Cruising the River Danube

September 21, 2014  •  8 Comments

One of the challenges of a fifteen-day trip is digesting the places, people, architecture, colors, smells, and sounds, not to mention food, and pulling these into a cohesive mental picture.  For a photographer, the images shot and developed help in the process.  So the cruise on the rivers Danube (or Donau), Main, and Rhein begins to take shape in my mind.

Stepping back.  In February, my sister emailed about a possible river cruise with her alma matter.  By the time we had communicated and made up our minds that we were going to do it, the cruise was booked.  I suspect the portion that was destined for the Crimea was altered in the end, but we started looking at a number of different cruise lines, including Viking.  We chose one that featured destinations from which our maternal grandparents' family came.  A visit to the old homeland, as it were.  In the end, we had no idea, despite research, what to expect.  Surprises make great memories. 

So here I sit, a bit jet lagged but excited about the photographs, wondering where to begin.  I do know that the groove in my left shoulder from carrying both of my cameras, was well worth it, and made me fall in love with my 70-200 mm lens, beast that it is, all over again.

With numerous possibilities, I have chosen people as this blog's subject matter.

The violinist in downtown Budapest played with great intensity, even into the early evening hours.  We left hoping that his violin case had enough change in it to make a difference.

A gentleman playing a very stylized harp in Bratislava, Slovakia.

This shopkeeper at Folk Folk, a shop in Bratislava, had the most stunning face.  She was kind enough to let me photograph her.

One the treats of wandering in cities are the surprises one encounters.  We literally stumbled across this Mardi Gras parade on the fringes of the historic section of Bratislava.  In September?  But despite the relative messiness of the photo (stray elbow, stunted depth of field), the sheer joy and fun they were having was quite evident.

Carnival/Mardi Gras drummers, BratislavaCarnival/Mardi Gras drummers, Bratislava

Last but not least, Chef Robert of the Viking Cruise lines, treating us to a tour of the Farmers' Market in Vienna.

Executive Chef Robert Hudak at Vienna Farmers' MarketExecutive Chef Robert Hudak at Vienna Farmers' Market

This is just the beginning, and some of these people will be featured in future blogs.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@


D & D(non-registered)
Anthony Bourdain must be very worried; indeed, your first river travel blog stirred our senses through your photography and words. We could hear the music, see the market, and feel the intrigue expressed in your shopkeeper's Mona-Lisa-like smile. (Superb use of black-and-white to add to the mystic of that portrait.) We are awaiting next Monday's selections and descriptions...but don't be surprised if CNN calls before then!
Bravo, welcome home, can't wait to see all your magnificent memories
Ron and Beth Scott(non-registered)
We would love to take one of the river cruises sometime. That looks like the way to go. Nice pictures too!
Sara Woodburn(non-registered)
I could look at your photos of street musicians forever. I hope there are more!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
These are fabulous, Daryl. It's what you do best I think. You are able to engage your subjects so your portraits have intimacy and humanity. I can't wait to see what follows. Welcome back!
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