Previous posts on our Danube River Cruise were about the places visited during the eight-day cruise, this one is about the river cruising experience itself and some of the special the sights along the way……….
The Amadeus Royal was our home for the cruise duration and provided all the comforts we expected
Here you will have to bear with me – I am interested in all things mechanical, even boring things such as locks on the river. During the 1160 km cruise, we passed through 22 locks, often at night, changing altitude by some 360 metres. The average lock entailed a lift or drop of about 8 metres – now that doesn’t sound much, but consider that the cruise boat is 110m long x 11,4m wide with a tonnage of 1,556t, that means a lot of water has to be pumped in a short space of time to accomplish it efficiently.
Donau-Auen National Park
During one afternoon we cruised through the Donau-Auen National Park, a section of the Danube which has been declared part of a UNESCO Biosphere park. Along this stretch, downstream of Vienna, the natural floodplains form a green corridor with a large area of lowland forests, meadows, wetlands and other riparian habitat.
We relaxed in our cabin with curtains fully open, taking in the greenery of the forests lining the river bank, with sightings every now and then of birds and occasionally other wildlife.
The surprise of the trip was undoubtedly the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) which I spotted trotting along a ridge of rocks on the bank of the river, with an enormous fish in its jaws. It is not often one gets to see “real” wildlife in Europe so this was very special. Fortunately I had my camera and telephoto lens ready for passing birds and managed to rattle off a few shots of the fox carrying the fish, before the boat had passed it by.
Another feature of this stretch was the small “fishermen’s cabins” dotted at intervals along the river bank, most with a net in a large frame ready to drop into the river. Word on board was that these cabins cannot be bought or sold, but have to be passed on to the next generation in their original state and no extensions are allowed. So they remain small and simple – often just space for a couple of beds and basic facilities for the fishermen to spend the night camping there.
There were numerous bridges over the river, some functional, others handsome, old and new
Until Next Time …..