We were headed to Europe for April and while we were going to be close we chose to take two river cruises along the Danube River. The first portion was one of a really short duration of 4 days 3 nights. It was on Avalon Waterways. They give the option of doing a cruise tour type vacation but for this we chose only the cruise portion. Meaning we opted not to do the on site stay at the hotel portion. The Danube is Europe’s second largest river and is definitely a river cruise to take if only for the picturesque beauty of the region.
The Danube Flows through Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania Ukraine, Serbia there are very many choices for cruises and lengths along the river. Our Choice was the Vienna, Budapest, Dürnstein and Passau portion. This one fit our schedule and we wanted to make sure we hit Melk Abby and Budapest so it was a perfect fit for us.
By the time we arrived for our cruise we had already been in Belgium, Czech Republic, and Germany so I have to say we were a little tired. Because we knew we were going to see a couple of places twice we opted for a more relaxed style. Hitting one of the tours one day and then touring the city the next day on our own. This worked out well for us.
The Danube is filled with many not to miss sites Budapest and Vienna being two of them. In Budapest we chose an on and off bus stopping at the places we wanted to tour and just driving by hearing the oration of the places we did not have a desire to see. The castle is a definite must do as it is filled with museums that you can tour and a walking area that over looks Budapest.
My favorite was St. Mattias which is in the city area or portion of the castle area of Budapest. The history is fascinating on it’s own. The church and the area had been sacked by the Turks. It was built in 1255 and it the 1500’s when Buda was captured by the Turks it was turned into a mosque and when Hungary regained control in the 1600’s it was again a Catholic church.
On the 3rd day on this Cruise you will visit Melk Abby and it’s incredible Austrian history. It one of the most ornate churches we have visited on this trip and although beautiful is almost too ornate. The history of it’s Austrian heritage and influence of the Hapsburg Dynasty is apparent as you tour the area. We saw the library the only real part of the Abby that looks historic from the inside. The rest of the tour is basically through a museum. The museum itself is interesting but very different in style and almost too modern. Perhaps it appeals to others but I did not find it very appealing.
On our fourth and final day we cruised into Passau it’s a beautiful and very picturesque town on the confluence of Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers. We walked through the narrow streets in the town. We decided to use our time here to hike the trail up to Veste Oberhaus and experience some living history with the 800 year old fortress. It’s one of Europe’s largest preserved Castle complex. The hike itself is not for the faint of heart but what a great view as you make your way up to the Castle.
This wonderful cruise with Avalon takes you through some of Europe’s most picturesque regions and is a true delight. The Danube is a piece of beauty that should not be missed. I would love to help you discover Europe on this wonderful cruise. Please contact me with any questions or to schedule your own journey into river cruising. If you happened to have scheduled a trip and are looking for things to do each of my links take you to the destination and towards items that await you. Each time you use it to book your excursion I receive credit and it helps to pay for my blogging. So please book away.
Remember travel is the only thing that truly makes you richer.
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