Going Au Nautrale on a Danube River Cruise.
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The Danube River flows some 1,700 miles through Central Europe, past cities whose names haven’t touched my lips since middle school geography class.
But it’s the final section of our river cruise from Vienna into Bavaria that is the most dire, and from my point of view the most sinister.
“The stream is against us,” Capt. Peter Toth explained earlier in the day. “There are many rocks on the side, and this portion is not regulated [with canals]. It’s also very shallow, with some sections being only 90 centimeters deep.”
Standing on the upper deck after dinner, as we motored through the fog, we felt the dark forest all around us. Its bare trees hung over this desolate section of the river like naked willow trees. This was another side of a river, one that we hadn’t seen since leaving Vienna a few days earlier.
Up until this point, the river felt like a body of water that holds true to its distinction as being the continent’s second longest. But now, crawling through the Bavarian Danube, the river seemed striped of this prestige, flowing unregulated and free as it did so many centuries ago.
Laying in bed, I did my best to catch glimpses of our journey into this heart of darkness, imagining what the scene must be like for our veteran captain as we rounded midnight and drew closer to the final, and his favorite, stop on the cruise–Regensburg.
*While we were hosted by Gate 1 Travel, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.
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