After 2 days of walking in a sunny and hot Budapest, the time has come, finally. Time to rest our legs, to enjoy the cold drinks and the exceptional views of the Danube shore. Time to have a cruise on the Danube River to see the glowing Budapest.
The Danube River, a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire about 2000 years ago, flows today through 10 countries, more than any other river in the world. It is the European second longest river, with a length of 2,850 km, starting from Black Forest in Germany, and flowing into Black Sea in Romania.
Since the completion of the German Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea, a distance of 3,500 km. In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European transport corridors.
Elisabeth Bridge, built originally in 1903, was named after Queen Elizabeth the wife of Franz Joseph I and has a total length of 378.6 m and width 27.1 m. The original bridge was destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt between 1961 and 1964. The original Elizabeth Bridge was the suspension bridge with the largest span in the world, until 1926.
Fascinating landmarks can be seen from ashore as well as the water, from Germany to Romania. There is a variety of travel cruises on the river, but also one can do cycling (Danube Bike Trail), hiking (Sultans Trail, Donausteig, or The Route of Emperors and Kings), or rowing (i.e. Tour International Danubien) along the river.
The Danube Banks in Budapest are a part of UNESCO World Heritage sites, they can be viewed from a number of sightseeing cruises offered in the city.
With no particular reason we picked company Legenda for an hour long cruise on the river. The month of August can be pretty busy everywhere and we decided to purchase the tickets online, in advance; especially because we wanted to have an evening cruise, to capture Budapest glowing in the dark.
With vouchers in our hands, waiting impatiently in line, we finally got to the edge of the boat. We still had to get an entrance ticket, and were a little confused where to obtain that from. But a nice lady from the ticket booth directed us to the boat entrance, where we actually exchanged our vouchers for the tickets. We didn’t find seats available on the upper deck, as they were filled up very quickly, as well as the majority of the seats of the main desk. One really need to come very early to get good seats!
Ready to get into the magic world, we picked randomly some seats on the main deck and let ourselves enveloped by the evening, indulged by the views while sipping from our cold drink.