I arrived in Krakow from Prague via a seven-hour train ride. I followed the signage from the train station to Krakow’s Old Town which took me through the mall, up to an exit through a Christmas market, down into a tunnel beneath a street and then into a lovely park dusted in a light snow. The walk through the park to one of the many streets that lead the square was quite soothing after a long day.EXPLORE!
Our ship sailed all night and through the morning until we reached our next destination, Passau. We docked aside another ship and walked across it (a common occurrence on the Danube) to begin our walking tour of Old Town located on the peninsula between the Danube and Inn Rivers.
Passau, a German city of 52,000 people sits on the border of Austria in the Bavaria region at the confluence of three rivers. The third being the Ilz. As such, Passau, a bishopric since 739, profited from important salt trade routes and remained independent until it was incorporated into Bavaria during the Napoleonic times of 1803.
Today, attractions in Passau can be found on both sides of the river.LET’s GO
The History of Vienna
Vienna, originally a Celtic settlement, was subject to attacks and Barbarian invasion that reduced the town to ruins by the early 5th Century. By the 10th century, the German Babenberg Dynasty acquired Vienna and in the 13th century Vienna fell under control of the Habsburg.
Today, Austria’s capital is home to 1.9 million people. Despite Vienna’s large size, its city center, located inside the Ringstrasse, is easily walkable.LET’s GO
History of Bratislava
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was founded by the Celts in the 2nd century BC. Being close to the Austria Hungarian border, Bratislava was subject to many power struggles. Bratislava served as capital of Hungary from 1574-1784 during the Ottoman rule before the Austro-Hungary Monarchy reigned.
In the early 1900’s the Czechs and Slovaks declared the creation of Czechoslovakia and Bratislava became a part of this country. After World War II, Czechoslovakia fell under communist rule. The new country Slovakia was created in 1993.
Bratislava, with a population of 450,00, is Slovakia’s largest city. It occupies both banks of the Danube River. The city’s lovely Old Town, that is easily walkable, is on the north side of the river.EXPLORE!
History of Budapest
The ancestors of the modern Hungarians are the Magyars who migrated from the Urals in 896. Hungary crowned its first King, Stephen, in 1000. The country, becoming one of the largest monarchies, flourished under King Mátyás ’ rule from 1458-90.
The Ottomans, however, captured Buda in 1541 and made it the capital of Ottoman Hungary. To quell their advance, Habsburg led Austria occupied western Hungary. In 1686 Christian armies led by the Habsburg finally defeated the Ottoman.TAKE A WALK!