Atlantis Alumni

Friday, August 26, 2016

Brataslava

The capitol of Slovakia, Brataslava, is also widely known by its German moniker, "Pressburg." Seat of St. Marten's Cathedral, it's where all the Hungarian kings were crowned during the rule of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Besides the church, our tour also visited the Municipal Hall (used for concerts,) the Opera House, and the medieval and Baroque Town Hall. After a lunch in the Old Town, we took a cab up to the castle. It was partially restored after the fire of 1811. Thanks to the GPS feature on Jim's smartphone we then walked back to our ship on the Danube riverbank. The city is a well-preserved town of central Europe with fine architecture from many eras. - Dan

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Second Day In Vienna

Austria's capitol offers many attractions, and today we went off on our own to see five more. We took the subway to Stephansnplatz, and then visited St. Peters church, a little Baroque gem. Afterwards we walked to the museum quarter. There in the wonderful Leopold Museum the collection features important 20th century artists, such as Koloman Moser, Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt and the little-known tragic Richard Gersh. The museum also has the world's largest collection of works by Egon Schiele, long a favorite. Seeing more of his works deepened our appreciation for his honest and deeply thought-out paintings. After, we had lunch at "The Kaiser's Bakery," Demel. It's rich menu justified the fame of Vienna's cuisine. At the painting gallery of the fine arts school we saw works by Guardi, Rembrandt and Bosch's amazing "Last Judgement" triptych. Finally, around the corner we visited Olbrichs Secession building with its Klimt "Beethoven Frieze." - Dan

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Return To Vienna

Wednesday we returned to one of our favorite cities: Vienna. The morning tour, with a local guide stressed the history of the city. Our coach drove around the Ringstrasse past famed buildings like the State Opera house and wound up at the Albertina Square. Then our group walked to St. Stephen's Cathedral and also toured the interior of the National Library at the Hofburg Palace, residence of the Hapsburgs. Later, Dan gave a guided tour of the Kunst Historiches museum of art where we saw treasures by Raphael, Tintoretto, Titian, Rubens, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and many others. Our group of six friends then took the subway back to our ship docked on the Danube. - Dan

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Durnstein On The Danube

Our ship left Linz Tuesday and traveled through the beautiful and lush greenery of the Wachau Valley (a Unesco World Heritage site) to the Melk Abbey. Our tour there included many exhibits, the apartments, the amazing library and spectacular Baroque church, all perched high on a hill overlooking the Danube River. Then we continued our cruise east on the river to a small town gem of Austria: Durnstein. In this small town we saw ancient stone streets and the ruins of a castle where Richard The Lionhearted of England was imprisoned in 1192. Our tour of Durnstein ended with a wine tasting including a Zweigelt and a Riesling, which were dry and unusual wines. The local vineyards are so small that these wines are never exported. When we rejoined our Amadeus ship we traveled through two locks on our way to Vienna. - Dan

Monday, August 22, 2016

Excursion To Salzburg

Since we had not been to Salzburg in many years, we took the optional excursion there on Monday. It's a beautiful and historic city located in the mountains, the birthplace of Mozart, and the setting for Rogers and Hammerstein's hit "The Sound Of Music." We saw great Baroque architecture, the beautiful Mirabel Gardens, and we also sampled the delicious local chocolates. Then we re-joined the ship in Linz. Only after dinner did the ship resume its delightful trip on the Danube. - Dan

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Passau On The Danube

Sunday we traveled by motorcoach from Prague to Passau, Germany, where we took a walking tour of the town prior to boarding our ship, the Amadeus Silver II. Passau has a long history of floods when the Danube waters rise. The primary edifice is St. Stephen's cathedral, a Gothic structure that burned in a severe fire in the 17th century. It was re-built in the Baroque style. Today we head to Salzburg by motorcoach for a tour.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Wonderful Day In Prague

Saturday morning we crossed the Charles bridge and made our way up to the Prague castle on the other side of the Vlatva River. We walked up a huge flight of stairs then crossed in front of the ceremonial entrance to the castle complex. We entered the castle proper and enjoyed four attractions. Most memorable was the Gothic St. Vitus cathedral, with its stained glass, paintings and elaborate tombs. The other attractions we saw were the Romanesque basilica, the palace, and the picture gallery. We had a pleasant lunch on a lovely terrace cafe overlooking the lower city, including a Czech specialty...salmon stuffed potato cake with spinach and sour cream. Then we saw some great Baroque art, including a recently restored Rembrandt, in the National Gallery. After relaxing back at the hotel, where Jim had a swim in the pool, we explored the Jewish Quarter with its remarkable Old/New synagogue. Then we walked to the fantastic Art Nouveau Municipal Hall for a first-rate dinner at its French restaurant. It was a great day ending our too-short stay in Prague! - Dan