We decided to spend New Year's eve of 2020 in Vienna. And what better way than on a river cruise? So we set out for AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen Germany. We decided to spend a couple of days in Munich before we arrived. This is the first in a series of blogs that describe our experience.
Our time in Munich was certainly beer and sausage themed! Our first night we ate at a local place a block from our hotel (Le Meridian). We had Paulaner beer, pretzels and sausages. Why not start off right?
We had arranged for a day long beer themed tour of Munich with a local guide, Scott Stephens of Bayerntrips. Here's a summary of our tour:
Second breakfast at Augustiner Brau - white veal sausage, pretzel and Augustina Brau Wit beer
Andech’s Weisbier double bock - smooth and surprisingly yummy
Glockenspeil - no beer, just the typical tourist spot. Gotta do it, even in the rain.
Hacker - Pschoor bock bier at Alts Hackerhouse near the private church.
Hitler highlights - 1921 speech above Hofbrau house, rally / march in town by square
Metro to Schnieder Weiss; sampler including their Hopenweisse (hoppy, wheat doppelbock), an Aventinus (wheat doppelbock) and the original Schnieder Weisse ( light wheat beer). We also tried the Heffe Weisse (wheat beer, stronger esters than the straight Weisse)
We had a great dinner at the restaurant in the Le Meridien called Irmi's. Munich is a very nice city; fairly new since it was heavily bombed out during the war. But still plenty of history, lots of wheat beer tradition and full of energy.
Some food in Budapest
The next day we took the short flight from Munich to Budapest. We headed out into the cold for a late lunch at an Italian place on the main shopping street. After unpacking we met up with several friends whom we were traveling with. We stayed at the Budapest Marriott and took a quick cab ride to Neked Csak Dezso Brewpub (about a mile away) for a nice light meal and a beer or two.
We'll get to our days on the ship in subsequent posts.
But first, tell me about the cruise....
The cruise starts in Budapest Hungary, with stops in Bratislava Slovakia, then makes its way to Vienna in Austria on New Year's eve. Fireworks in Vienna did not disappoint as a great way to remember 2020. The cruise then made several more stops in Austria before heading to Passau Germany. So four countries and three capital cities in a week! Actually 5 countries for those that took the tour of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
This itinerary has a nice mix of world class cities and small towns among the wine growing regions. The ship, AmaViola, is one of AmaWaterways newest designs and it's frankly a beautiful ship. In the typical AmaWaterways style, the decor is functional and understated but classy and tasteful. Cabin sizes were great with lots of room for storage. We had plenty of room even though we packed for 10 days of cold weather clothes.
We were given lots of options of activities at each stop (and several days had multiple stops). Yet there was plenty of downtime to either relax, catch up on some reading, work out or wander through town on your own. And the service and food was quite good.