This was my first December trip to Europe, and it was as I hoped--cold and snowy--but quite gorgeous. Living in Georgia, we don't get much snow, so we were thrilled to have the winter weather. And, since we were on a ship, it didn't slow us down one bit.
We arrived at the Viking Njord in time for a late buffet lunch on the Aquavit Terrace. This dining venue, which is forward of the Observation Lounge, has both indoor and outdoor seating. It was too cold to sit outside, but the views of the Chain Bridge and Budapest were a great backdrop for our lunch. Soon we were in our cabin.
After lunch, I went for an hour's walk while mom read and napped a little. I got back to the ship about 4:30. By then it was already dark! Ordinarily this would not be good, but all the Christmas lights were on, and I enjoyed being outside. Mom and I took plenty of warm clothes, and we were glad. It really makes you get into the holiday mood with everyone being bundled up. The largest Christmas market (there are several) in Budapest was held in the square just four blocks from our ship, which was docked on the Pest side of the Danube just downstream from the Chain Bridge. Since it was Saturday, the local shops had many of their winter wares (hats, gloves, sweaters, etc.) on racks outside. The Christmas market was as I expected--numerous kiosks of Hungarian handicrafts, food, and drinks. Since I was out for a walk, I didn't buy anything, saving it for the next day with mom.
We had a nice dinner in the Restaurant our first night on the ship, dining with a couple from Kansas City and another from Arizona. Mom and I both had the fish, which was good.
Our first day on the ship was over, and we couldn't wait to see more of Budapest the next day.