I finished off my last notes letting you know we were off to a concert in Vienna.
We are well back from that now and I would have to say it was the highlight of my trip. I can now say I been in a concert hall in Vienna, on the banks of the Danube, filled with chandeliers and marble columns listening to Mozart and Strauss -what a fabulous evening! The most obvious pleassure was listening to the Wiener Hofburg Orchestra play The Blue Danube Waltz. The acoustics in the hall were amazing - not a microphone in place but the sound spread loudly and evenly through the whole hall. Operatic singers were also part of the concert but it was a beautiful way to finish our couple of days in Vienna. On the way back to the boat, we were given a brief 'Vienna by Night' tour also which was lovely.
The country next on our travels was Slovakia and a day stop at 'Bratislavia' - a smaller port than some of those we had already encountered but the capital of Slovakia. Slovakia became independent from communist Czecezlovakia in the early 1990's and has recently ejoyed a large amount of rebuilding. Kemm did the walking tour with some of the group of the 'old' area and found it to be another town with charming houses and buildings.
I stayed onboard and having had a bad neck, probably after sleeping wrongly, I had a back and neck massage which seems to have helped. Not being a massage person, I was in need of some sort of relief!!!
Currently (Saturday morning) we are cruising into Budapest but can't see a thing! It's a pea-soup fog outside so I can't see us being up on the sundeck before breakfast to view the 'beautiful city of Budapest' as it was suggested to us. This morning we have a free morning to visit the 'Pest' side of the Danube, where the shops are. Our boat is docked on the 'Buda' side. This afternoon we have a coach tour of the city - just hope this pea-soup fog lifts for the day ahead! The red toxic sludge heading into the Danube River is further downstream from Budapest so not something we will encounter at all.
Tomorrow morning we disembark the ship and all head our separate ways around the world. Formal farewells were had last night with the Captain dressed in his best white dinner suit, Bills have been preliminary provided to us, varying colour tags for baggage have given to us, each for Budapest hotels, airport, Prague section of the tour - 42 of our 160 are heading on to Prague, etc. Kemm and I are flying down to Athens to begin the Greece and Greek Islands part of our travels.
So... highlights of our River Cruising...
MS Amabella, our APT ship has been a magnificent way to travel - extremely comfortable and roomy with a geat bunch of people on board.
Kemm thought the AUDI factory production line (where-ever it was) was great.
The Vienna Concert with Mozart and Strauss music.
The Rhine Valley and castle region
Cesky-Kromlov town visit
etc, etc, etc
A fabulous river cruise of 14 nights and yes, I would highly recommend it to others.
PS I will send a link to our photos when I have finally put them all online.
PS 2: Thank you Rod, I know you're there - BUT HEY!!!! ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE???????? Would love to hear from you!