Well I have been home a week now from Europe. My jet lag caught up with me last Thursday. Still a little tired and have had no problems sleeping hard this past week. I went on a work related (cross-stitch group of 140 ladies and some spouses) on AmaWaterways Christmas market cruise down the Danube. It was so relaxing and job well done by the AmaWaterways group. I left out of Tulsa, OK thru Chicago to Frankfurt then to Prague. The flights were all on time and no issues at security points. I felt totally safe throughout the trip. The weather was cold but tolerable. For once, I took the appropriate warm clothes. Packed the correct amount of clothes, worn everything twice and one item 3 times. Washed my under garments on the boat.
Our adventure started out in Prague, Czech. Stayed at Old Town Hilton, very nice hotel. Visited the Christmas market in Old town. The evening before heading to Germany, most of us in the group attended a Folklore dance/dinner in Prague. They took us on a city bus/walking tour of Prague up to the Prague castle, then walking back to old town. Monday November 30, we hopped on our 3 or 4 buses to Nuremburg, Germany. Dropped us off at a small market. Spent the night on boat in Nuremburg. Next morning was our City bus/walking tour and off to the larger Market for shopping. While we were out, the boat cruised down to the Roth port. Then that evening we headed to Regensburg. The next morning we had the usual city tour (walking) of Regensburg. The boat was docked where we could walk into the city without being on a bus. This was nice because you could come and go as you wish for the day. I really liked this city. The markets were awesome, good food, drinks etc. I veered off on my own and into St Peters Cathedral. What a beautiful church!. The second market in Regensburg was at the Thurn und Taxis Palace in the courtyard. I think this was one of the best Christmas markets. Found a lot of treasures here. Very quaint and decorated stalls of goodies to purchase. Back to the boat and headed off to Passau. Your choice the next day was a tour of Passau and Christmas markets or a side trip to Salzburg, then meeting up with the boat at Linz. Most of us chose Salzburg. Bus/walking tour of Salzburg, seeing some Sound of Music sights and then to more markets. They had several areas of markets throughout the city in their city squares. Headed now onto Linz. We arrived around 6:30pm and had only about 1 1/2hr at the most at this market. It was small but quaint and crowded. A lot of locals out visiting and drinking the mulled wine with their friends.
Back to our home on the boat and set sail down the river again heading to Melk (no markets but toured Melk Abbey) then to Vienna. Another token city/bus tour of Vienna and more and more Christmas markets (about 3 here). The main one was gorgeous lit up at night. I think this one was the most beautiful at nighttime. I did not find anything special at Vienna. Some choices of tours and events at our stay in Vienna were a Mozart concert and a visit to the Schonbrunn Palace. I did not partake in any of those events. I enjoyed just staying on the boat resting and visiting. Our last trip down the Danube was heading off to Budapest. This was an exciting and bustling place. Tour bus/walking on Bud and Pest sides. Illuminating cruise down the river seeing all their buildings and parliament lit up at night was just breathtaking. Their main Christmas market was a pretty good one. Lots of hand made items. Some of us in the group stayed a few more days in Budapest. Had a Hungarian Goulash cooking class one day. Then headed back home. In recap..... this was an awesome trip. Loved the river boat cruising. It was small group of people and got to know others and staff. Excellent food all week. Excellent food in the Christmas markets. Lots of shopping but I can say that I got burned out of shopping by the end of our adventure.