I’m still locked in mortal combat with the current book, so I’m offering another classic travel blog: a riverboat cruise on the Danube. Rivers were the interstates of the past, and so much of European civilization developed along the waterways. How better to explore than in a boat holding maybe 150 friendly, intelligent passengers and serving lots of really good food?
Like a plot element, the idea of a riverboat cruise simmered in my lizard brain for years, and in 2006, I thought it was time to do a cruise in Southern France. Except that all the French cruises were booked for the time slot we had, and we ended up cruising the Douro River in Northern Portugal. It was great.
This year, I decided it was time to book that French cruise. Urp. Once again, Southern France along the Rhone was sold out. Which is how we ended up cruising the Danube. Again, it was great—the Mayhem Consultant and I are easily amused, and any interesting new place will be fun. (Update 2023: we’d booked a French riverboat cruise for autumn 2022, but for a variety of reasons we cancelled it. I think I’m doomed never to travel the French rivers!)
Our Danube cruise started with a three day pre-cruise extension in Prague, which isn’t on the Danube, but really, how could we go to Eastern Europe and not see Prague? The city has been an intellectual and creative center for centuries, and under the blighting hand of five decades of Soviet rule, it was spared rapacious developers tearing down beautiful old buildings.