Get Away With Fran

September 14, 2009

Boston to Budapest for a river cruise

Filed under: Cruise,International — admin @ 3:27 am

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Greetings from Budapest and the pretty new river ship Viking Legend. I am here embarking on a cruise up the Danube that will visit places like Vienna and Bratislava and the historic German city of Passau.

I arrived here yesterday, flying via Frankfurt on Lufthansa. And whether it is a sign of increasing age and need for comfort, or a moment of weakness, or the fact I am on planes a lot, but when I arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport and was faced with the prospect of sitting in the last seat on the plane – the row near the bathrooms where the seat doesn’t go back all the way – I promptly plopped down my credit card and paid a few hundred bucks for an upgrade (after first begging for one for free, of course). I am happy to report Business Class was WONDERFUL. And I actually slept for a few hours in the bed-like seat on the six-hour overnight flight, in addition to watching movies including the very funny “The Hangover.”

Of course now, having spent the dough, I will try the rest of my trip to restrict myself from trinket purchases. We’ll see how that goes. But as a one-time thing it was worth the splurge – I flew the quick 1 ½ hour flight from Frankfurt to Budapest in coach.

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Budapest was wonderfully sunny yesterday. I am on this trip alone, but was quickly adopted by a group of friendly Midwesterners, also ship passengers, and the seven of us headed out on a little walk, crossing the Danube on the historic Szechenyi bridge, near where are boat is docked literally in the city. In crossing the bridge we traveled from the newer Pest to the older Buda part of town, for views of the Royal Palace, Parliament (below) and more.

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Hungary was of course part of the Communist Soviet Union, and only became a free nation in 1989, and a lot of change has happened since that time – our boat is docked right near a sparkling InterContinental Hotel, a Sofitel and a Marriott, with Gucci and other fancy shops a short walk away (darn, and I am self-banned from using my credit cards).

Stand by for more reports on my exploration, exercise of willpower and the new ship.

1 Comment »

  1. We were on the Swiss Emerald in August from Prague (on to Regensberg) to Budapest. LOVED IT! We enjoyed each and every stop. The organ concert in Passau was a real hit. With over 16,000 pipes, it nearly rearranged our innards. The opera house and Dohani Synagogue in Budapest were highlights. Enjoy! We sat in the “back of the bus” on that long flight to Europe. Not much fun.

    Comment by Judy Sherman — September 14, 2009 @ 4:45 am

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