Vienna Melk Linz Passau Regensburg Kelheim Nuremberg Flyaway

Top Nuremburg

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Bottom Budapest

Budapest to Nuremburg

Yes, this was to be a boat cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg.   Well, it didn't turn out that way.   Our arrangements were to leave Cincinnati on April 25th for Munich.   Our flights took us through Chicago O'Hare for change of planes for the long flight to Germany.   From Munich we would connect with a short flight to Budapest, arriving in the morning on the following day.   All was well, we checked in for our flight and right on time, boarded our plane for Chicago.   Once at the end of the runway we stopped.   After a time, the pilot told us that thunder storms in Chicago had grounded all planes and stopped all incoming flights.   We had a one hour connection time there and it was quickly dwindling away.   Finally after 2 hours, we returned to the gate and was told that the flight was cancelled as well as advised that all international flights out of Chicago left as scheduled.   We were booked on a plane for the next day via Dulles International for Frankfort with connecting flight to Budapest.   With tickets in hand, we left and went home for the night.

(During all through these events, above and below, I was on the phone with the offices of Viking Cruises in California keeping them advised of what was happening.   This would payoff in the event we cancelled or continued with the trip.)

Day 2 — we should be in Budapest by now — we arrived at the airport and again checked-in for our flights.   At the gate the plane arrived from somewhere, unloaded but we were not told to board.   Then the bad news, there was mechanical problems with one of the engines — it would be just a short time.   Well after about 2 hours, plane missed at Dullas, we were told that the flight was cancelled. Now United Airlines owed us arrangements but in truth, we should have cancelled everything and stayed home.   United found that Delta had a direct flight to Frankfort, departing about 7:30 p.m. with plenty of seats.   They gave us a ream of tickets and got our bags and left for Delta.

At Delta, no problem with the flight to Frankfort but they could not give us boarding passes for Budapest.   Also, we would arrive at Frankfort after the Budapest flight that United had arranged for us.   Oh well, just details.   Let's just go to Germany and see what happens.

Just as United had said, there were plenty of empty seats.   Mieko and I each took two seats; many passengers had four seats.   The flight as uneventful and we arrived at Frankfort on time.   The Frankfort airport is a big place but after some long walks and use of their Skytrain, we were at the right terminal — of course without a ticket that was any good.   Directed to a “Special Counter” where I found a very good English speaking German who was very easy to work with and most helpful.   At my suggestion, she looked at the flight we “should” have been on and that opened the door for tickets on the next flight out to Budapest.

Getting close to Budapest, I started getting the feeling that our boat had already left Budapest.   We might never see it and I was not going to chase it to Vienna.   If it was gone, we would get a hotel and stay for several days and then come home.   Surprisingly, there was a transfer agent waiting for us outside the baggage claims.   However, once in the transporting van I was handed a cell phone for a message especially for us.   The girl on the phone told us that the boat had indeed left and that we would be taken up-river where it would stop so we could board.   It was nearly a 2-hour drive from Budapest to Esztergom, Hungary, but we had seen and passed our boat and our driver smiled knowingly that he would get to our rendezvous place first.   Just passed the town, was a dock for fueling and there we waited for our boat, the Viking Europe®.   It was now late afternoon on April 27th.   Budapest was far behind us, never to be visited.

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