Prologue.

We were out of pocket for most of September. Home now, and jet lag is finally in the rear view mirror. I can’t wait to tell you all about, but first I have to fill you in on the trip parameters.

This one was planes, trains, buses and a boat!

ms_joy_hdr

Five countries in a leisurely three weeks.

Group travel, which was a first for us independent-minded cusses.

13,000 miles and a zillion calories later, here’s how it began:

The CE is plagued with Mal de Débarquement syndrome, which rules out ocean cruising. But we love the water! He was just sure he could handle a river cruise (more on that later…)  which wouldn’t involve the pitch and roll of an ocean liner. So I did some research back in 2017 and put us on a waiting list for a Danube cruise with Tauck, a tour company with a storied past and high marks for its quality excursions.

images

The youtube video won’t embed but you can copy and paste the link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXizNPIAME-oLyobV00KQJQ

In late May of this year, I was notified that a spot had opened up on a Tauck M.S. Joy September cruise from Prague to Budapest. We had 48 hours to decide. Using the increasingly relevant “you’re not getting any younger” yardstick, we decided to go for it.

But not without trepidation. We grew up back in antediluvian times, i.e. before Google maps erased all the country borders and one closed one’s eyes and spun a globe to imagine a fantasy destination. For a generation, an Iron Curtain hung over parts of Europe and they were effectively erased from view. I can’t say I ever thought about going to countries that had the audacity to change their names, e.g. what used to be Czechoslovakia, or visiting a place as unknown to me as Hungary. But after reading Selden Edwards’ The Little Book a few years ago I did begin to dream a bit about Vienna.

And who wouldn’t want to see the Danube?

Danubemap

But but but getting out the actual passports! And going on a tour with other people! It all seemed rather daring. Well, until we arrived at CDG for our our connecting flight and the first thing we saw was a Starbucks. It’s a small world after all…

Next post: on to Vienna

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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