• upcoming trips

    None scheduled at the moment
  • Theatre and Concerts

    May20 My dear friend, Barbara, invited me to a play reading at the Roundabout Theatre Company. The play is by Greg Pierce and is entitled: The Decoys. the storyline has, as a base, the tale of the two escapees from a high-security prison some years ago. They engineered their exit with the help of electric tools supplied to them by a prison guard who was also the girl friend of one. I seem to remember that one died, somehow, shortly after the escape and the other recaptured. I do remember that the girl friend was arrested and charged. However,the main theme of the play seems to be the conflicted emotions of father and son. I found the reading, interupted by scene settings by the Director, somewhat rambling and difficult to follow. My short-term memory failed to reinforce my imagination.
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 56 other followers

  • Follow Thompson's Travels on WordPress.com
  • Advertisements

Gliding along the Danube on the “River Aria” – part 1 – Budapest

Lucy, our very pleasant, and always reliable car-hire lady, hefted our baggage and took us smoothly to JFK where we boarded a KLM flight to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam–an airport much beloved by Ethel in the past because it has a casino in which to while away any stop-over time travelers may have. From there, we took another KLM plane to Budapest where we were met by Grand Circle people who took charge of our luggage; gathered fellow passengers, and put us aboard a private bus to be transported to the Danube where the “River Aria” was temporarily docked.

From Budapest we cruised for ten days up the Danube visiting Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Austria and Krems. We disembarked at Linz to board a bus to taking us to Prague via Cesky Krumlov, Czeck Republic. Enlarge the pictures to full screen for great detail.

The “River Aria” our full service floating hotel for ten days with — complimentary wine served with every meal!   When we arrived in our cabin, we were greeted by our baggage and, because of our previous trips’ record, the Captain’s greetings, a bottle of wine, a bowl of fresh fruit, a packet of chocolates and  fresh flowers! Most welcoming!

The view from the cabin window constantly reflected the changing shoreline as we sailed along . . .

 

The steward had lowered our bunk beds and placed a chocolate and the next day’s activities notice on them while we were at dinner . . . .

by coincidence, Christine’s nephew, Joey, was studying in Budapest at the time we passed through and Christine arranged to have him meet us aboard, on the day of our arrival, to have dinner with us while the boat shifted its moorings to the City dock, a little way downstream. It was a most joyful reunion all round! Here is a picture of the two of them enjoying the dinner conversation:

Joey and Christine

You may remember the tragic incident involving a cruise ship and a pleasure boat earlier this year? It happened under the bridge, near which, we now docked. As a result, the authorities banned the nighttime sightseeing which used to be part of every tour. However, we were able to see the lights of Budapest because the transfer from the loading dock took place in the late evening after dinner. Here are a few of the spectacular nighttime views of the city:

. . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Mihai, Program Director of the ‘red’ group, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the, often turbulent, history and politics of the whole region covered by our tour and he enthralled us all with his detailed explanations of the buildings and places we visited. Here he is with one of his flock:

Cristine and Mihai ready for the discovery walk . . .

Hungary, like its neighboring states is a land of towering steeples clawing their way to the skies; abbeys and castles perched on inaccessible hills (all, as yet, unhindered by modern skyscrapers); and many of the churches, like the one Christine is guarding below, have roofs decorated with geometric patterns and the insides are a riot of gilded artifacts! It also has countless commemorative statues from King Wenceslas to Kafka:

. . . . .

. . .

. . . .

. . . .

Parliament Building

detail . . .

looking down the Danube  . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

The “River Aria” left Budapest on a somber note–a few yards up the dock form the boat, was a very touching memorial to the Jews who were rounded up and shot by local communists when the  advancing Soviet troops took over the region–the victims, of all ages, were lined up at the edge of the dock and shot so that their bodies fell into the Danube! Here are two picture of the memorial: A line of shoes cast in bronze and fixed to the spot where they died.

Sad memory of the inhumanity of which Homo Sapiens is capable . . .

 

. . .?

 

The Captain casting off . . .

boat’s bell . . .

To be continued — On towards the next Capital City,

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful photos. Lovely night pictures. Great blog. Nereida

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.