Our readers share tales of their rambles around the world.
Who: Bill and Rose Lovelace of Annapolis (account by Bill)
Where, when, why: We took a 12-day Danube River cruise from Budapest to Prague for our 50th anniversary last August. We’d never been to Eastern Europe, an area that is part of Rose’s ancestral heritage.
Highlights and high points: We had a wonderful evening in Vienna listening to the music of Strauss. While in Vienna, we also visited the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were awed by the 900-year-old Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria. But the highlight of the trip was the lovely small town of Cesky Krumlov, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the Czech Republic. During the Communist era of Czechoslovakia, Krumlov fell into disrepair, but since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, much of the town’s former beauty has been restored.
Cultural connection or disconnect: We were a bit disappointed in Salzburg. We’d expected to see the high Alps a la “The Sound of Music” but instead saw only rolling hills.
Biggest laugh or cry: At a dinner theater outside Prague, during the music and dancing revue, both the male and female entertainers came over and sat on our laps as part of the skit. The female later selected me to come onstage and dance the polka with her. We had a marvelous time and, unknown to the entertainers, it was my birthday, one of my most memorable.
How unexpected: The cathedral at Melk Abbey is the most beautiful cathedral we’ve ever seen. The gold interior and the ceiling frescoes were absolutely stunning.
Fondest memento or memory: The staff on the riverboat was outstanding. The scenes along the Danube were incredible. A visit to a Jewish cemetery in Prague was heartbreaking, including plaques with names and dates of people’s deaths, along with the inscription “Murdered by the Nazis.”