River Cruise: Budapest to Nuremberg on the Danube (+ Amsterdam)

Dave & Karen Votaw, April 2017

Day 12: Tiptoe Thru The Tulips

Saturday the 29th was the last day of our trip. We had tickets for a trip to Keukenhof in the afternoon, so we decided to use the morning to walk through the canal district and see what we found there. We took the tram down to the canals, and got off in front of the...

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Day 11: We All Went Down to Amsterdam

Nuremburg was the end of the line for our cruise. We spent our last night on board, but it was cut short by our need to make an early flight. For some reason we (along with quite a few others) had been scheduled for a 6 am flight from Nuremburg to Amsterdam. So we had to get up at 3 am. (This is another reason I prefer independent travel –

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Day 10: Nuremburg

Our trio split up when we got to Nuremburg. Karen went on an optional Faber-Castell factory tour, to see the latest in colored pencils (which she uses in her craft work). Joyce and I went on the bus for the free Nuremburg city tour, which featured drive-by viewings of the famous Nazi sites, followed by a short tour of the castle and some free time in the town.

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Kelheim, Danube Narrows, and the Weltenburg Abbey

After lunch we went right out again for another tour to see the Danube Narrows. For this optional (translation: extra cost) excursion out of Regensburg, we were promised a trip to the Weltenburg Abbey, where we would see the abbey church and partake of their beer and...

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Day 9: Regensburg

We started our tour of Regensburg on a cold, rainy morning. The Danube is noticeably narrower here, closer to the source of the river. There’s an old stone bridge over the river, with several arches in it for ships to pass beneath. But they’re not very big – and so this bridge is a barrier to navigation for many ships – including ours.

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Day 8: Passau

Passau is a city on the Danube near the border of Germany and Austria. It is just on the German side. Which really makes no difference - the language and the money are the same in those two countries. Our morning tour took us through the town, and for a change we had...

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Day 7: Cruising to Krems

On the ship we have settled into a nice routine. The food and service are always excellent, and we have interesting and tasty food choices. We’ve enjoyed getting to know some fellow passengers, even some from Salem Alliance that we hadn’t met or didn’t know well...

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Town Views

We didn't get to visit the town of Krems, but we saw all of it - from above. As you might expect, the abbey provides great views of Krems and the Danube valley. This wood panel is in the back of the church. It shows an angel blessing the town and citizens of Krems....

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Krems Abbey Church

The church is decorated in what Joyce called “baroque excess.” Everything’s quite beautiful – but there is too much of it. For those of us who are not Catholics, and who have a very different experience of what churches are like, I've found that it helps if you think...

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Krems Abbey grounds

Now that our big adventures in Budapest and Vienna are past, we can turn our attention to the ship and to the small towns that we are visiting along the Danube. The first of these is Krems,

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Cruisin’ Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon

Viking Var, like all of the Viking river cruise boats I’ve seen, is just a skinny box in the water.  Long, low and flat are its most distinguishing  characteristics. “Var” is the name of the ship we were on - apparently named after one of the Norse gods. Viking river...

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Day 6: Get Me To The Church On Time!

Sunday was a day we’d planned to the hilt. Two or three months ago we’d contacted a Vienna ticket agency over the Internet and purchased tickets for three different outings for this day: the Vienna Boys Choir, the Lippizaner Stallions, and the Vienna State Opera. The...

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Day 5: Touring Pest and Buda

We slept aboard our Viking ship “Var” but it was still in Budapest on Saturday (day 5). There was a morning excursion, and we were assigned to group C, a bus full of about 45 people, for a tour that lasted about half a day. So this is the kind of travel I do not...

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Day 3: Going Hungary

We arrived in Budapest at about 10:30 am, ready for a day of exploring the town. Of course we had to stow our suitcases first, and that meant finding (and traveling to) our hotel.

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We Take a Bath

We Take a Bath Several years ago when we visited Turkey we had the opportunity to visit the Turkish baths. We didn’t go, because a) you have to change clothes in there, and b) Americans are squeamish about such things. People might see us. So it turns out that...

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Melk Abbey

One of the largest abbeys in Europe sits on a hill above the Danube River near Vienna, above the town of Melk. It still has a functioning Benedictine order, and they run a public school there with over 900 students aged 10 to 18. In the old days, the abbey supported...

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Day 2: Food with Attitude

Our big plan for Wednesday was to visit Melk Abbey. I first heard about it many years ago, and seeing pictures of it on the Internet only increased my desire to see it in person. Of course Karen wanted to go too; one of her passions is book-binding, and old books, and...

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Dessert with Mozart, and a Stroll through the Palace

Dessert with Mozart, and a Stroll through the Palace Sacher Torte! It's fun to say. The first word is pronounced "soccer", and the second one is "tort". It's even more fun to eat. We got into the cafe just before 5:00. Karen ordered a salad (boring!) but I got a...

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Day 1: PDX to Vienna

We picked up Joyce at her home in Salem and got to the airport before 10:30 am. Our flight was scheduled for 1:30 so we had plenty of time. At the airport we met Deleen (the travel agent who put the trip and the group together) and her husband, plus a few other people...

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Votaws on Viking

We’ve made some plans…
April 18-20: On our own in Vienna. Biggest plan: take a one-hour train trip to Melk on Wednesday morning to visit the Melk Abbey. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I first heard about it many years ago. Expect lots of photos!

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Budapest (start of cruise)

Budapest, Hungary

This is where the cruise started.