This is the second post in a series of posts about my recent river cruise down the eastern Danube. You can read the first part here . I had intended to post while I was on the cruise however there just wasn't time. Then when I got home I thought I would write about it over seven consecutive days but, as is often the case, life got in the way. So it looks like I may take a few weeks to finish writing about it.
The ship sailed overnight from Budapest and was at our next point of call not long after we woke up. The first place we stopped was at a town called Kalocsa. Actually, this was one of the few places where the ship wasn't able to berth right inside a town. Kalosca is situated a little way from the river and needed a transfer to get to it from the ship. Not that we actually got to see it as we had booked our first excursion to the city of Pécs (pronounced Paytch) an hour and forty minute drive from the ship. After our trip to Pécs, we would catch the ship in Mohacs and sail on to our next destination from there.
The excursion was eight hours long, which in hindsight was probably too long the day after a flight that had been delayed, and little sleep. The little sleep we had was nothing to do with the ship, it was more to with us getting used to the temperature and a different bed. Anyway, we had a knowledgeable guide who gave us a lot of information about Hungary as we travelled to Pécs. The only problem was that everyone on the coach was tired and he was determined to make sure he earned every penny of his fee. So he gave a running commentary about the country for most of the journey!
Pécs is a very old city. Archaeological findings suggest there has been a settlement there for 6000 years. It was occupied the Celts and then by the Romans. Actually this part of the world has often been subject to wars and conquests and it has been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. All the places we visited on our cruise had long history's of wars and conquests. It made me grateful that my own country has been relatively stable having not been conquered for a thousand years, although sadly, in the past, we had a history of conquering other nations.
Our guide told us about the many Roman graves that have been excavated over the years. We were given a tour of Pécs' Roman Catholic cathedral, the St Peter and Paul's Basilica. A beautiful ornate building which has had a lot of restoration work done to it over the years. Here are some photographs of it's interior.
And here is a photograph of it's exterior with me and my wife standing on the steps leading up to the entrance.
After our tour we were taken to a restaurant to have a Hungarian meal. Sadly, like a lot of our journey, we didn't take any photographs of it. It was only when we got back to England that we realised how few pictures we had taken on our travels. However, we have taken enough to remind us of our river cruise.
After our lunch we had an hour of free time to explore the area on our own. It was an extremely hot day so we didn't venture far.
We were finally returned to our ship which had travelled further on its journey to the the town of Mohacs. We could have gone on a tour of Mohacs as the ship wasn't sailing until nearly midnight, but we were both shattered after our long day out. So we had a meal, sat on the top deck and watched the sunset and then went to the evening's entertainment. It had been a long tiring, but rewarding day.
All photographs are my own and have only appeared here and on my Facebook feed.