Whilst on the Buda side of the Danube River, we watched the funicular railway rising sharply upwards to the old city above and the Royal Palace that stands high on a rocky escarpment overlooking the river and the more modern city of Pest. We then crossed the river back to the Pest side. Pest is a larger city than Buda and presents a completely different historical atmosphere.
After spending our first night at the Styles Hotel we caught a tour bus to sightsee Budapest. The tour was fascinating and we spent hours wandering through the streets before walking back to our hotel.
You can read all about Budapest here at the Lonely Planet website. But this blog is about our memories of the journey along the rivers of Europe.
Then the next day we caught the shuttle bus to the dock and found the AmaVenita APT Rivercruise ship waiting for us. It was exciting to see as we offloaded our luggage onto the gangway.
So, on the 23rd September, which happened to be my birthday, Chris and I embarked on the Cruise Ship “Ama Venita” and set out on our cruising travel adventure along the famous Danube River. Our cabin number was 109. We were immediately welcomed as guests and our luggage was taken to our cabin.
next day, before setting sail, we were taken on another tour of the city with
some of the other cruise passengers. This tour was even better than the one we had
taken on our own before embarking.
Sunday 25th September was our first “cruising day”.
At approximately 2am, whilst we were sound asleep, our ship entered the first lock of the cruise, known as the Gabcikovo Lock. Then in the early hours of the morning, we sailed past Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia before enjoying breakfast in the ship’s restaurant. We had a choice of a full cooked breakfast or pastries. Before lunch. our cruise director, Paul, gave us a briefing on the tours and excursions in Vienna, Austria.
Our first stop along the river was Vienna (Wien as it is known in German). Vienna is a truly elegant and grand city. Our stop allowed us time to take in the grandeur of the monumental buildings as we enjoyed a guided tour along the famous Ringstraasse. We admired the architecture along the Graben and Kohlmarkt and enjoyed a visit to the world-famous Spanish Riding School.
In the evening, we enjoyed another unique experience at the Palais Liechtenstein, which had been recently renovated. We were treated to a unique private concert in one of the ballrooms. After this unforgettable experience, the evening finished with an illumination drive along the Ringstrasse before we enjoyed a late-night snack in the AmaVenita lounge.
Our first touring day provided us with a day full of memories to cherish for the rest of our lives!