Bar tour in Budapest, Hungary

Szimpla ruin bar in Budapest - photo by Rob McFarland

Szimpla ruin bar in Budapest – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sun-Herald, Australia – Aug 19, 2018

“I guess she can drive!” we all cry, clinking our glasses in unison. According to Fanni, our smiling guide from Urban Adventures, this is the closest approximation to “egeszsegedre!” or “cheers!” in Hungarian.

Given Hungary’s location in the heart of Europe, you’d think its language might resemble that of one of its neighbours – Austria or Croatia perhaps? Not a chance. Its closest relative is the equally tongue-troubling Finnish.

Still, with this all-important phrase under my belt, I feel suitably equipped to tackle an evening of bar hopping around Budapest.

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Cruising on the Danube with U by Uniworld

Sailing on the Danube with U by Uniworld - photo by Rob McFarland

Sailing on the Danube with U by Uniworld – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Sep 15, 2018

“Everyone pray for rain so we can make it down the Danube.” Not exactly what you want to hear from the captain at the start of a river cruise. Europe has been basking in a heatwave all summer and the lack of rain means the Danube is perilously low. We’ve just joined the ship at Regensburg in Germany but unless we get more rain we won’t be able to make it over a perennially problematic sandbar near Deggendorf.

This is my first river cruise and I’d naively assumed that itinerary changes were something that only happened on ocean voyages. But according to Caspar, our head guide (or U Host) from the Netherlands, the Danube is particularly susceptible to fluctuating water conditions. “We have to improvise,” he says with typical Dutch pragmatism. “And we will have fun no matter what happens.”

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