Sunday, July 10, 2016

End of Danube River Cruise - Budapest, Hungary

Leaving Bratislava we spent an afternoon cruising the scenic Danube Bend. The wooded hills, villages with magnificent church domes and peaceful farms dominate this part of northern Hungary.

During our journey on the Danube we passed through several locks.
This was taken from our ship's sun deck.

One of the villages along our route.

After another wonderful afternoon of breathtaking scenery and time to relax a bit from the sometimes strenuous sightseeing, night fell and we sailed into Budapest.

Sailing into Budapest at night is a truly spectacular experience.

The magnificent buildings and bridges appear to be covered in gold leaf.

The Chain Bridge between Buda and Pest
opened in 1849 following the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

Liberty Bridge
Built in 1896 for the Millennium World Exhibition

Inside the Matthias Church

Matthias Church
near the Fisherman's Bastion
Buda's Castle District

Originally built in the Romanesque style in 1015 with no remains.  The current building was built in the Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century. It underwent extensive restoration in the late 19th century.

Fisherman's Bastion  behind the statue St. Stephen 

Hungarian Parliament Building

We  visited a horse farm near Budapest.
At the Lazar Equestrian Park we sampled Hungarian fruit brandy and watched the skilled riders and horses perform.

A couple of parting shots from the ship.
Our cruise ended the next day.

I would definitely recommend a Viking River Cruise.
The accommodations were comfortable.
The food was very good.
The guides were top of the line.
The service was outstanding.

I hope you will join me for future adventures.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bratislava, Slovakia

The next port on our Danube cruise was the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.

Bratislava Castle dominates the view from most points of the city.

Man at Work statue.
All the tourists were taking photos with this hardworking statue.

One of the squares in Bratislava on the walking tour.
The Old Town Hall is seen above.

More narrow cobblestone streets in the Old Town.

I like the color combination in this photograph.
Also note another view of the building in the picture above.

The Parliament building sits across from the castle.

The castle has been rebuilt and burned several times in its 1,000+ year history.
Some of the best views of the city are from the castle grounds. 

Bratislava Castle

The view, from the castle doorway seen in the photo above, looking down over the city.

View of the Danube 

Novy Most Bridge
Yes, there is a restaurant in the UFO. 
No, we didn't have an opportunity to eat there.

Examples of housing from the Soviet Union times.
We were told the bright colors were added after Soviet occupation ended.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Vienna - Waltzing on the Danube

Vienna, Austria  - Cafes, Coffee, Cathedrals, Concerts, Palaces and Gardens.

Clock front

The back of a clock we saw on our walking tour.
Can you tell the time?

Here I am at
St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen's

Another view of St. Stephen's Cathedral with Jim.

Coffee in a Viennese cafe

Schoenbrunn Palace

We toured the Schoenbrunn Palace, home of the Hapsburg Dynasty.
The palace began in 1569 as a hunting lodge for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.
In 1775 Empress Maria Theresa added the neoclassical colonnade.

We enjoyed a guided tour of the palace.

Magnificent gardens surround the palace.
This is the rose arbor. 

One of the sweet roses in the rose garden.

Statues and fountains accented the formal gardens.

It is always nice to have another tourist offer to snap a photo.

Where new meets old.

Our time in Vienna ended with a Mozart and Strauss concert.