Observations from Kew Gardens (UK) and now Houston (US).
November 15, 2009
Viking River Cruise (VRC) Overview: Romania to Germany on the Danube
At 1775 miles, the Danube is the 2nd longest river in Europe (the Volga is the longest) and the only river to flow from west to east. My travel buddy Teresa and I took a Viking River Cruise on the Danube and the Main-Danube Canal through Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. We passed through dozens of locks. When you see pictures of us in snow and ponder our decision to take the last cruise of the season, tease Teresa about her famous last words "I would rather be too cold than too hot".
Our days were filled with learning, exploration and a lot of walking (needed to partially offset the delectable pastries, marzipan, gelato and chocolate.) All tours were included with a good variety of sights and experiences. We were pleasantly surprised by the balanced views given to us by our guides, especially in the former communist countries. Some missed the free education and guaranteed jobs under communism and others detailed how their families had suffered. At night we ruthlessly culled, sorted and uploaded photos to Snapfish for safekeeping via free wi-fi on the ship.