Viking

Despite the fact that someone in my coaching community believed I was going on a cruise to see Vikings, I actually took a Viking river cruise on the Danube from Nurenberg to Budapest, with stops in Germany and Austria at Regensberg, Passau, Klems, and Vienna. We had never taken a river cruise, thought we should try one, and were inundated by Viking since they sponsored Downton Abbey which we watched weekly. Viking knows what they’re doing. We took the largest stateroom, …



Hungary

  The Hungarians (I’m half Hungarian, as i was mentioning while sailing past Bratislava last night, a phrase I just love) have dirge-like national anthem, asking God to provide relief to people suffering from chronic defeats. They have won no great wars and have lost most battles. The statue of a king who won a great battle neglects to mention that he gave it all back when he quickly lost the next one. The national sport is water polo. These …


Vienna (Again)

Vienna has about 300 churches, and like Germany, the residents are subject to a tax to support the church under certain conditions. I think it’s one percent of income. If you don’t pay the tax in Austria, you cannot get married by a priest or have one serve at your funeral. I imagine at a certain point there may be quite a few back taxes paid. Vienna is a wonderful, cosmopolitan city of over a million, with gorgeous old structures …



Bavaria

We’ve been cruising and wandering through Bavaria, and Bavaria is to Germany what Texas is to the U.S. Ask a local where they’re from and it’s Bavaria, not Germany. They conveniently ignore some federal laws here (there are 16 German states in the Republic) and proudly so. They live for beer. They look down on the Austrians just up the river. Everything seems to be made with pork or veal, or is a pretzel, and most food comes with sauerkraut. …




Embarked at Nuremberg

We’re on the Viking Atla, which will depart Nuremberg tomorrow. Our suite is at the aft of the boat, with a wrap-around balcony, living room, heated bathroom floor and every convenience. We’ll be on board for seven nights, ending in Budapest (I’m half-Hungarian). This is a relief from our one night at the Meridien Hotel in Nuremberg, the sole good feature of which is that it’s adjacent to the Old Town, and we could walk everywhere. They employ only one …