TRAVEL THERE: VIKING’S DANUBE WALTZ – WHAT A TRIP!
As I sit in my office on an October Saturday afternoon in Heath TX, listening to the fountain that dances in my pond and writing a post you will read in December, I have nothing but kudos for my April cruise on Viking Cruise Lines. My travel agent, Sandra Rubio at CTC set up everything perfectly for us and Viking Cruise Lines is amazing – simply amazing!
What I Liked Best
- Wonderful new friends! Deb & Mike Radcliffe and Gwenne & John Penkert were the best cruise buddies you can imagine – and they live in Oregon, which gives me an excuse to return to one of my favorite places.
- The inadequately named “Silver Collection,” a part of the Imperial Apartment Museum in the Hofburg in Vienna. Decorative Arts overload! I will never forget it.
- Pretty much everything I ate and drank on the Viking Tor, but especially the bottomless wine glass at dinner.
- Budapest – yep, the whole thing. Can’t wait to go back someday. And Rick Steve’s is right about the Baths.
- Lunch in Cesky Krumlov
- A sunny afternoon stroll in Passau
What I Liked Least
The non-stop Lufthansa flight from DFW to Frankfurt. Worst flight EVER!!
- Not having more time in Budapest.
- Bratislava, Slovakia – didn’t feel good, didn’t get the shore excursion I wanted, the guide was iffy. Other than that it was a great stop (tee hee.)
- Being in Vienna in the rain on a Monday, which is when the Lipizzaners don’t perform and some of the museums are closed. Loved Vienna, but after three visits there, I have yet to see the Lippizzaners and I could have done without the rain.
- Anything to do with Empress Elizabeth, otherwise known as Sissie.
- The guide in Passau.
On Our Way Home
Viking got us home as smoothly as they did everything else. While we were at breakfast, our bags were whisked away. We boarded a bus and after a pleasant drive were at the Munich airport.
While not awful enough to include in my “least liked” list, German airports didn’t rate very highly with me. They get high marks for cleanliness, but they were confusing. We roamed in befuddled circles in Frankfurt and repeated the exercise in Munich.
Security was on high alert, because we got there just as some international dignitaries were strutting through the airport. I think there had been some sort conference, but the airport was full of people who looked as if they were used to getting preferential treatment and security was tight.
Thankfully, the Delta flight to Chicago was much more pleasant than the Lufthansa non-stop torture chamber. However, because customs dumped us outside the secured area, we had to go back through the TSA screening and that was a nightmare. They were so backed-up, we had pity on some people who were about to miss their flight and gave them our spot. What else were we going to do with our time? Go shopping?
Finally, Dallas! As much as I love traveling, I do love getting home. As if to welcome us home, a full moon hung low in the sky over our pond. It was the first trip I’d returned from without having my beloved Shih Tzu, Precious, to greet me. I miss that white ball of fur.
I’ll give you one more look at our overview video and then I hope you’ll come back next week to see what else I’ve been up to.