Showing posts from August, 2014

Viking River Cruise Ends in Style with Budapest

It had been quite a week on the Viking River Cruise through the Danube. My friend Tracy and I had been discovering places Christmas Markets and visiting places we had never been. There was only one more to go – Budapest, Hungary.  It was the largest capital city on the Danube and one of the most known. As had been the case with our other stops, the Viking Cruise line included all tours and there was a bus waiting to take us to the Buda district. Along the way our guide Nicholas told us about the city which is referred to as the “Jewel of the Danube.” We learned about the part this area played in World War II, and how it is now a tourist destination with a large zoo, public thermal baths, an amusement park, and large hotels. The bus let us off in the Buda Castle District. It was a bit chilly outside, but we braved the cold for a walking tour. The Square was amazing and each building was filled with history.  Tracy and I enjoyed looking around the area.  Befo

Discovering Slovakia with Viking River Cruises

Our Viking River Cruise along the Danube was coming to the last two days and my friend Tracy and I were having a great time discovering a part of Europe neither one of us has previously been. It was time for Slovakia and we were bundled up and ready to see its capital. The ship docked right in the city of Bratislava so we could walk around ourselves, but we chose to first take the bus tour to Bratislava Castle and then on a downtown walking tour of the city. The Bratislava Castle was quite impressive and also had a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was a cold and cloudy day so we didn’t get to fully appreciate it. In fact, I liked everything about Slovakia and the people we met were all very friendly. It represented a European city in perfection, with its architecture, cobblestone streets, and craft filled markets. Every building from the Opera House to the Court House looked like it was filled with history for me to spend a day exploring. We s

The Magic of Vienna on Viking Cruises

Whether or not we’ve ever written it down, we all have a bucket list. Those lists consist of places we hope to go. Many of us dream about these places, while others make it their life’s mission to travel to them. I’ve actually got two lists, though neither one is on paper. One is of places I wish to explore and the other is of places I just need to get to in order to see if the magic is really there.  The latter list includes places such as Paris, Rome, and London, all of which I’ve been to. There’s one place I hadn’t visited until I arrived on my Viking River Cruise . That place is Vienna. It was cool and foggy when my friend Tracy and I arrived in Vienna, Austria . The buses were waiting to take us on a tour of this city that played such a major part in the world war.  Vienna had come out the other side and become a spot of history and culture, with former homes of Mozart, Beethoven, and even Sigmund Freud throughout the city. The tour took us to some

Sailing through Austria with Viking Cruises

Our third day on the Viking Embla was a much more relaxing day than the previous, though I wouldn’t trade my time in Salzburg for anything. The first stop of the day was in Melk and Tracy decided to go visit the Abbey, which I heard was filled with beautiful art (and wine made by the priests).  I chose to stay on the ship for a relaxing breakfast and to catch up on some work. Tracy was back in time for our Viking River Cruise Austrian buffet lunch. It included a selection of meats such as bratwurst, as well as local wine, beer, and apricot schnapps. During lunch we were serenaded by an Austrian accordionist. The ship sailed along the Danube River in the afternoon, arriving in Durnstein, Austria in the evening.   We had dinner before heading out to the town. I ordered the Greek appetizer plate which consisted of perfect portions of tasty baba ganouch and hummus, followed by a wonderful Porcini Ravioli, though the beef filet was a bit two rare for me.