Flew BA from Heathrow and, as we were under the impression that only
a snack was to be served on the plane, we had a full breakfast at Heathrow.
Just as well, although there was a meal served it was Chicken Tikka
(well done again BRITISH Airways!). When there is no choice why don't
BA get it that not everybody likes spicy foods
Cruised on the VIKING PRIMADONNA.
Ports of call:
BUCHAREST (ROMANIA) :
After lunch the journey to the boat. Because of the drought suffered
in these parts the Danube was so low that we had to travel for 3 hours
to get to the new mooring place upstream. With the temperature in the
30s and my long legs on a cramped coach this I did not want!
VELIKO TARNOVO / ARBANASI (BULGARIA) :
At dinner a chocolate cake was brought
to our table as one of us had a birthday (alright, it was me!). After
dinner the only quiz of the cruise (entertainment was sadly lacking)
and we won!
Up early in the morning and took a few photos of the sun rising (the
third one is a single picture taken with a reflection on the balcony).
VIDIN / BELOGRADCHIK (BULGARIA) :
In the evening we had our winnings
from the previous night (a bottle of bubbly) and the staff did a bit
on Dracula (we are in his Country) but I didn't bother.
ORSOVA (ROMANIA) :
Then came one of the high spots
of the trip. We sailed through what is called the "Iron Gate".
Spectacular cliffs and great views every which way. Surely this is what
we cruise for?
The incredible rock carving of Decebalus,
last King of Dacia (modern Romania)
In the Iron Gate
night we went for a "quiet" drink in the bar. A large American
(of Irish descent) decided to join us and explained how they had saved
us in two World Wars (I said that I thought John Wayne had won the war!),
how George Washingon had won some battle for us and how American English
was the dominant language in the World! I told him that I thought "English"
was the relevant word. Luckily, I'm a tolerant person.
BELGRADE (SERBIA) :
In the evening we had a rather good
Serbian Folk Company to entertain us. Edna's into Eastern European Dance
so thoroughly enjoyed it (enough to buy a CD).
VUKOVAR / OSIJEK (CROATIA) :
Woken at 6.30am at the Hungarian border. The Customs insisted
on a face check with our passports. Excuse me Hungary, why do YOU have
to have a face check when we can travel from Bulgaria to Romania to
Serbia to Croatia without one? I wouldn't mind but we are in the European
Community and it wouldn't have been so bad if they'd done it for non-EC
passengers only. Left a bad impression. Anyway...
KALOSCA / PUSZTA (HUNGARY) :
We were entertained after dinner
by a Hungarian group, mainly operetta and very good.
Packed, the following morning paid our bill (eventually, after a pushy
American lady(?) had jumped in) , had breakfast and got the coach for
our guided tour of Budapest.
BUDAPEST (HUNGARY) :
Nothing much to report about the flight home except that BA decided
that a "sub" with chicken, stuffing and mayo was a suitable
Although there was open seating in the dining
room we "palled up" with some folks and spent a lot of time
with them. Sally from Florida (although a New England gal) and her daughter
Jerry (a Doctor in the US Navy) from Washington DC and Linda and Graham
from Royston in Herts. Nice people and we had many a laugh (not least
about the differences between Brits and Americans). A holiday plus.
Graham, Jerry (with baseball cap and
back to the camera), Sally and Linda