Amadeus Waterwaterways Poetry 2005
Ports: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, Nürnberg, Prague.
From Budapest to Prague cruising the Danube on our 31st trip to Europe
gave us a chance to revisit some old friends and see some new places, on what is about the
best two weeks that can be spent in Europe, albeit a bit hectic at times.
Large cabins, lots of storage space. New ship in 2005. The side of the
room facing outward was all glass, which offered nice views.
The ship had a hot tub, stationary bike, and a rowing machine, but it was too hot and the
schedule too busy to use them. On the other hand, there was plenty of walking to do in the
cities along the way where we stopped, so lack of exercise was not a problem. There was lots
to eat on the ship, which we supplemented with cakes, pastries, and ice
cream in port, but no weight gain.
Breakfast and lunch were buffet style. Diner was sit-down, and took
inordinately long due to not enough staff. What staff there was scurried around like crazy, but
there was just too much for them to do. Consequently, some dinners took over 2 hrs. to complete,
making for along dragged out meal. With the all the passengers in the dining room this
long, the A/C was taxed.
The high point of breakfast was Black Forest type ham, a German
prosciuto. The smoked salmon was spotty, sometimes quite fresh, other times it had a definate
fishy taste. Ask for lemon slices.
Coffee was American style, which is, the coffee drinker tells me, not as
strong or bitter as European types. The tea choices included a nice hibiscus tea.
Wine was included with dinner in the cruise price, which had the somewhat
unhappy side effect of greatly reducing our consumption of local dark beer.
Excepting a feeble attempt at hamburgers one noon, the food was
excellent, especially desserts.
Look at the list of ports. What’s not a highlight?
This was our 10th visit to the Abby Church at Melk, and as before, there
are few sights anywhere than match the scene that met our eyes on entering the church. I’m ready
to go back.
Bratislava is a gem, and with almost enough time allowed in port to see
most of it.
Prague: Diner at U Bile Kravey. Walking across the Charles Bridge. The
view of sunset behind Prague Castle & the castle illuminated seen from Stare Mesto at the end
of Charles Bridge.
Cake & ice cream at Gerebaud in Budapest, and sit inside. One sidewalk
café is the same as any other, but the interior is a classic. Even if you know what you want, go
to the counter and look at the choices on display.
Cake/pastries anywhere in Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Czech Republic
(great food & cheap).
Central European dark beer.
We didn’t take any of the optional excursions. There is plenty to do in
each of the ports without needing to venture future afield.
Use the multi-trip or all day tourist transit passes less than $3 a day
for unlimited in rides in Prague & Budapest. Ask how much they cost at your hotel and then locate
than amount on the vending machines unless you can read Hungarian or Czech.
Pick up some Marillen(apricot) liquor in Durnstien.
Drink dark beer (dune-kuhl(phonetic) beer in German). Austrian is best,
but the house brew at Wilhering Abby in Germany is a must. In Hungary and the Czech Republic,
Kroosovitzah (phonetic) is tops. Beer in Germany/Austria was more than $3, but about
$1.50 in the Czech Republic.
Nice tee shirts for $8-9 were easy to find in Prague.
Take the bus, not the funicular to Budapest’s Castle Hill. It’s cheaper & scenic.
Take the # 22 or #23 tram to Prague’s Castle Hill (Malostranska metro)
For many Danube cruise options