Saturday, 19 August, 2017 – weather: Rained all day
Today we are to do a market tour, one of 4 options, with Budi the Chef. After breakfast, we make our way through the gloomy skies to the bus and a knowledgeable local guide. We learn that the market is quite narrow but is around 2 km long.
The market seems to end on a busy street but there is another major shop across that street.
The group splits up with Julie going to the flea market behind and Budi and two others return back to the boat. Rain has been threatening all morning and it starts coming down seriously. The market is not covered although most of the shops are but to walk down the aisle way means to get somewhat wet. I do that with Bill and Mary. We are to go to a coffee shop Mary had spotted earlier and we end up inside one which was an improvement over being outside in it.
The thing about the hot chocolate is that it was laced with Rum. I think the waitress must have poured in at least 3 shots of rum, it was quite an amazing burst of flavour and surprise. It knocked me around a bit.
As we sit inside the café, we can see the rain pouring off of the awning on the next shop. It is really coming down. We have to catch the bus so we make a dash for it, sort of.
Fortunately, the bus was there early and we were able to get out of the rain – it did not let up all day. We go back to the boat and have a small lunch. Then some of us have a decent nap. In fact, so long that we miss a Vienna Dance Course on board.
There were 4 unique groups on tours today. Including ours, there trips to Bratislava, Schonbrun Palace and the Spanish Riding School show. Everybody got back by the 5:00 cutoff which is when the boat starts its motors to make its last journey of our tour – to Budapest.
We then get a lengthy presentation in the lounge from Werney about the history of the company and his involvement right from the start. Then plans are explained for our departure on Monday. Very detailed and accurate plans but the main theme is that the boat is to turn around on that day and start the next cruise in the opposite way back to Amsterdam. Thus we need to make ourselves scarce in terms of getting out of the room early and suit cases ready very early. I guess it was to be expected, Scenic is a commercial organisation.
Then it is time for the Yummy and Tasty Farewell Gala Dinner.
Then they bring all of the Hotel staff, all 58 of them, in their uniforms to line up around the big buffet area.
Let me stop right now and say that the staff were absolutely brilliant. Sure they get paid more if they get good ratings from the guests, but they are genuinely friendly and good at service. They had Mr. Patrick picked from Day 1 the wines I liked. It is a pity that the 8 Sailing staff could not participate as they were very important too. The “Little Guy” was a genius.
There is more yahooing etc. upstairs and I miss-out on the “Asbach Uralt deluxe” but I had had enough. Tomorrow is the last day of the tour.