Atlantis Alumni

Monday, August 29, 2016

Stormy Weather Causes Missed Flight

Bad weather in the Prague area resulted in our flight from Budapest to Frankfurt being delayed over an hour. As a result we missed our overseas flight to Philadelphia. We now have to fly to Washington, DC then Philadelphia. As we flew over the storm the cloud formations were spectacular.

Last Day: Budapest

Sunday morning, for a tour, we met Alan Gellert, a good friend of both Richard Keiser and Rob Hegstrom, who both live in PA. We'd met Alan on the ship and he has become special, for his moral convictions, interest in art and history, and companionability. With Alan we took the funicular up to the hilel on the Buda side of the city. There we enjoyed lunch in a cafe and then visited the National Gallery in Buda Castle. From the temporarily-closed Fine Arts Museum we saw 57 art works, including special masterpieces by Brueghel, Velasquez and Courbet. We also saw Hungarian early 20th century art and two special exhibits on Picasso and Modigliani. Later in the day Jim and I visited the large Basilica of St. Stephen before dining at the Callas Restaurant opposite the splendid 19th century opera house. Budapest is a city of contrasts, from all of the restorations of architecture damaged during wartime, to the homeless sleeping in doorwayys just a few blocks from the downtown. Hungary's politics, sadly, are headed to the right, so we wish the people well. - Dan

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Return To Budapest

Our ship was docked on the Danube right near the Liberty Bridge. On a morning tour we visited "Mathias" church, the castle, and the Fisherman'sh Bastion in Pest. On the other side, Buda, we stopped at the Hero's Square. After lunch and a rest, Jim visited Gellert Baths to frolic in the wave pool, while Dan played piano, Chopin and Brahams, on the ship. After dinner the ship toured the Danube at night for a cruise, with views of all of the buildings illuminated, a magical sight. - Dan

The Amadeus II In Durnstein

Friday, August 26, 2016


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