Iceland & Viking River Cruise with Carolyn Young

Trish HindsOur Travels


Travel Gal Carolyn recently spent a couple of weeks touring Iceland and Europe with a Viking River Cruise.  She shared a great travel blog on her Facebook Page and we thought we’d share it here for our clients to enjoy!

October 24-25, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 1 and 2

Reykjavík, Iceland: what a beautiful capital and island. The “Golden Circle tour of the southern part of the island was beautiful. There are over 400 volcanoes with 30 of them active (remember the 2010 ash plume from Iceland that stopped European flights for several weeks?) with geysers, thermal springs and magnificent water falls across this beautiful country. It is a must-see destination!

October 26-27, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 3 and 4

Budapest:  Hungary’s graceful and inspiring capital. We boarded one of Viking’s River Boats to cruise their “Grand European Tour” itinerary.  We will stay in port at Budapest and explore this beautiful city for a day and a half. It is a beautiful city with Buda located on one side of the Danube River bank and Pest on the other.

October 28-29, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 5 and 6

Vienna, Austria:  We attended a Mozart & Strauss Concert at The Vienna Residence Orchestra House the first evening. It included instrumental music, opera and dance. The second day on a panoramic tour of Vienna we saw highlights of one of Europe’s most elegant and romantic cultural capitals. The center of arts and intellect during the reign of the Hapsburgs and beyond were included. We saw the magnificent Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Hapsburgs and home of the Spanish Riding School with its Lipizzaner horses.  We truly admired the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, crowned with a gleaming spire and colorful roof tiles.  In the afternoon we toured the Hapsburg’ summer palace, Schönbrunner Palace and in the evening went to a “Heurigen Dinner” an Age-Old Tradition that celebrates the year’s wine harvest. We gathered in the vintner’s wine tavern amid a festive atmosphere; glasses were full, food was bountiful and a spirit of “gemutlichkeit,” or good cheer, filled our souls. Magical!

October 30-31, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 7 and 8

On day 7 we visited the elegant renowned Melk Benedictine Abbey. It is a masterwork of baroque brilliance perched on the cliffs high above the Danube. Originally built in the 12th-century, the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 18th-century. The library is now home to a wide range of medieval manuscripts.

Day 8 we were on to the City of Mozart and “The Sound of Music”, Salzburg, Austria. We spent the day in one of Austria’s most picturesque alpine cities, setting of the beloved film “The Sound of Music” and the birthplace of Mozart.

November 1-2, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 9 and 10

We toured Munich, the Bavarian Capital today. At the city’s main square we enjoyed the stunning gabled roof and bell tower of the Old Town Hall. We witnessed the famous Glockenspiel as it sprung to life at noon from the dramatic tower of Peterskirche. Sausages and pretzels were our lunch at the renowned Ratskeller restaurant.

Nuremberg was our next stop and to say the least it has a complex past. This medieval city is still surrounded by 13th-century walls, with many gates and watchtowers fully intact. We saw the grounds on which Nazi rallies were staged and passed the Palace of Justice. Our guide noted that her people never want to forget the horrific blow that Europe was dealt by Hitler and his Nazi Regime. Nuremberg is famous for its gingerbread and its Gothic Schoner Brunnen, or Beautiful Fountain.

November 3-4, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Days 11 and 12

On day 11 we enjoyed a walking tour of an old-world Franconian city, Bamberg, Germany. Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We saw the magnificent 11th-century cathedral with its four imposing towers rebuilt in late Romanesque and early Gothic style in the 13th century.

On day 12 we visited Germany’s Most Beloved Medieval City, Rothenburg, one of Germany’s last remaining walled medieval towns, lovingly preserved. It was my favorite of all excursions ever!

Centuries ago, Rothenburg was ruled by the Holy Roman Empire. This 17th-century medieval town was frozen in time to be rediscovered by German Romantics in 1802.

We also visited the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Wurzburg.


November 5, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Day 13 – the morning

From our Wertheim,Germany port this morning we traveled to Miltenberg, Germany and the exquisite Schloss Mespelbrunn, home of Countess Grafin Hedwig Margarete. This romantic castle from the 15th century, sat upon a moat and boasts a scenic tower. We ate smoked trout from the moat pond and were served sparkling wine from their vineyard.

Midday after a walking tour of Miltenberg we enjoyed a mid-day lunch at Riesen Restaurant with traditional bratwursts, potatoes and wine. We then continued to Schloss Lowenstein, the estate of the Prince of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg where we enjoyed wine tasting and a sampling of the family’s signature venison pate and regional bread.

November 6, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Day 14

Castle after castle were observed as we cruised down the Rhine River. In addition we marveled at the beautiful little villages along to way snd the rows and rows of vineyards.

We stopped at Braubach, Germany where the incredible Marksburg Castle watches over the town as it has since the 13th century. Because this magnificent structure was built with strong fortifications, it was never besieged by enemies.

The November weather was gorgeous!

River Cruising, Priceless!

November 7, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Day 15

In a walking tour of Cologne, Germany we stood in awe of Northern Europe’s Largest Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It towered over the Old City in all its Gothic splendor.

The construction of this towering structure began in 1248 and continued in several stages over the next seven centuries. Finally completed in 1880, it largely escaped the damage that ravaged the city and the rest of Germany during World War II. This magnificent church boasts two soaring spires and beautiful stained glass windows.

The interior of the cathedral held the relics of the “Three Magi” plus other saintly relics. The stained-glass windows were uniquely and beautifully designed hundreds of years ago. Amazing!

November 8, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Day 16

At Kinderdijk, the largest concentration of windmills in The Netherlands we saw the picturesque Dutch countryside and the original technological marvels of historic Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When we crossed the dike to the 19 windmills, we noticed that they are below sea level. They were built in the mid-18th century but the families who live in these mills at the present are required to keep them in working order. So picturesque!

November 9-11, 2018
The Travel Gals Report
Day 17-19

At the end of our Viking European Riverboat cruise we disembarked at Amsterdam. We stayed at the Banks Mansion on the Canal.

On a guided tour of the heart of Amsterdam we enjoyed the charm of the city, ate Dutch Pancakes and the visited the “Anne Frank Home”. It was a very sobering!

We didn’t want to miss the Rijksmuseum, home of Rembrandt’s most famous masterpiece, “The Night Watch.” It was amazing as were many of the museum’s vast collection, some of it commissioned by the wealthy merchant class of the Dutch Golden Age. We also saw some of Van Gogh’s paintings.

We ended our stay with a cruise through the city’s endless network of canals. It was beautiful!

Carolyn Young
Travel Designer – The Travel Gals
[email protected]