Only a few days left, literally. Today was – in the present it is 30th and 31st – the 17th of November. The passengers had left the ship in the morning. Nobody left on board, only the crew. The whole place is quiet, relaxed, without question, shouting, no crowded, noisy people. The bells rang for noon. Last administrations have been done, and let’s go! I also head to my cabin to change into my private, comfortable clothes, for a short break, and then back to the reception.
At first, a big meeting with the Hotel Manager, she explained everything to us, how all the things have to be done. Because it won’t be easy. We’ve been one of the best ship on the rivers in this season, so everyone is expect a lot and a real perfection from us. So everything, every small part has to be perfect, in it’s exact place, as it is written. Only 3 (!!!) more days left, and on the fourth, we can go home. So, let’s go work first, we cannot lose a minute. Unfortunately I can’t prove with pictures our hard work, or really with 1-2, I did not have time to take pictures. All day, all night (almost literally – direct.) we’ve been working, counting, making notes, collecting, packing. Then packing, fixing, and counting. After cleaning, moping, cleaning again. Counting. Making notes. And it was going on for three days in a row, 17-18-19th of November. In the end of the days we met in the bar to watch a movie, just for relaxation. Maybe consumed 1 or maximum 2 beers, and brought ourselves to our cabin to fall asleep. No big parties, long nights, we were happy to make it to the bed.
We had to make it from Budapest to Linz. But first, it was not sure, that we can manage it until Budapest.
Already the last trip was not sure. We began it one day before from Nurenberg, just to go with a bigger amount of water until Regensburg, and from there, hopefully until Passau. This stretch is one of the most difficult and most dangerous part of the Danube, because if we had water, the bottom part of the river is still close to us. And it was more closer now, when there was no rain, no water. But! We made it. Our Captains brought our ship between the two German cities with The Force of a Jedi, under the moonlight. I could say, that we sneaked through this stretch, but really, f***ing not. The bottom of the ship always touched the ground of the river, with a noise like thousand of nails were scratching a green board from the school. At least we heard it like this from our cabin, and I think, from the outside it was not so quiet either. Does not matter, they’ve made it, brought us to Passau!
So we spent a night in Passau, and on the next day we got back to our original schedule, in the afternoon set sail and we did not stop until Vienna. But then and there. We got the news, the river is closed after Bratislava, due to the really low water. The next thing, 3 cargo ships are in the middle of the river, ran aground, so it did not help us either. That’s how our first day was in the capital of Austria, almost without any hope. The night left, and when we woke up, almost could not believe to our eyes. It was raining. Everybody was smiling, praying, just don’t stop raining, what else, just start falling heavier, as much as possible. Around 3:00 pm, the Captain came down from the wheelhouse. He stopped in the door, and said: We go at 5:00 pm, that’s our only chance. The stress-level raised on the ship, you could almost touch it. But, in the end, with some magic, we made it until Budapest!!! And here we connect back to our original story.
After 3 days continuous sailing, without any stops, literally. It was not easy until now, but everyone saw the light in the end of the tunnel. And did hope, that the light doesn’t belong to an incoming train. We could not give it up, we could manage this easily, we must manage this! And an extra, our “price”, the Gala Dinner at the last night was a really good motivation. For everyone.
As it was planned, on the 19th, we arrived to Linz, in time. We parked our ship between the others, where they prepare them during winter time. There was already a lot of ships, but also some of them were still cruising, until January as well. I just realized, what a huge business is this, and how many ships are here already. A lot. Really lot. But we did not care about the. We arrived in safe, the last touches on the ship, a few more small things what we had to do, corrections, registrations, and the end of the day, our Gala Dinner is already here. From here we can reach the city with taxi. Ok, not just with taxi, you can walk as well, but with the taxi, it’s easier. Anyway, during the day, in the end of it, we had finished everything, the Bosses were coming to check, make notes, look around very carefully for all the details. No problems at all, everything is fine! After this, a big breath out, and everyone goes to change, to get ready for the dinner. We had a reservation in the Lentos Restaurant, next to the river, tight next to our usual docking place. But before we go there, one more meeting. Just to say thank you for the season, cheers, and to get our presents from the company, what – in this year – was a really useful thing, you won’t believe, what. A small, portable battery charger, in a ship-shape, with our ship’s colors 🙂 Really creative, and the point is, that useful! Ant charge my phone so fast like a TGV. Or a super sonic rocket. Or something like this.
During this meeting, the taxis had arrived, so nothing left, let’s go, we have a reservation, we have to be there in time. Around 10 cars parked next to each other in front of the ship, like in the movies. It was pretty cool to see. 4-4 people get in the cars, and left the parking place after each other. The ride took for 5-6 minutes, but I could not wait to get my food on the table, because of this meal, I did not eat anything today. We arrived, waited for the others to join us, and in one time, altogether we occupy the building. The building itself is a kind of museum, what has a library and – as it figured out now for me – a restaurant as well.
The menu itself wasn’t so difficult, but delicious. We started with a nice soup, then the choice from two main courses (we had a special menu, only for us, so I could remember only my choices, sorry), what was a Cordon Bleu, and in the end, the desert 🙂
In the end of the dinner, our Captain said a few words to us, to everyone for this fantastic and successful season, and he does hope to see us again.
After we’ve finished with the food, moved toward to a local pub to drink, play billiard, to have fun.
At one of the early morning’s hour we went back to the ship, because most of the crew have to wake up in the early morning, something around 5:00 am the bus has to arrive. So we get back to the ship with taxi, and after that straight to the bed, have some sleep.
I set my alarm at 7:00 in the morning, since I chose to arrange the transportation to home by myself, with some of my colleagues from Linz to Budapest, by train. I already gave out my big luggage in Budapest last time, so I had only one carry-on, hahahaha!!! The train takes around 4 hours to the Keleti station. I opened my door at 7:20, and go up to meet the others. Than I saw one of my colleague, who supposed to go with the bus already, walking on the corridor. He said, that the bus did not come, they forgot to send it, and now it is on the way. That’s not bad at all. And they supposed to go to the airport, where they supposed to be in time, otherwise they close the gates in front of you, and you have to stay. Everyone was staying around the reception, sleeping, holding each other, leaning against each other’s back, getting nervous. Then, we said goodbye to everyone, our taxis are here to the airport. We leave earlier then the others. Who supposed to be at the airport already. But not a lot earlier, 1 or 2 minutes later the bus had arrived as well. And then everyone was in hurry, and run fast, they did not have a lot of time. And on the other hand, we, 5 of us, in peace, relaxed, get into the taxis, and heading to the train station. In 10-15 minutes later we get off, search for the right station, wait for the train, and when it stop in front of us, get on it, occupy our reserved seats, lay back and enjoy our trip to home. 4 hours, not more, and I’ll be home, again!
The trip was smooth, did not have any delay, what else, there was parts of the journey where the speed of the train reached the 200 km/h speed – of course, not in Hungary. Then, in the – almost – end, I get off from the train one stop earlier, at the Kelenfold station, there I had a direct connection to Erd, so I did not have to travel across the whole city. And for the end of the day, I was at home, in one piece, in safe.
So, that was the 2k15 season for me, but a lot more. Somewhere in the middle of the summer, when I started with the blog, since then that’s happened with me. I do hope you enjoyed to read my stories, at least as much as I enjoyed to write about them. See you soon fellas!!! 🙂