Enjoyed substitute itinerary

My husband, Don, and I took another fine trip with Viking River Cruises (phone 877/668-4546 or visit www.vikingrivercruises.com), “Vienna to the Black Sea,” via the Danube, on the Viking Europe, Sept. 14-Oct. 2, ’03. In a little over two weeks we visited Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Romania and Bulgaria. We could see some of Croatia, but no stops were made there.

Because the river was very low, the pontoon bridge at Novi Sad, Serbia, caused delays and itinerary changes. However, this gave us time in unscheduled places without tourists (Mohács, Hungary; Vidin, Bulgaria, and Novi Sad) plus an elegant night in Budapest at the end.

Buses and local guides took us to inland areas. An overnight at Sinaia, Romania, was a special treat. Another was the beach at Mamaia Sat, Romania, just north of Constanta. The Black Sea looked quite beautiful.

There are not so many locks on this river trip as on the Amsterdam-Vienna route, and the ones we did encounter were larger, holding several ships at a time.

Our biggest complaint — LOUD music in every special program, often with folk dancers in beautiful costumes. We’d suggest earplugs, but go!

Altadena, CA