Saturday, August 1, 2015

The beautiful Danube...

Well it's been a whirlwind 48 hours for the Young girls! On Friday, Dorothy and I left home around 6:30 a.m. and headed for West Monroe where we picked up June and Peggy, then traveled on to Ruston to pick up Marlene. 
Five women. Eight days in Europe. And we managed to pack in carryon luggage!


(It was kind of a miracle!) We drove on to Shreveport to catch the first of several planes that would transport us across the world! 


Let me back up a little -- taking a European river cruise has been a longtime dream for our sweet Mama D. When she was recovering from heart surgery last fall, Daddy Ray promised he'd make it happen. It was June's brilliant idea to turn it into a girls' trip -- and thanks to the generosity of Dorothy and Ray -- we are now in Europe!!!

Dorothy chose Viking's Romantic Danube cruise -- it originates in Budapest then winds through Hungary, Austria and Germany. After a long, long, looong travel day, we arrived! 


(On the plane…)



(Language barrier in Amsterdam. Somehow Starbucks changed Leslie, Marlene and June to Henry, Maureen and Jill.)

First glimpse of the Danube River from the air…



From the moment we arrived, we've been treated royally by everyone on the Viking staff! They are warm, charming and helpful! 

We took a quick walking tour of the Budapest central area with a really funny guide. I love the turn-of-phrase employed by people from around the world.
"From up here? The view? She is good and excellent!"






This is the largest church in Budapest - St. Stephen's Basilica. "It says 'I am the path, the truth and the life,'" our guide said. 

Back on the boat, we tried desperately to stay awake to beat back the jet lag and enjoyed one of the best meals ever in the ship's restaurant! Here's just a glimpse of  the wonderful steak…


And delicious desserts...


Oh, and this was the view from our table…



Once the sun went down, we cruised around the gorgeous river. Here are a few scenes…


The Chain Bridge…


The parliament building…


Buda Castle…


It was a lovely ending to a wonderful (emphasis on "full") day! Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds! 

(Disclaimer - I'm "blogging" from my phone for the first time ever -- which means I'm writing with my thumbs and uploading itty-bitty pictures! I have no idea what this is going to look like! Just trying to preserve and share the memories!) 









2 comments:

I'm Jess said...

hey, good job! did you see the grand Budapest hotel??

Roger Smith said...

Dear Leslie, I am so thrilled that you are sharing your trip with us in this way. The pictures are beautiful and I am so thankful for you all to have this experience together. Tell Dorothy that I picked up the bedding set and sheets for Erin yesterday and dropped them off to Ginger this afternoon after lunch and church.

I hope everyone's health remains good and the fun continues. I can't think of anyone besides my own children and wives that I woud rather be with thank you girls. I know it will be a blast barring catastrophe. Praying for blessings.

Jan Smith