Panama Canal, Russia, and Danube River: Armchair Travel Series - Pauline Hager

Panama Canal, Russia, and Danube River: Armchair Travel Series

By Pauline Hager

  • Release Date: 2015-05-30
  • Genre: Specialty Travel

Description

An 18-day ocean cruise through the Panama Canal was filled with excitement and adventure for Pauline and husband. In Acapulco, Mexico, they watched divers jump off the La Quebrada Cliff, a 125 ft. overhang, into the Pacific Ocean. In Nicaragua they walked around an active volcano. A whitewater rafting expedition on the Corobici River in Costa Rica was a new and exciting adventure. Arriving in Panama City they boarded a round trip train ride on a picturesque path through the Panama Canal. Next day they sailed through the Canal. The ship's loud speaker emitted a voice explaining how the locks operate and the Canal's history. Entering the Caribbean Sea they continued to Colombia, SA and explored a fortress built in 1536 by the Spaniards. Onto Jamaica to visit Dunn's River Falls, a natural waterfall cascading 600 ft. down, spilling into the Caribbean. Last visit was the seven mile coral-sand beach of George Town, Grand Cayman Islands. The Volga Baltic Canal and River Waterway Cruise began in Moscow, Russia. The Hagers toured the city by bus and then a long walk through Red Square, viewing Lenin's Mausoleum. Continuing walk to visit the venerable St. Basil Cathedral, famed for its colorful, eight onion-shaped domes. Next day included a trip to the vast Kremlin, where five cathedrals, four palaces, the Armor Museum and the seat of Russian government is housed. Leaving Moscow, they sailed north to four historical cities, via lakes and canal, including Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritzy and Kizhi Islands. Final destination ended in beautiful St. Petersburg. Visited the opulent Catherine's Palace and on to St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral. Peter the Great and the last Romanov family, Nicholas, Alexandra and their children lie here. The Peterhof Palace, a version of Versailles by the Sea, built by Peter the Great was an exciting visit. The palace is famous for its fabulous Grand Cascade, consisting of 3 waterfalls, 64 fountains and 37 statues. A mini canal ride on one of the city's 66 canals was a great way to see the city. Final tour was a visit to the famous Hermitage Museum, with over three million exhibits, much too large to see in one afternoon. The Viking River Cruise on the Danube River consisted of four Balkan countries; Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and north to Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. The Hagers toured beautiful cathedrals, ancient castles, Roman excavations and military camps, among other interesting and colorful ancient ruins, including buildings pocked with bullet holes and shells of buildings in the war-torn cities of Serbia and Croatia, during conflicts between the Serbs and their Muslin and Christian neighbors in the 1990s. Due to two months lack of rain, the Danube River at this point was too low for navigation and all the passengers had to abandon ship and board another Viking ship farther north in Hungary. A three hour bus ride transported them to Kalocsa, Hungary to an equestrian ranch. They were treated to an outdoor horse show with Magyar cowboys riding and performing on Puszta horses. They continued to the fabulous city of Budapest for two days before boarding their next ship. Continuing their journey north, they sailed to Vienna, Austria via the picturesque Wachau Valley on the Danube. Visited the midlevel towns of Durnstein and Melk. Next stop was the delightful Austrian city of Salzburg. The famous Christmas markets were mostly up and filled with hundreds of colorful ornaments. Final city was Passau, Germany, another old and historic city, ending their scenic and historic tour.