We were not going to travel this spring! we had taken a driving adventure this winter and drove 9,000 miles and decided to stay home. But our friends were doing another Tauck river cruise and at the last minute one couple was unable to go due to illness and we decided, with twenty four hours notice to take their place. I couldn't believe the travel agent was able to get everything booked and ready to go in that short of time, much less that we managed to pull it together on our end! The joy of being retired.
When we arrived at the airport the ticket agent said the Brussels baggage handlers were on strike so we best not try to check any luggage. I ran to the gift shop and bought a small bag and we threw open our suitcase and took the bare necessities only. We called our daughter to come pick up our bag and flew off to Chicago and on to Brussels. we arrived in Prague late the next night.
We joined our group one day late at the Marriott in Prague. right from the start the trip was just as wonderful as our previous Tauck river cruise through Belgium and Holland. The accommodations on the boat were fabulous, thanks to the fact that our friends who couldn't go had booked a suite! The food was very good and even excellent at times. But most of all, we so appreciated the knowledgeable Tauck guides who informed us of the history of everything before we even saw it. now you must understand, we didn't even know where we were going! We knew we were flying into to Prague and out of Budapest but that was it! we trusted our friends and mostly we trusted Tauck!
We had learned the basic history of the Danube countries in school but we really knew so little! it was almost embarrassing to be so naive on the Hapsburg Empire and the rich and deep history of the Jewish people in Europe. The entire trip was beautiful and educational. There wasn't a day that seemed repetitive or boring in any way! the local guides that were hired to give us walking tours of each town were also excellent and very knowledgeable. The only problem we had with any guides was an occasional issue with understanding their English.
Vienna was probably my favorite city, mostly because of the fabulous music we were treated to. Prague and Budapest were both wonderful surprises as we had such little expectations. But we really loved sailing on the Danube and stopping at small towns along the way. it was a beautiful and memorable trip that I am very glad we were able to do!
Tauck took very good care of us the whole way and made the trip seem easy. The hotels they put us in we're top notch and every detail was taken care of. the old adage, "You get what you pay for," was really true. We only hope we are able to do many trips with Tauck!