The Mustard You Must Buy in Germany For One Euro


Regensburg, Germany, to be exact. At The Historic Sausage Kitchen by the river, or "Wurstkuchl." We knew on our Danube cruise that we needed to try the mini sausage sandwich here, to compare it to the one in Nuremberg, our next stop. Apparently there's a long-standing friendly rival on which sausage is better. I couldn't quite figure out if that was just a tour guide thing or actually true. Nonetheless, we went to Wurstkuchl and tried a mini sausage sandwich, with sauerkraut and mustard. It tasted like Germany in one fantastic bite-sized sandwich. What made it so good was the mustard. And they sell small jars for ONE EURO each. I stocked up on these great gifts and had a great time exploring Regensburg on a gray, overcast day.

Danube River Cruise - Passau

The best thing we did in Passau (after Melk) was rent bikes for a couple of hours and do a long ride along the grey Danube. We wanted the fresh air and exercise (and needed it after eating strudel at Cafe Simon - a must-have in Passau) and it felt so good to take a long ride off the boat. Highly recommended! I have bike trips on my mind and really want to do one this year in Europe. In Passau, I also loved the beautiful Baroque Cathedral and seeing Europe's largest pipe organ.

Returning to Passau from bike rideCozy Cafe SimonMust-try apple strudel at Cafe Simon

Feels Like Home in Vienna

In college, I lived in Vienna one summer and fell in love. On the cruise, we docked in Vienna on the second day.

We only had one full day here but packed it in doing THIS:

  • Enjoying original sacher torte at Cafe Sacher (my favorite dessert on Planet Earth)
  • Seeing fabulous new rooms and suites at Hotel Sacher
  • A fantastic tour at the Spanish Riding School
  • Cafe hopping from my favorite (Cafe Sperl, where I started "The Reluctant Empress," considered to be the definitive biography on Empress Sisi) to other classics (Cafe Central, Cafe Landtmann)
  • Shopping at Julius Meinl
  • Viennese-style tapas at Zum Schwarzeen Kameel
  • Seeing what's new in the 7th district behind the MuseumsQuartier
  • Strolling the Naschmarkt
  • Dinner at Figlmuller, known for the best and biggest wiener schnitzel
  • Doing some quick tours of other hotels.

The Christkindlmarkt at the striking Vienna Rathaus (funny name but means 'City Hall' in German) had just opened so we got to meander through the huts. I loved every minute of being back in Vienna and can't wait to return.

Cafe Central

Julius Meinl

On Board The Viking Embla

Boarding the Viking Embla in BudapestOur home this week is one of Viking's brand-new longships, the Viking Embla. As I wrote here, we're doing the "Romantic Danube" itinerary, which is a classic tour along the river's most popular spots. I wanted to post a few photos of the ship, which is shining new and a great home base to return to after exploring the Danube. I LOVE unpacking for a week! Most of all, I love the crew, like Connie the hotel manager, Timea the program manager, and Chris the concierge.

We're having a Turkey Day feast on board tomorrow - but I'm also happy we did an early Thanksgiving in New York with friends before we left. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cabin 319 - Veranda Suite

LobbyOne of the coffee/tea bars on boardSunset on Day One

Embarking on a Viking River Cruise - Romantic Danube

I'm off to Europe and best of all, my longtime beau is coming with me! We are flying into Budapest, spending some time there, then boarding a brand new Viking Longship to cruise the Danube River. We'll celebrate Thanksgiving on the boat with turkey and pumpkin pie. At the end of the cruise, we're spending two extra nights in Prague.

I'm excited for magical Christmas markets in this part of the world and getting into the holiday spirit. Here's the cruise itinerary, called "Romantic Danube":

1. Days 1-2 in Budapest

2. Day 3 in Vienna

3. Day 4 in Melk and Austria's Wachau Valley

4. Day 5 in Passau

5. Day 6 in Regensburg

6. Days 7-8 in the Main-Danube Canal and Nuremberg

There is FREE WIFI on board so I'll be updating along the way. Happy Early Thanksgiving!