At first, I was completely unexcited about my first river cruise. In fact, I dreaded it because I pictured these tiny rooms and cookie-cutter Danube towns that were reminiscent of yodeling villages that were straight out of a movie set of beer halls and lederhosen. I was scheduled for a meeting on the AMA Certo which is why I relented to this trip in the first place.
What I found instead was accommodations as lovely and spacious as any five-star hotel room, and more importantly days that were nothing like I had imagined.
I was biking in tourist free towns I never would have ventured to on any other type of trip as we traversed through winding vineyards at the perfect shade of fall. We visited local breweries where the only thing on tap was local ales you'd never find anywhere else and the locals were as intrigued by us as we were their story book towns I;d never contemplated like Regensburg or Passau.
Then, there were the iconic cities like Vienna and Prague where walking through the streets was like a walk through time, and I discovered Prague is now one of my favorites!
I never thought snuggling fitting into locks would ever be so interesting as you first hand experience the engineering and intrigue that accompanies displacing millions of gallons of water as the vessels makes it way along the river.
And who new Germany actually has delicious wines? I thought they were only known for their sweet dessert wines when the truth is the keep all the good stuff to themselves and don't export it.
So, what began as dread turned into one of the most memorable trips I have ever had and invited me into a locale that was authentic and completely unlike the many other European trips I've enjoyed.