April 27th to May 8th 2009
Visiting Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna, Durnstein, Linz and Salzburg (Austria), Passau and Regensburg (Germany) and Prague (Czech Republic).
Monday 27th April
We flew to Budapest in Hungary and after a simple Goulash lunch we had a short tour around Budapest with a visit to the Citadella before we boarded the MS Johann Strauss and settled into our cabins. in the evening we sailed through the city at night to reposition nearer the city centre.
Monday 27th April
Tuesday 28th April
Our main tour of Budapest started on the Pest side of the River Danube with a drive down the famous Andrassy Street past the Opera House to Hero's Square. After a short walk around the Square we crossed the river to the Buda side to visit the Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion. Returning to Pest we enjoyed a recital by Agnes Kovecs at the Budapest Danube Palace which included pieces by Liszt and Chopin.
Wednesday 29th April
This morning we arrived in Vienna, Austria. A tour of Vienna by coach ended at the Belvedere Palace.
The afternoon excursion was to the Schonbrunn Palace.
In the evening I enjoyed a visit to the Wiener Staatsopera to see Manon.
Thursday 30th April
Friday 1st May
The morning started with a visit to the Palais Pallavicini for a recital by the Kudlak Quartet, members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. After we walked around the area viewing the Hofburg palace and the Mozarthaus (Figaro House).
In the afternoon I met up with Martin and Elke who I met in Alaska last year.
Saturday 2nd May
During the night we sailed further north to the Wachau Valley (Austria) where we visited the riverside town of Durnstein and Weissenkirchen for a wine tasting. After lunch we moved on to Melk Abbey.
Sunday 3rd May
We arrived in Linz (Austria) and took a two hour coach trip to Salzburg. After a tour of the town we enjoyed a recital by the Luzleskovitz Ensemble.
Monday 4th May
After an overnight sail we arrived in Passau (Germany). Our walk around the town this morning ended with an organ recital in St Stephan's Cathedral, home of one of the largest organs in the world with 17,974 pipes and 233 stops.
Tuesday 5th May
To-day we reached the end of our cruise on MV Johann Strauss in Regensburg (Germany). Regensburg is
one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany.
Wednesday 6th May
A fairly long drive this morning brought us to Prague (Czech Republic) for a two night stay. In the afternoon we visited Bertramka Palace before attending an evening performance of the Magic Flute in the Opera House.
Thursday 7th May
A visit this morning was made to Prague's Castle including St Vitus's Cathedral. In the afternoon we made walking tour of the old town.
Friday 8th May
This morning saw us leaving Prague for our flight back to the UK.