River Cruise

Pat and Forrest took a River Cruise excursion with Avalon Waterways. This included Prague, Czech Republic, a boat trip on the Mainz Canal to the Danube River to Budapest, Hungary, and an excursion outside Budapest with the family of a good friend to his hometown. There were a number of stops and excursions during the Danube cruise, including such places as Vienna, Austria, where we attended a chamber music concert in the hall owned by the Strauss family who wrote and performed their famous waltzes.

Day 1: Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic
Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires and pinnacles highlighting its skyline. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring.
Lodging for our 3 days in Prague: Hilton Hotel, Prague

Day 2: Prague
Prague is a 1,000-year-old city preserved in time. See its treasures such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, once the envy of Europe; Hradcany Castle Grounds, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles Bridge.
Dinner: Delightful Czech restaurant, DVir, 44 Na Porici Street, Prague

Day 3: Prague
A free day for you to explore the city at your own pace. We took a tour to Terezin (which we knew as Terenstadt, the infamous concentration camp of WWII). This was a very moving experience.

Day 4: Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation).
After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, board your cruise vessel and meet your crew for a welcome reception.
Lodging and Meals: Avalon Waterways Vessel "Tranquility" for the rest of the river cruise.

Day 5: Nuremberg
Much of Nuremberg was restored to its pre-WWII style. Marvel at its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses. Nuremberg’s traditions include Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working.

Day 6: Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights included on your tour are the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers.

Day 7: Passau–Linz, Austria
Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses the world’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube.

Day 8: Melk–Vienna
Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening, arrive in Vienna, known as the “City of Music,” which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. We attended a chamber music concert.

Day 9: Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s capital has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your city tour. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café.

Day 10: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, spanning the banks of the Danube, is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The hilltop castle complex, including Matthias Church, is among the many sights you will see. Shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain, and paprika.

Day 11: Budapest, Hungary
We traveled to the countryside to Fadd, the birthplace of our good friend Laszlo, with his sister Julianna. Joined one of Laszlo's daughters whom we had not seen for 30 years and enjoyed an authentic Hungarian lunch at a countryside restaurant. Emotionally, this was the highlight of the trip; one reason we selected the cruise which ended in Budapest. He arranged this day, far exceeding our expectations.
Map

These pictures take us through the first 3 days spent in Prague.
(If you follow any of the underlined links, please return to this page using your Back button.)
Astro Clock Astro Clock
Medieval Astronomical Clock in Prague,one of their famous attractions Once each hour, figures move out of the windows above the clock
Hradcany Castle Hradcany Guards
Hradcany Castle is the largest castle in Europe. Guards change once each hour.
Charles Bridge Center Charles Bridge & Castle Charles Bridge Entrance
Center of the Charles Bridge Charles Bridge & Hradcany Castle Entrance to the Charles Bridge
We toured Terezin. Terezin is an 18th century town named after the Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa. It is best remembered in this country as the infamous Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt.

The slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" was used in many concentration camps including Auschwitz and Dachau. It is an infamous symbol of Nazi propoganda.

Theresienstadt was the centerpiece of a Nazi propaganda campaign which brought in Red Cross representatives in an attempt to convince the world that Jews were treated humanely. The campaign was so successful that the Nazis made a film of the experience.

World War II made a lasting impression on both of us since we lived through it as children. although spared the horrific aspects of the war, we remember the shock of learning about atrocities such as concentration camps and this trip was a very emotional one for us.
Arbeit Macht Frei
Terezin Cemetery Terezin Crematorium Terezin Fortress
Cemetery Crematorium Fortress
Theresienstadt Terezin Street Terezin Film
Propaganda Film A Terezin Street Scene from modern Theresienstadt film
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