Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Incantato journeys the blue Danube

The ‘meandering’ Danube river rises in the stunningly beautiful Black Forest mountain range close to the town of Donaueschingen in Germany, from whence it takes its name. It then flows a south-eastward course for a distance of some 1,785 miles, passing through four Central and Eastern European capitals and ten countries before emptying into the Black Sea.
Like no other European river, the Danube has influenced the course of history as the Romans, Thrax, Celts, Illyrics and, of course, the Ottomans have all been here. In the space of a week the echoes of this colorful past will come to the fore as you journey through the very historical beating heart of Europe, to experience the cultural delights of Vienna and Budapest or alternatively to gaze at the gently undulating landscapes of the beautiful Wachau Valley, with its charming riverside villages and vineyard-laced hillsides usually bathed in the most glorious of light. Stops along the curvaceous course of the river include Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Duernstein, Melk, and Passau.
Music and musical heritage obviously accompanies us on our voyage. Before the nineteenth century, musicians such as Mozart and Schubert struggled to make ends meet and relied on patronage. This all changed when Johann Strauss the Younger and Elder both became the equivalent of modern musical stars with their popular waltz music, perhaps forever immortalized in ‘The Blue Danube’ which perhaps neatly completes the circle as regards the name of our vessel and majestic river on which she sails.

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