Danube River Cruise: Memories on a River | My Family Travels
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Imagine yourself an eight-year-old child waving goodbye to your oldest sister and Grandma as they leave for a trip to South America.

Then three years later waving goodbye to your second oldest sister as she leaves with Grandma for the Panama Canal.

Now, after eight years of anticipation, your heart is beating excitedly as you board the plane headed to Europe.

The long wait is over, you are sixteen, and it is your time for a trip with Grandma.

My dream finally came true, as we stepped off the plane into the “city of spires” – Prague, Czech Republic. The memories of our three day stay in Prague followed me as we boarded our Avalon Waterways ship, the Tapestry and departed for our 12 day river cruise down the Danube. I could write pages about all of the golden cathedrals, bumpy cobblestone walkways, and blossoming gardens I saw, not to mention all of the beautiful Mozart and Dvorak music, different languages, and city sounds I heard, as we wound our way through Germany, Austria, and Hungary. My most memorable destination on our trip, however, was Salzburg, Austria – The birth place of Mozart and the filming grounds for scenes from the “Sound of Music”

The crowded marketplace was our first stop. Grandma rested at an outside café, while I meandered through all the small souvenir shops and boutiques. I was thrown into the Classical era as Mozart’s music played in the shops. The Austrian flag flew proudly outside Mozart’s birthplace. Sonata in C Major danced in my head as we walked along the uneven cobblestones, and I wondered what it was like when Mozart was alive. In the Basilika Mondsee, I could picture Maria in her wedding gown, with the cathedral length train, as she walked down the aisle. I could feel the terror that the Von Trapp family felt while hiding from the Nazis in the shadows behind the gravestones in St. Peter’s Abbey. As I boarded the ship for our next destination, it was hard to leave a place where history had come alive.

This trip was more than just seeing the world; it created memories I will always treasure with my Grandma. As we rested on the ship and the European landscape passed by, we looked back on the days and remembered our tours. Some tours were somber like that of the Tarazine Labor Camp near Prague where we cried together. Some tours were cheerful like that of “Sound of Music” and Mozart’s concert where we laughed together. All of the tears and laughter of our travels cemented precious memories in my mind I’ll never forget.

 

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