I am back home from cruising the Danube. Very much enjoyed the four countries we visited.
Before beginning the cruise in Budapest a fellow passenger, that I had met at the airport, and I dined the first night at my favourite restaurant in Gresham Palace across the river from the Chain Bridge. It was sour cherry soup and weiner schnitzel and so delicious!
The day we embarked on the Tranquility, we drove out into the Hungarian countryside to a farm that had a display of horseback riding. Very impressive. We were given a great lunch there complete with wine and music.
Before we left Hungary for Serbia we visited Pecs – close to the Mecsek mountains and the border with Croatia. Serbia was lovely and I was impressed with Belgrade. We were taken to see a very old Russian Orthodox church as well as a farm where they make honey. We managed to find time for a wine sampling too.
Northern Bulgaria was great and I so enjoyed our day trip to Varna on the Black Sea. The beach was filled with people sunning under their yellow umbrellas. Lunch that day on a replica pirate sailing ship complete with cannons.
Then to Bucharest which was very impressive: beautiful buildings and many parks. I visited the Parliament Building said to be the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. I kept visualizing dances being held in those huge rooms with exquisite, large marble columns.
We were also taken on a drive north to Romania and Sinaia, a mountain town named after Sinaia Monastery, around which it was built, and Bran Castle with its many imposing towers and turrets, rooms and narrow passages. It was easy to see why Bram Stocker adopted it for the home of his legendary Count Dracula, Had a tasty lunch there too. Luckily no sign of the count.
All in all, it was worth cruising east. The scenery approaching the Iron Gates between Serbia and Romania changed dramatically as we sailed through the four beautiful gorges with high cliffs covered in greenery to the two massive dams and locks. The crew served lunch on the deck that day so we didn’t miss anything! Sonia