Boat Trip, Last Day

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[This is Bucharest International Airport, located in Otopeni about 10 miles north of Bucharest city center.  The speediest and most civil airport I have ever been in!  We took a TAROM (Transport Air ROManian) flight to Amsterdam, and then a Delta flight home.]

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[Now a perpetual favorite, flying over Greenland and into Northern Canada.]

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[I mostly laughed my way home watching “Comedians in Cars Having Coffee.”  The Super kept poking me in the ribs because surprisingly my laughter was annoying other passengers?]

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[Then over the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, from l – r:  Harriet, Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar.]

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[The airport.]

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[And the Twin Cities in a single shot, Minneapolis on the left, St. Paul on the right.]

That’s it, folks.  Show’s over.  Please police your immediate area upon leaving and don’t forget to thank your flight attendants and Wilbur and Orville Wright.  So, what have we learned?  That it’s better to give than to fall off a roof?  That no good deed catches the worm?  That rainy days and Mondays means it’s spring in Minnesota?  Well, yes, but also that the Danube rocks!!  Enjoyed this trip immensely, everything went about as smoothly as it could.  Prague and Budapest lived up to post trip expectations, Bucharest (and Belgrade, too) even more so.  But since they’re all cities of a couple million denizens, one can’t do them justice in a day or two.  The small city side trips give a better flavor of the individual countries.  This was not so much a cruise as overnight floating to the next land destination.

As you may recall, the family Gross went on for four extra days in Romania.  Their report:

Sibiu is a very interesting city. Just finished beer. Dinner soon. T shirt in shop says “Send more tourists. The last ones were delicious.”  ~  Bert

We had a fine time in Romania. (I’d hate to say that you missed the best part of the trip, especially since it is probably only that for me it was the most recent part of the trip, so I remember it best.) We traveled to three medieval towns with fortified churches, old squares, etc. including a visit to “Dracula’s” castle, and the real but only 100-year old castle built by their first king. Since Romania was pretty much always under someone’s thumb, they don’t really have the old castles etc but instead had towns, at least in Transylvania where there were a lot of Saxons, that were governed by councils and guilds. We visited a Roma family, had lunch in a bed and breakfast in a quaint village, stayed in an old inn in a room once reportedly occupied by Prince Charles.  The weather continued to cooperate, our 28-year-old guide spoke excellent English, drove quite sanely, and was quite knowledgeable. (He has a masters in civil engineering but prefers and makes more money doing tours.)  The mountains and countryside were lovely.

The most annoying thing was the smoking: a couple of the hotels did not have nonsmoking rooms and almost none of the restaurants. And figuring out how to shower sans shower curtain without spraying the whole room!

The flight back was long but completely, thankfully, uneventful.  I bet Bill can send some pictures when he gets to that week, but that is all I have to say. Back to work.  ~  Anne

Previously unpublished comments:

My most memorable travel moment:    I was staying at an apt. hotel not far from the City Market (maybe half mile to your left as to walked out to the promenade)…..was very tired arriving approx. 10 pm after long train ride from Prague (and struggling with walk/subway from Budapest East train station with bags).  Decided I’d better go for a walk before collapsing, and headed 1 block down to the river promenade, where I walked past your Marriott, and seeing Chain Bridge and the imposing buildings on the Buda side all lit up was a true “Holy Crap”  moment (and I’m sure you were among the throngs who had their tripods set up to get just the right shot of the car lights approaching via Chain Bridge from Buda)  ~  Basketball Dan

Cannot read your blog any more without getting hungry.  So much for Annen’s request for food pix.  ~  The Fieldhammers (lived in Slovakia for three months a few years ago)

The Super and the group have future destinations in mind.  If you don’t mind, you can vote for your favorite at 1-800-whatareyougonnadowithouthemobyobie.  The winner will win an all expenses paid trip to the end of the block:

1) Baltic;

2) Galapagos;

3) Svalbard;

4) Banff;

5) Hawaii;

6) Someplace from whence we’ll never return!

The Greeks, aided by a warm climate, had invented geometry, and they used this advanced knowledge to conquer the surrounding cultures by piercing them with the ends of isosceles triangles.  ~  Dave Barry

Up next:  Whatever?

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One Response to Boat Trip, Last Day

  1. Gretchen says:

    Can’t believe you guys haven’t booked a trip to Norway to seek out distant relatives.

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