Where have you dreamed of travel? Do you have a bucket list? Have you traveled with friends that share your passions?
In 2017 Messina Hof traveled with over 60 of our VIPs on a dream trip of wine, food, history and culture. Those who arrived early in Budapest joined us for a tour and dinner at a local winery. The winery lay in 2.2 kilometers of cave beneath the town. The winemaker himself prepare for us a customary Hungarian meal paired with his wines. Sitting at long community tables we toasted and shared a beautiful evening that embodied the spirit of the vineyard lifestyle we traveled to share.
As we boarded the Amawaterways in Budapest, excitement was in the air. Cruising along the Danube after dark we sipped Champagne as we were dazzled by the extraordinary lights of Budapest. A sightseeing tour took us to historic Buda Castle, which offers a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest on both sides of the river, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square and more.
One of the things we love about river cruising is that you wake up to a new city every morning, without ever leaving your hotel! This trip we visited toured Vienna, watched as our dancing VIPs did the waltz, heard Paul Vsing Wey Marie accompanied by a gregarious accordion player at a rustic wine tavern while others attended a classical Mozart and Strauss concert. In Krems, the wine capital of the Wachau Valley, we enjoyed a wine tasting and tour with the owner of the winery. A special treat for our guests was a visit and presentation to Krems Council woman Anna Wegl. As the sister city to Grapevine, Texas, Krems greeted our guests with a special sister city flag.
In Weissenkirchen we toured along Dürnstein’s cobblestone streets, saw the magnificent blue tower of the local Stiftskirche (abbey church) and had a chance to see castle ruins high on a hill where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom. While some bicycled their way along the river others visited the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Grein, where you may enjoy a visit to a local vineyard for an introduction to the famous wines of the Wachau.
From Linz, the second largest city in Austria, some took an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. Others enjoyed an excursion to Salzburg, where you will have a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the “Sound of Music.”
I felt quite at home in Vilshofen, a quaint 1200-year-old Bavarian town where they treated us to a special “Oktoberfest” presented by the townspeople of Vilshofen, with Bavarian folk music, songs, dancing, local beer and traditional pretzels. The Mayor and Beer Queen were on hand to lead the festivities. From here we traveled by land to Regensburg and on to Prague. Our path took us within 45 miles of Hof!
We visited the 1,000 year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus, walked over the Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square, and visited Wenceslas Square. A concert in St Nicholas Cathedral topped off the day.
Every trip bonds those who travel, teaches of the history that came before us, and gives us greater appreciation of the wine world. Paul and I would love for you to join us for out 2018 cruise on the Rhone River.
Make your reservations with Sue Hall:
SUE HALL AT DISTINCTIVE TRAVEL
25132 OAKHURST DR #130 | SPRING, TX 77386
281.893.1104 | 888.884.7914