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Danube, Uniworld, Aug 6 to 17


daisymae

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Just returned from Uniworld's Bucharest to Budapest cruise on River Countess.

 

Trip was wonderful. Uniworld did a top shelf job. River levels were low early, lots of rain and river is now high, especially Budapest to Iron Gates section. Believe that Vienna to Budapest is quite high now.

 

Romania was a bit disappointing, 1st day trip to Bran (Dracula's castle) and monastery at Sinia (named for Mt Sinai) not too exciting, but Transylvania countryside is beautiful. Bucharest is OK, worth seeing 1 day. Black Sea resort of Constanta is interesting, Roman ruins a good visit.

 

Bulgaria was the highlight of the trip. Day trip to Veliko Turnovo and Arbanassi was exceptional! Long bus ride both ways, worth every minute. Walled city, castle just like in fairy tales with drawbridge and fantastic vistas.

 

Cruise through Iron Gates is not to be missed. We were lucky with good weather, stunning views, interesting locks (2).

 

Belgrade is a much more modern city, lots of evidence of NATO bombing in 1999, contrast of old and new is dramatic. Legacy of Milosovic troubling.

 

Tour of Mohacs was great, organ concert just unbelievable, Hungarian horse ranch visit very fun and well done.

 

Budapest is my favorite city. Beautiful architecture, outstanding views from Fisherman's Bastion and the castle, wonderful walking across the bridges and along the riverfront. Vaci Uttica (touristy but fun street with many, many shops and sights) and Central Market are not to be missed. We went to fine arts museum (Flemish masters, Spanish exhibit of DeGoya and El Greco works) and Opera House. Hero's Square is the most beautiful and impressive group of statues and tributes I've ever seen. Food was wonderful

 

Kudos to Uniworld for an outstanding visit. Really enjoyed the ship, crew, and especially the well organized tours. Only downside was too much bus travel from river to sites (Transylvania, Bulgaria) but, that is what it takes to see the sites one wants to see.

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