones configured artistically in the basement. This town could have rivaled other larger cities if the mining could have sustained them. Even though we didn’t get to see everything we wanted in Prague, we still enjoyed our time there and Jim & I agree we will need to return some day.
At this point, we moved on to Nuremberg where we boarded the ship. Jim was a little disappointed to find out that the “Blue Danube” was a little grayer & greener, but at least we were able to stay on the river even with their heat wave and low water levels. We traveled on to Regensburg which was one of Jim’s favorite stops and another place he wouldn’t mind revisiting.
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Vienna. The night before we attended a concert where Mozart once performed in this very old little theatre. While visiting Salzburg, we saw where parts of The Sound of Music was filmed and the famous gardens.
We found most of our wait staff on the ship was from either Serbia or Bulgaria. They were all great and so attentive with making sure our wine glasses were always kept filled at dinner! Alan even served us a special cake on the night of our anniversary.
Our final stop was in Budapest. I definitely would be willing to come back for another stay. The “Shoes on the Danube Promenade” memorial was a very touching monument to the Jewish men, women, and children who were shot on the banks during Nazi control.
Overall, we loved the spectacular scenery, amazing historical stories with great English-speaking guides, many 1000-year-old cathedrals and wandering the streets and shops on the stops along the way. The food was amazing, and we always willingly stayed with local food that was recommended. Jim would say his favorite might have been the goulash soup he had sitting at a sidewalk café in Budapest. Ask Jim about how his negotiating went with one of the vendors of the outdoor market we went to in Vienna. Let’s say we were going to need another suitcase to get the large bag of dried fruit candy home! This trip was extra special being able to explore these places with longtime friends.