We departed Vienna late in the day and cruised all night and much of the next day until we arrived in Budapest. That is an interesting place. The Danube runs between the ancient cities of Buda (the high mountainous side) and pest (on the low plain). The communist era influences were striking. Much of the art and monuments were hold-overs from that time. They are doing there best to bring their economies up to speed. The will soon join the European Union and begin using the Euro, but not yet. Here are a few pictures from Budapest.
As we returned from our half-day tour of Budapest, Dr. K starting looking pretty ill. We had to bolt from the tour bus straight to our cabin. Next thing I know, she is retching her guts out. It turned out that she had picked up a stomach flu from another passenger or a crew member. The illness only lasted a day to a day and a half. She was back on her feet before we got to Bratislava, our next stop. Unfortunately, the illness started working its way through our group.
Bratislava has a lot in common with Budapest. They are both former communist areas and both are trying to get closer to the west and are having a hard time. Bratislava does have a nice center city. There are still a few building that are in need of renovation, but that served to show us how far they have come. I believe there is even a European Poker Tour event scheduled for Bratislava very soon. Here are a few pics from Bratislava.
The last stop on the river was Melk, Austria. Melk is a small town with a huge monastery as you can see here:
It was gorgeous. I'll let more pictures do the talking:
These are Turks (invaders) that are depicted in their punishment of holding up the ceiling
Moses with horns (anyone know why he has horns?)
By the way, these low-light, high magnification picture are brought to you my my new 400 mm lens with Vibration Reduction. It made many of these pictures possible. It gave me about 3 to 4 extra stops, so it absolutely rocks.
Our last stop on the trip involved a 2 hour bus ride to Saltsburg (Saltzburg), Austria. We took a short tour and were left on our own for a couple hours to tour. Dr. K and I got some lunch at an ourdoor restaurant and then wondered around. I, of course, took a few more pictures.
They like that Mozart guy.
Tomorrow, the last night and the trip home. It's a dozy.