Writing the post about the river cruise on the Danube it made me feel like of relax, peace, calm navigation, so…Do you imagine, yet, don’t you?
Some websites checked in a flash, a super last minute fortune cabin found, two messages on Whatsapp to Valeria and Roberto, two clicks and a new cruise from Passau as far as Budapest, through Wien, is ours! We leave tonight, tomorrow we go on board!
Follow us during this new #lillyontheroad through four starts: Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Hungary.
River Cruise on the Danube Useful tips
First of all a few useful suggestions for the purchase at giveaway prices. Are you searching for a cruise in Germany? Use the translator if you don’t know German, like me, and search on google.de the German word for “river cruise”.
How to buy a river cruise on the Danube
You’ll find out there are lots of companies. So, there’s nothing to do but arm yourselves with patience, a practical plug-in for the translations on your browser and search what answers your purpose depending on the days, on the people, on the route and on your needs.
The website I advised you in the previous post about the river cruises, offers a complete view of almost all the available river cruises. Useful tips for a river cruise on the Danube? Do always a complete tour on the direct website of the company and don’t forget that sometimes you can find the fortune cabin also at 1 Euro!
This time we chose a cruise of Phoenix Cruise offering the best price for the triple cabin. On their website, entering the fluss section (river cruises) you will find all their offers and destinations.
The best of these published prices is that they are really done. All-inclusive, full board (and what a full board!), without hidden enrol or management amounts and iniquitous taxes. The tips, too, are appreciated but they aren’t compulsory.
Parking during the river cruise on the Danube Useful tips
The town of Passau is well organized as regards long-terms parking, since it is the starting point of many cruises. During the booking you can buy the parking and the transfer at the same time of the cruise. Or you can have a tour on the website of the town’s car parks (always in German) and you’ll find several ones at cheaper prices.
Useful tip for the open car park in situ
If your cruise leave from Passau-Lindau (about two kilometres after Passau), it exists a way to park free. Near the Obi (the supermarket) there’s a big open and unattended car park used both by people who go to the supermarket (pay attention: it’s not the Obi’s car park) and by the near factories’ workers during all over the day. So you can park there without any problem and any cost. Don’t leave anything to be in sight, of course, but we are in Germany so we quite cannot worry.
2nd April 2015
It’s 0.30 am. We leave from Alessandria towards Passau. We arrive in the morning. A tour in the village, breakfast, two photos and at noon we are ready at the boarding.
The day ahead of us isn’t one of the best but it will be better in the next days.
Finally on board. This is the view from our cabin with double porthole.
We start exploring the boat. The swimming pool, warmed of course, looks very good.
The cocktail with the Captain waits for us and the dinner is very good.
It’s beautiful to look at the banks of the Danube run from the window next to our table while we’re eating and chatting calmly. Outside it’s getting dark.
3rd April 2015
The navigation on the Danube is calm and relaxing.
Today it’s sunny and the sun will be with us all over the cruise.
The banks run slow and the landscapes change non-stop.
It seems impossible to think that the most part of the navigation, in this part of Austria, goes through so deserted areas that aren’t even covered by the mobile signal.
Here we are in Wien.
We disembark. The underground is really near and the little machine allows to do the ticket valid for all runs, on all lines, at only 6.10 Euros.
In a sec we are in the town centre.
The cathedral is stately.
Wien is an elegant and lively town.
Very beautiful and stately monuments, efficient services and transports, elegant shops, free Wi-Fi and really lots of pedestrian areas.
It’s wonderful walking in the centre!
You think the mobile app at the end of the day will say we did on foot even 17.6 km…we very nearly could save also the tube ticket!
But I assure you we didn’t realize to have walked so much.
Ehm…Vale…what are you doing on the elephant? Do you miss Sri Lanka?
How is it possible you are always bewitched by everything similar to Minecraft?
Walking…a photo here…
…and another one there…ehm…even more than one!
…we arrive as far as the Town Hall.
Here it is, huge and stately in its elegance.
But what do you think if we get the tube now?
Few stops and here we are in Schonbrunn, the famous Sissi’s castle.
Even the underground station reminds the castle’s architecture. How amazing!
The castle is really stately, regal, with all its legends keeping jealously, its ladies’ stories, soldiers, politics and dynasties’ weavings.
A stage not to be missed in Wien!
Then if it’s Easter time, there are the fabulous little markets just in the courtyards in front.
For people who don’t know, yet, in Germany and Austria, the Christmas little markets are very famous but the same are for the Easter ones.
Maybe more beautiful just because they are less crowded by tourists.
The only possible recommendation is to enter without money!
Here among these stalls it will go disastrously! Also the more unthinkable items make you feel like being purchased.
The most fanciful and very perfumed decorations…
…and playground for the little ones while adults go shopping.
After have walked so much it’s time to stop at one of the many typical pastry shops in the town centre.
Because Wien is also very good food, sweet and savoury. The cuisine ranges over and has Italian, German and Bulgarian influences.
Maybe the best thing…is to get one of everything. What do you think?
Of course, at least strudel and Sacher torte cannot miss!
One better than the other one.
Enough! We stopped too much and time quickens.
We leave again towards Prater.
Its very famous Ferris Wheel, symbol of Wien.
Walking here inside literally catapult you to another universe.
Children will be thrilled and adults…too!
Did you know that also here there’s Madame Tussot with its waxes?
The Prater is a place which can bewitch.
Maybe it has nothing so special or different but it bewitches you: even if time slips by inexorably, you always find the way to have another walk and a little allay still to discover.
We go back by boat in the evening and the spectacle of the Bulgarian wedding is ahead of us.
4th April 2015
This morning we sail the Danube among castles, prisons, little houses, boats and kayaks (they are really many) to reach Budapest.
What’s the better location to stop than this one, in the sun, on the edge of the swimming pool (warmed)?
There’s even the time for a chess game.
But the most interesting thing is always to admire the calm banks running.
So different monuments and churches little by little changing country.
Many other boats and many other cruises.
The little houses on the banks of the Danube deals with nations, history, people…
Time slips by in a hurry, and also today it’s sunny.
Just the time to take some photos and we are in Budapest.
Here the boat has a tour that to define majestic is an understatement.
It goes straight past the berth, sailing along now a bank, now the other one.
Do you know Budapest is divided in two parts, don’t you? Buda and Pest.
This not mentioned extra tour allows to admire by day all the greatest monuments overlooking the Danube.
From the main deck we take a mass of pictures…it’s useless to say.
The river in the town is life.
It is full of all sorts of boats crossing it in all directions.
A nice and chaotic confusion making feel like getting off in a flash to leave exploring the town.
Meanwhile we read up the history of the main attractions to discover some interesting sights.
Did you know the parliament was built as a result of an announcement of competition?
An open competition to realize this work.
Already only this little piece of cruise it worth the journey.
Comfortable and quiet, in this tepid sun, we look thrilled at Budapest overlooking the Danube.
How many times we look at the pictures of whole this! Find it in front of us is so majestic!
Finally we disembark.
We are in front of the market.
It’s impossible not to enter.
An explosion of flavours, colours, typical products and items so strange to us. A stra-tourist reality in a lane and crowded exclusively by local housewives in the other one. A very beautiful place where to get lost and go shopping. A unique cacophony.
Budapest is history, recent history dealing with politics episodes that seem to belong to a remote past but which confirm only the human stupidity has no limits – as happens too often.
Today, we can only admire these beautiful monuments. Since we cannot learn from history.
There are many options to explore Budapest.
You can hire bicycles: if it weren’t for the climb to the castle we were so tempted.
Or the bus and you go up to the castle by the funicular at a ridiculous price.
Since we have a little time, we chose the sightseeing bus. It’s enough 13 Euros each to get on and off all over the day at every stops even more times.
There are many other formulas including night cruise and night tours.
It’s a handy and quick way to see a bit whole.
From the terrace opposite the parliament you have a unique view of the town.
The classic one, the picture everyone has seen at least once.
But maybe not everyone knows also here people can save.
Useful tip: the first terrace has a 3.50 Euros admittance fee. Almost everyone stops there. Go further still a bit…you’ll realize there are panoramic views at the terrace’s same high completely free.
Sincerely, this thing astonished us a bit: if you want to take photos of the Parliament from that terrace for a fee there’s a pendentive preventing a bit the photo, instead from the following terraces the sight is free.
In Budapest, too, there are the Easter markets.
The theme food one is devastating.
Everything is very good.
Anything you decide to taste you won’t be disappointed!
Then if you like the grappa, too…
…don’t you have to cox the boat tonight, do you?
The typical specialties mix with the foreign influences.
You can even find the smoked salmon at the moment.
Then all sorts of delicacies.
It’s impossible to describe all.
And above all it’s impossible to taste everything.
Reluctantly we need to choose.
Even if it’s impossible to decide.
Everything is rejoiced by typical local music of different groups disseminated here and there.
But the Easter markets are not only food, of course.
So, you can find typical jobs lost by now.
Heady scents and groups alternating with music and cabaret at high volume.
Music is a steady element in this day, on Easter Eve.
Now that we refreshed ourselves, we go to the Heroes square.
A square telling about history, politics, episodes that has decided time and life a little of everyone in Europe.
Today it’s a meeting place for the young people who maybe want to forget about whole this a bit and think to enjoy themselves.
We go inside the gardens behind and…
Do you know what is just here?
Exactly! The very famous spa of Budapest are just here.
I must admit that since it’s Easter Eve they are too crowded to our tastes.
So we go towards the castle.
Other little markets to explore.
Other wonderful architectures to admire.
Time is never enough but it’s getting late.
Buses gave up to travel.
The only way to go back to the town centre is the tube. I assure you the tube of Budapest is an experience. Take it if you are hereabouts!
The little markets light up and so the streets of the town centre.
One more beautiful than the other. Budapest at night is a town whole to live. Shops are opened until late even if it’s Easter Eve.
It’s a town of contrasts between modern and great big names on one side and taste retro venues on the other one, where beautiful girls try to get inside.
We are again at the berth areas.
The top in the evening is the Danube with its boats sailing up and down and its monuments wonderfully lighted that bewitch literally.
Whether you are keen on photography or not, the dark is the most charming moment.
Evening in Budapest is pure magic.
The boats are sailing the Danube non-stop.
Crowds of tourist keep spellbound in front of the lighted Parliament.
Thousands of photos aren’t enough to describe the history and the art overlooking this part of the river.
Our boat goes away.
Budapest is our terminal and we go back with only a certainty: next time we will go as far as the Black Sea.
5th April 2015 – Easter on river cruise on the Danube
Today our lunch is like that, among sun, nature, fauna, little villages of Slovakia and light’s reflections on the water.
This Spring gives us another sunny day and we keep admiring the banks.
Light’s reflections and our lunch on board, always near the window.
In a while we’ll berth in Bratislava to have a tour of the town.
The landscapes run and change quickly.
Sunrays with their reflections convey a unique atmosphere.
Lighters, meetings, churches…
Here we are in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.
We disembark for the tour of the town in this sunny Easter Sunday.
Its castle dominates from the top, its lively old centre and many little shops full of very beautiful ceramics, everything to bring home!
We go through Bratislava on foot.
The climb to the castle is de rigueur.
From here up you admire a view on the river and on the town.
Lots of tourist and a lot of local people walking.
We go down towards the town centre while the town starts to become lively.
In Bratislava there are still many monuments and statues dealing with communism.
Then there’s the ancient old town. Then the bridge and some modern skyscrapers.
Whole the town is linked by trams: some modern, other ones seem to go out from old film with the ticket collector wearing the uniform at the door.
The shops sell typical ceramics, one more beautiful then the other, and Easter markets.
It’s a shame that the prices in the most crowded areas are absolutely out of market and here the tourist is only a fowl to pluck in the most part.
Despite this, the town is lively and it’s nice walking in the town centre.
Time slips by and it’s time to go back by boat.
So we enjoy also this sunset on the Danube.
6th April 2015
This morning we disembark early in Wochau, which was declared Unesco property in 2000.
It’s wonderful walking among the streets still deserted while the first little shops start to open.
From the terrace the view on the Danube is unique.
Did you know along the Danube you can also find the lighthouses?
We discovered it like that, during calm navigation.
We leave again.
We enjoy our last sunset on the Danube.
This evening it’s a hard choice. Sauna or swimming pool before the dinner with the Captain?
7th April 2015
Today we disembark. Our cruise is over and our on the road keep going on with a certainty: we have to explore always on cruise also the Danube we miss, from Budapest as far as the Black Sea!
Who knows if we will be able to buy the fortune cabin at 1 Euro?