A boat trip on the Danube

My boyfriend and I got these tickets for a day trip with a boat on the Danube. I really wanted to see the Wachau which is supposed to be a particularly beautiful area with the river winding through the hillsides.We didn’t quite make it though, because we decided to get off in Krems and see the city. The boat was pretty much full, we were seated on an 8 person table with 4 other people and tables cramming us from both sides. As I am not a big fan of being constricted to a tiny space, surrounded by people with no clear escape path (and I was already on a boat on water), we got out to the deck. It was an early morning, a cold one at that, especially with the wind roaring by us. Luckily we managed to get our hands on a blanket with which we covered ourselves and watched the landscape for the first two hours until we were forced to admit that we have to go back in.

A lot of the crew were Bulgarians or other Eastern Europeans. The woman that welcomed us on board started speaking Bulgarian the moment she read my name. When she was making announcements to everybody, the Austrians sitting next to us made fun of her Russian sounding accent. I disliked them immediately.

On a different topic, did you know that the Danube has different water level hights and the boats have to use locks to rise up or go down? I never knew such a thing existed until the boat navigated to a narrow concrete tunnel with doors on both sides. The doors closed and the tunnel started to fill with water, until finally, 15 minutes later, we rose up to the top of the wall and the other door opened so we could continue on to the higher part of the river. I thought it’s a nice place for an action movie chase.

After five or six hours on the boat we were already tired. There was nothing much to do except sit in the restaurant and stare out the window. Which is why we decided to get off at the first stop and walk around. Only this morning my boyfriend said we should do a cruise some day and so soon after that we were both ready to stand on land and even go back to Vienna with the train. We didn’t do that though and came back to the boat after a couple of hours of sight-seeing in Krems. Exhausted and cold, I was on the verge of falling asleep for the whole return journey. As some people got out in the towns on the way, the downstairs area had free seats and our table-mates left us to go there. We were close to the door and the wind rushed in every time someone opened it to go out or come back in. We still preferred it to a crowd. Some time around sunset they turned on the radiator right next to us. It made me even more sleepy. I guess this was the part of the trip I enjoyed the most – the dreamy, tired, warmth-induced silence on the boat taking us back home.

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