Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Cruises
Reload this Page > UNIWORLD River Boat Cruise on the Danube, Budapest to Prague

UNIWORLD River Boat Cruise on the Danube, Budapest to Prague

Reply

Sep 2nd, 2017, 01:35 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
UNIWORLD River Boat Cruise on the Danube, Budapest to Prague

This is the second version of my trip report. The other seems to have vanished except for a day when it popped back up unexpectedly. Luckily, I copied it at that time. I can't find it again so I'm just going to paste the original as another trip report and go from there!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE TRIP REPORT: Started around August 23, 2017

We are back from our Uniworld River Boat cruise on the Danube, sailing on the River Beatrice. We started in Budapest and ending in Prague (after a 3 hour bus ride). It was a great trip and wonderful not being nickeled and dimed to death. Everything was included in the price - food, open bar, tours, gratuities, transfers. It was nice not thinking about whether we wanted to spend money on something or not. This was our first river boat tour and we really enjoyed it, although by the end I have to say that I experienced information overload.

The cabins were small but very nice. Clean, comfy. We were in a Category 3 so were above the water level and had sliding glass doors which opened in front of a tiny table and chairs. Not a balcony, but nice to sit there. It was also wonderful to go up on deck to be able to see out both sides of the boat. There were canopies set up on deck so we could avoid the sun if we wanted to. The wheelhouse was up there as well so we saw quite a bit of the captain who was so friendly and always seen out and about the boat. He was happy to talk to everyone at any time. That was one big difference between ocean cruises and a river boat cruise - seeing the captain all over the boat and having conversations with him.

The trip included going through 25 locks. We got stuck in one for 2 hours so that was interesting, especially since it was a national holiday and the engineers had to be paged to help get us out. We just hoped that they hadn't been in the Biergartens! Some of the locks went up and some took us down depending on which side of the continental Divide we were on (marked by a huge concrete wall at that point).

The tours provided were interesting and varied. There was always a choice of 2 tours, some of which were limited in number, but we had no problem getting what we wanted. We took several city tours, a vineyard hike, another hike, a tour of the Melk Abbey, a Regensburg Jewish tour (which actually included the city tour so that was a good choice). There was an optional (as in extra price) concert in a monastery which we loved and definitely recommend, and an optional progressive dinner in various areas of the boat (which we did not do). The BMW factory tour which we had wanted to do was canceled. They had said it wouldn't operate on Sundays, but we were scheduled to be there on Monday so we don't know what happened. On board one day there was a strudel cooking demo in the Lounge. We also had one "day at sea" on the Danube-Main Canal. The tour time in Budapest on the first day was at 8:45. Unfortunately my alarm didn't go off, but I somehow woke up at 8:33. It was a whirlwind, but I made it to the last bus. Tour times the other days were more reasonable, usually at 10 or 1.

Meal seating was wherever you wanted to sit at each meal. Breakfasts and lunches were buffet and dinner was ordered off a menu. As with ocean cruises, you could order as much as you liked, but the portions were not too large. We were comfortably full by the end of dinner but not overly stuffed. I didn't realize this until closer to the end of the trip, but you could order from a menu at breakfast as well as the buffet. I ordered delicious eggs benedict a couple of times. If anyone is going on this trip, ask to see the breakfast menu if they don't offer it to you.

The Prague portion of the trip placed us in a wonderful hotel within walking distance of the old town and only included breakfast. Breakfast at the hotel though was copious and very good. We stayed an extra day after the official trip ended and were still able to use the included transfer back to the airport.

I know one person going on this cruise soon, so if there are questions, ask away! Definitely recommend this cruise line!

4 REPLIES | JUMP TO BOTTOM ADD A REPLY


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


jacketwatch on Aug 26, 17 at 11:28am
Good to hear all went well!

Thank you for the TR


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


thursdaysd on Aug 27, 17 at 9:48am
Thanks for the TR. What was the river end point?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


kwren on Aug 27, 17 at 11:28am
The last stop along the river - well, actually along the Danube-Main Canal - was Nuremburg. We had a city tour, some free time, then the bus to Prague.

The previous day, the day with no stops, the canopies on the top deck were laid down flat and we couldn't go up on deck for the second half of the day because the river was high and the bridges were low. Even the wheelhouse somehow can be lowered if necessary but I don't think they had to do that.

I have read that some cruises can't actually go the entire way due to the water level and sometimes bus the passengers to different points. I'm glad we could stay on the boat our entire time.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


travelchat on Aug 27, 17 at 12:18pm
Thanks for your Uniworld River recruise TR, fun to read. I took a Uniworld Bordeaux River cruise three years ago and it was terrific. As you point out this line, along with Tauck, is all inclusive. However, the price does reflect that. I find that with the various River cruise lines, I tend to choose itinerary as primary, then deal with paying any non included charges such as port, lounge and optional tour charges.


So far I've been on Tauck, Uniworld, Vantage and Avalon and enjoyed all. Currently I'm considering a ten day Avalon cruise from Lucerne to Amsterdam this Spring because it includes two land days to tour Lucerne, seven days cruising and two land days in Amsterdam. I'm totally hooked on River cruising as a senior solo lady and plan to go on at least one, if not more, each year for as long as I am able to travel.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 2nd, 2017, 04:38 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
Hi kwren,

I am so excited to be going on this cruise! Ours begins on 9/20. We will spend a week in London before visiting with our son and his family.

Did you find that the reception dinner and final dinner were very dressy? I have seen mixed answers on this...so it will be interesting to get your first hand view.

Was your hotel the Art Deco in Prague?
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 03:36 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
Hi wren! Glad you found this!

The first reception on the boat was pretty low key. My friend and I wore summer dresses and her husband wore a sport jacket. My husband came after us and didn't seem to get the memo. He had a casual short sleeve button down shirt on, but was not out of place at all.

I did get dressed up for the farewell cocktail party, and was told on the boat that that was to be the fanciest night. More people were dressed up that night than the first reception - I wore a black dress - and the captain looked pretty sharp in his white jacket as he greeted everyone coming into the lounge. There were some people in casual clothes though.

We did stay in the Art Deco, also called the Imperial, Hotel in Prague. Our room was a good size and very nice with a gorgeous marble bathroom. The rooms seemed to be different from each other.
Our friends stayed on the first floor and had a suite with a second toilet in a separate "closet", but the traffic noise was louderfor them. Breakfast was served in the adjoining Cafe Imperial and was excellent. The hotel had a bar on the first floor and was close to a little market area with booths selling potato chips on a stick, sausages, crafts. It was about 10 minutes walk to the old town and Charles Bridge. Good location. Watch out for trams when you are walking around. They can suddenly appear around a corner without much warning, as my friend found out. We pulled her back just in time.

I recommend the Cafe Imperial for dinner, but you need to make reservations! Good food but you can't beat the convenience when you are tired. We wanted to go our second night there after the city tour and the optional trip to Terezin concentration camp as it was a very long day (only breakfast is included once you get to Prague) but it was full. I finally managed to find a server at breakfast who squeezed us in last minute, but we had to eat late. I would make a reservation for the second night as soon as you arrive if you want to eat there and get your preferred time. (The scheduled time to return from Terezin was 7:00 and that's exactly when we returned.) I was told it's a popular place in Prague because they have a celebrity chef who has been on TV. Many from the group ate there and filled it up as well. I would stay away from the traditional beef with dumplings though, unless you like pieces of bread pressed together with no flavor. It was the second time someone in our little group had it and those dumplings are just tasteless. Watch the wait staff if you go. The first batch bring out the food and stand like statues with the food on a tray until the actual servers come over to take the plates and serve them. Could have been the wine and exhaustion, but we found it very funny.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 03:40 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
Forgot to add that I will try to write a bit about each day's tour as soon as I can.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 04:58 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
Thank you Kwren--I appreciate the time you have taken to write this! Since it is a little cooler toward the end of September, I think I will take dressy slacks and a couple of dressy tops. Trying not to get too obsessed with what I wear--which I tend to do at the last minute!!

Eager to read more--I know you have a lot going on. Hoping your husband's surgery goes well and his recovery is smooth and quick.
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 06:29 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
You will be just fine with those clothes, and most of the other times it's very casual.

Getting on board the boat is fun because often you have to walk across another river boat first. When we got on, there was no one directing us where to go on the top deck of our boat so if that happens to you, go down 2 levels and you will see a desk in a small lobby. You go over there to check in.

Doing laundry is free. All you do is ask for detergent at that same desk if you need to wash some clothes. They handed me my little pack of detergent on a silver tray lol.

If you are arriving the same day as the embarkation and using the transfers provided, you won't need to worry about this. We stayed in Budapest the night before and could see our river boat at its appointed dock from our hotel. Piece of cake right? We took a taxi over at embarkation time and the boat was nowhere to be found. Turns out it had moved to the other end of Budapest overnight. Between looking for it in the original spot, trying to figure out where it now was and driving a long time through traffic due to a festival, the taxi driver finally just turned off his meter. Don't make any assumptions! Double check the embarkation location before you leave your hotel!
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 10:02 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
That is good to know about the ship and its location! We are actually staying for 2 nights in Vienna prior to the cruise and taking a train to Budapest on the morning of the cruise. The four of us decided to have a driver pick us up at the station and take us to the ship. Maybe overkill--but we just think it will be easier than hailing a cab. I will be sure to have the ship's number ready to call to see exactly which dock it will be in. Thanks for that info!

We are also staying an extra night at the Art Deco Imperial and then moving out to an airport hotel for our final night since we have early flights. I just made a reservation at the hotel restaurant and took the 7:15 time slot--the 6:45 and 7 were already gone!

Assuming this is the dish you are referring to? "Braised beef with creamy sauce
dumplings, cranberries"

I feel like I am getting the inside scoop here!!!
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 11:05 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the airport because they had a free shuttle all day and all night.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 11:30 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
Didn't mean to push send so quickly.

We almost stayed at the Art Deco that last night but it was a good decision for us to stay close to the airport instead. If you are still looking for a hotel at the airport, the Holiday Inn Prague Airport was clean and comfortable like a typical Holiday Inn, had a decent restaurant for dinner on site and was basically on or just next to the airport property. Very convenient for us because we had a 6:00 a.m. flight. If you stay there, the organization for the shuttle was not great so be ready to load your luggage and quickly get a spot in the van. The last people to arrive in the lobby were the 1st to push their way onto the shuttle and my husband almost did not get a spot... and we were the first to arrive. We squeezed him in though. The hotel did tell us that even if you are going at 4:00 a.m, the shuttle is very busy because a lot of flights leave early so don't cut it too close. They run every 10 minutes or so and just keep driving back-and-forth from hotel to airport. This could maybe apply to most hotels in the area.

By the way, don't just assume you won't get the free Uniworld transfer to the airport. We did not sign up for it initially because we were staying extra time and figured it wouldn't apply, but it turned out we got the free transfers anyway. The Uniworld representative at the hotel was very nice to arrange the transfers for us despite not being in the list, and to have the driver take us directly to our hotel instead of dropping us at a terminal. I would recommend you ask about it before you even leave the States, but if that would not work then I would recommend asking the person organizing everything at the hotel. She was very nice. I think you are there one extra day but it would pay to check into it just in case. We tipped the driver for taking us to the hotel instead of the airport even though it was not out of the way, but he was really shocked to get that tip.

I will also mention that once we arrived in Prague there was a briefing for the entire group at the hotel. They gave information about some restaurants and things to do, info about the included tours and concentration camp timing and other helpful tips. They also gave the audio devices to be used the following day at that time.

You also receive audio devices in your cabin on the boat but you leave them in your cabin when you disembark at the end of the cruise. We forgot to take ours with us for the 1st tour of the cruise, the tour which left at 8:45 on the day that I woke up at 8:33. The guides always have a couple of extras with them so if you ever forget you do not need to panic. There was just about always someone who needed to use the extras and it was not always us! Lol
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2017, 01:28 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
We have the Holiday Inn Prague Airport already booked--I just booked it it last Friday when I realized how early we would have to get up to get to the airport! I guess it is the "Wren" in us that has us on the same wavelength!!!

The tour ends on the morning of the 29th--so we will stay that night and then go out to the HI. Our flight leaves at 8:15--we fly to Vienna and then to Miami. I will ask at the desk what time they think we should be down to fight our way on the shuttle.

I will see what I can find out about the transfer--that would be great!
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 4th, 2017, 12:40 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 612
Kwren, thank you for this report. We are looking at Prague for our 40th Anniversay Sept. 2nd and I did not even think of a River Cruise. This would be perfect! Also, I have been following this post and am truly sorry for the journey your daughter is involved in. My heart goes out to you and your DH.
Dyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 4th, 2017, 03:02 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
Hi Dyer--what a coincidence--we are going on this cruise to celebrate our 40th!!!
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2017, 09:51 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
First of all, thanks for the good thoughts dyer.

And congratulations to both of you, wren and dyer, on your 40th anniversaries!

We are at Hopkins doing all the pre-op things for DH today. Long process, but I'll try to get started on the itinerary while I am waiting for him to come back out. We'll see how that goes, but it will give me something else to think about.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2017, 06:37 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
BUDAPEST

We went to the Great Market Hall on our own before embarking and that was fun. Many souvenir stands, only matched by the number of stands selling various types of paprika - sweet, hot, smoky. You name it! Embroidered items, bunches of hot chili peppers, sausages galore, hand painted eggs, produce and meats, dolls, the usual tourist junk! The upstairs was our favorite section - the Hungarian foods looked amazing and some were very different!

Once we boarded our boat (and after not being able to find it for a while), there was a Hungarian band with folk dancers in the lounge. The violinist was great. We purchased the CD and have been enjoying the music back at home. First night on the boat was beautiful. We set sail during dinnertime at sunset. The river, buildings, bridges and monuments were really gorgeous, especially as it got darker and everything lit up. This night sail was to go from one dock to another in Budapest and we had a tour the next day to look forward to.

Budapest city tour - the tour where I had 7 minutes to get up and ready, get food and get to the bus! This was a bus tour of the Pest side riding past the Opera House, through the Jewish quarter and stopping by Hero's Square where we had about 15 minutes to get out and take pictures. Afterwards, we went to the Buda side and explored Matthias Cathedral and walked around Fisherman's Bastion for a wonderful view of Pest and the Danube.

We left Budapest that night to start up the Danube and entered our first lock while sipping our drinks outside on the upper deck. We were traveling with friends and none of us had even been in a lock before...and only 24 to go!
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2017, 04:11 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
VIENNA

This morning there was an appelstrudel demonstration in the lounge, followed by a testing. I asked a waiter for a second piece because I hadn't had breakfast and he brought me a huge plate of strudel slices, fatter with apples than the first servings. It was a good demo and I might try it at home.

We had a choice of 2 tours this afternoon once we pulled into the outskirts of Vienna. We opted for the city tour. The other, a trip to 2 museums, did see The Kiss by Klimpt, but on the other hand, according to our friends, did not give enough time in either museum. Our friends felt very rushed.

The city tour drove us from the dock into Vienna and started with a tour of the opera house. We didn't go backstage as our friends did on a non-cruise tour a few days prior to this, but was still interesting. The remainder was a walking tour past the Sacher Hotel, home of the original Sacher Torte, past the Imperial Palace, through the pedestrian streets to St Stephen's Cathedral with the gorgeous tiled roof. The enormous statues bordering many of the doorways and windows were amazing, as were the crowds. We had free time to go into the church wander the streets and do some shopping in the high end stores. This was a quick intro to Vienna, and I would like to go back to this central area. On the way back to the boat, we passed many monuments and heard about them, but there was no stopping for pictures.

MOZART CONCERT AT A MONASTERY

This was an evening optional excursion (i.e., extra cost) but a highlight of the trip. We were bussed about 20 minutes away to a serene monastery, the Shift Klosterneuberg, a 12th century Augustinian monastery in a little town, given a tour of the church and adjoining rooms. We saw the famous "Verdun Altar," an gold-plated copper plates and enamel work from the Middle Ages end of the twelfth century, with its 3 rows of picture of religious stories. They were connected through vertical placement of some of the panels. Finally we were admitted and seated in a small room where a quintet performed with 2 excellent opera singers. The lead violinist was incredible. We were given sparkling wine during intermission, made by the monks from the monastery vineyards. I highly recommend this!
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2017, 04:51 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
WACHAU VALLEY

We woke sailing through the picturesque Wachau Valley, just gorgeous with the scenery and its many medieval castles, cute villages, cliffside ruins, Gothic churches, vineyards of grapes and apricots on the riverbanks, and beautiful hills in the background. It's not a UNESCO Heritage site for nothing! The river was bordered with inviting bike paths. I can see why this area is said to be one of the most popular tourist attractions of Austria!

SPITZ

We pulled up to the tiniest dock facing a sign which read Spitz on der Donau (Danube). There was a path to the tiny town, but no time to explore - it was time for our morning tour of Melk Abbey. We took the bus along the Danube to the Melk Abbey, an an 11th-century Benedictine monastery above the town of Melk, overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley. We had some free time to roam the grounds before our reserved tour time. The gardens were nothing special this time of year, but there were some whimsical bird sculptures scattered around which we laughed at. We had a guided tour through the site seeing vestments, beautiful frescoes and the enormous library housing medieval and musical manuscripts, but even better, the gorgeous artwork on the ceiling. The best part was entering the church from the spiral staircase and hearing beautiful organ music. A nice tour.

VINEYARD HIKE ABOVE SPITZ

Be prepared to eat a quick lunch if you do a morning tour and then continue on to the vineyard hike! It was worth it though!

This afternoon's guided excursion was excellent. I huffed and puffed up a steep hill through the woods, following everyone who seemed to be in much better shape that I was, and all of a sudden, we crested the hill and spread before us were vineyards as far as we could see encircling the tiny town of Spitz. Just beautiful and one of my favorite parts of the trip! We zig-zagged down through the vineyards, bottomed out at the edge of town and made our way back to the boat. The guide stopped us now and then to tell us about the region and wine making. Highly recommend if you want not only to see beautiful scenery, but want to be smack in the middle of it.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 8th, 2017, 01:18 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
kwren--what a wonderful report! It is a relaxing diversion to read it--as we have been focused on preparing for this monster storm --- hoping and praying it doesn't hit us full force!

I hope your husband is doing well...
wren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 8th, 2017, 01:42 PM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
wren - I don't know where you live, but stay safe and don't take any risks! I'll be thinking of you.

DH is doing fine. No worries yet for either of us. Our minds have been focused on building a new house and trying to sell this one. Thank you.
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 8th, 2017, 02:41 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
PASSAU

Another beautiful early morning sail until we reached and docked at Engelhartzell. This was another two part day.

Morning - The hiking crowd boarded the bus and went up through Passau to the tiny town of Hals. From there, my friends and I went on a hike along the hairpin curves of the Ilz River, a smaller river coming off the Danube. Through woods, through a tunnel, up to a lake and across a dam, down the other side, crossing the river on a long wooden bridge, and back through the woods.

We spent time looking at the beautiful yellow flowers along the river and photographing the pink and purple flowers. But wait! About 2/3 of the way through the hike, the guide told us that the purple flowers were terribly poisonous and not to even brush against them! Yikes - I had already walked in the midst of a lot of flowers for a close-up shot, but I am still here to tell the tale.

We ended in a tiny and pretty town square where there was still a tall May pole standing in the center. There was also, high above the street, a place where criminals were placed in shackles set into the corner of a building to shame them for their wrongdoing.

This hike was wonderful. If you have ever hiked between the towns of Cinque Terre, then you will have the feel for yesterday's and today's hikes if you were to combine them. Vineyards, hills, stone steps, hills through the woods. Beautiful scenery. Quite different from the fast pace of the city tours!

Afternoon - Speaking of city tour! We opted for the panoramic tour of Passau. The boat had left Englehartzell and came up to meet us in Passau.

I loved Passau! The pastel colors of the buildings of this medium sized town were just stunning, as were the cobblestone passageways.

First we went up to the Fortress Veste Oberhaus, a castle with a beautiful view of Passau and where 3 rivers meet up. Each of the rivers is said to have a different color - (although the beautiful blue Danube was more of a brown). This morning's river, the Ilz, was black due to some sediments. We didn't go into the castle. Then we went to the hill on the other side of Passau and visited the Mariahilf Pilgrimage Church. Leading to this church are the enclosed 321 stairs leading up. The pilgrims are supposed to climb these stairs on their knees, praying while doing so. At the top, is a beautiful monastery. We had a chance to enter the church and peek down the steps. Mariahilf means Maria - help! This was the ry during a war, praying the the Turks would not overtake Vienna in 1683 and was used when a third of the German population lost their lives, towns were burned to the ground and miracles occurred during that time.

Once we got back to the boat, we had the option to continue on a short walking tour of Passau through the pretty squares and alleyways. We stopped at the old Town Hall, and the group continued on to the St. Stephan Church. OK I admit that I cut out to do some shopping! But I did catch up with them to see the interior of the church. And it was gorgeous!!! Mostly white with some gilt and paintings set into the ceiling and archways. I loved the numerous cherub statues. I had never seen a church interior like this.

Typical shopping seemed to be cuckoo clocks, wooden decorations and ornaments (the shop owner we talked to had a workshop in the middle of his little store) and laces. I visited another shop wth nice items just because there was a man in lederhosen watering the flowers outside the shop.

BACK ON THE BOAT

We continued up the Danube through the water which was like glass and passing serene red-roofed town after town. The funny part was the solar paneled roofs dotting each "skyline". We continued on with our tradition of trying out the drink of the day and just relaxed as it grew dark and castles lit up the night riversides. Just a great trip!
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 9th, 2017, 11:16 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,099
REGENSBURG

The morning continued along the river relaxing on the deck and watching for more locks.

The captain came out of the wheelhouse to explain to us that the huge white marble monument sitting high on the hillside that we were passing, the Walhalla Memorial, was inspired by the Parthenon. It is a hall of fame that honors important politicians, kings, scientists and artists in German history. I had to look this part up - "The memorial displays 65 plaques and 130 busts covering 2,000 years of history." Very impressive.

We got to Regensburg at lunch time, and had a choice of a city tour or the Jewish Regensburg tour that afternoon. The latter included a city tour so we opted for that one and it was very interesting. We passed Schindler's house, underground ruins in the Jewish section, saw the ancient city wall with its main entrance, the building where Napolean lived for a while.

I found this following passage online when researching the trip and thought I'd use it here (because I didn't remember all these facts due to impending information overload) with thanks to whoever wrote it: "Jewish people had settled in Regensburg somewhere around the year 700 and lived peacefully for over 500 years (with the exception of 1098 when the Crusades passed through Regensburg and forced baptisms on Jews). They contributed to the ever-growing economy, because their merchants had an advantage over other Germans. When they traveled to the Near Far East to buy goods, they could liaison with the local Jewish community and speak a common language (Hebrew) to get them access to traders that couldn't deal in German. The Jewish community also provided much of the capital for the ever-expanding city through lending. In the late 1400's, the economy began to suffer and the climate became more hostile for Regensburg's Jews. Because they were the only people allowed to loan money and charge interest (thanks to the Pope banning Christians from lending in 1100), they were chosen as the scapegoats for the economic downturn. Emperor Maximilian continued to offer them protection, but his death on February 12, 1519 changed everything. Just a few days later, all Jews were evicted from the city with five days notice. The Jewish quarter was burned out, and the synagogue was immediately destroyed. 500 people (the entire Jewish population) left Regensburg on February 25, 1519. The townspeople also raided the Jewish cemetery and used tombstones as part of buildings throughout the town. The remains of the burned out Jewish quarter were used to construct a new church on the site of the destroyed synagogue."

We did see one of those tombstones mentioned above decorating the side of a house and it brought home the hardships of the time. Also in evidence throughout the city were small golden plaques in the sidewalks stating the name and some information of past Jews who had lived in the building near those sites and who had perished in the Holocaust. (Other cities displayed these as well, but on the walls of the buildings instead of down on the walkways.)

We had free time after this tour but we weren't hungry and didn't feel like standing in line when we came across the oldest restaurant in the world, the Regensburg Wurstkuche.

We also watched about 2 dozen divers in training trying to swim through the dangerous current in the river. A couple of them really struggled and almost had to be rescued by the boats stationed nearby. I gathered that a few people a year die once they get caught in that current and divers must be ready to effect rescue missions at a moment's notice. Crowds of people were watching from the bridge and shore.

I do have to add that we were absolutely inundated with UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout this entire tour. This was a great itinerary!
kwren is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:14 PM.