Along the Danube

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Along the Danube

The lower Danube River is a route rich in history and nature. In 2014, I had my first view of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary. Instead of a group tour of eastern Europe, I decided a river cruise would be a relaxing way to see more of this magnificent river and the countries along the way. Below are a selection of related titles I've read and enjoyed. Copies are available to check out and download from the library system.

The Danube by Nick Thorpe
In 2011, the author started a year-long trip of the Danube River at its source in Romania. He stops in various countries along the way, speaking with locals, visiting cities and towns, and exploring the countryside. The trip ends in Germany's Black Forest. I enjoyed reading the book and learned a lot about eastern Europe. A fascinating travelogue! Maps and illustrations accompany the text.

Eastern Europe! by Tomek Jankowski
In this informative and accessible book, take a tour of the history of eastern Europe from Roman times to the present day. There's an incredible wealth of history and culture in the many eastern European countries discussed in the book. I also liked the author's funny and interesting wording of chapter titles. Maps, graphs and photos accompany the text.

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor
In late 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an ambitious trip by foot from Holland to Constantinople (Istanbul). As this book opens, the author has arrived in Serbia -- then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He boards a boat for a voyage on the Danube River and sees the impressive Iron Gates. After spending time in Serbia, Leigh Fermor continues on to Bulgaria and Romania. The author's descriptions of and commentary on local life, culture and history provide a fascinating window of eastern Europe at the time. An incredible travelogue trilogy about Leigh Fermor's journey!

Top 10 Budapest by Craig Turp
Budapest is one of my favorite cities in Europe. With plenty to explore in the capitol city of Hungary -- where do you start? This handy guide is an informative starting point. You get the best of Budapest from cultural landmarks, food and drink, festivals, shopping and more. Full color photos and detailed maps accompany the text. For a longer stay in the capitol, Frommer's Budapest & the Best of Hungary is available on Overdrive. 

In Europe's Shadow by Robert D. Kaplan 
In the 1980s, the author visited Romania for the first time. The country was controlled by the Communists and not well-known to outside visitors. Years later Mr. Kaplan returned to Romania and saw how it been transformed. The book combines history, travelogue, memoir and journalism. Black and white historical maps of Romania are included.