Ahoy! Rafting the Danube 2016

We’ve been back in Berlin for two days and have just hung up the sixth and last load of washing. The tent is airing in the living room, the camping cookware has been through the dishwasher and I’ve quietly added over 600 photos to my laptop. I guess you could say the adventure’s just about over – it’s time to relive it all!

Vienna yachthafen kuchelau raft danube flosstour
About to set sail in Vienna

Three weeks ago we left Berlin and made our way down to Vienna where we ended our raft journey last year. Rebuilding the raft proved to be more time-consuming the second time around and it took two whole days of sawing, screwing and fixing before we could finally put our vessel to water and, most importantly, test the engine. Much to our delight (and surprise), after sitting in a shed for a year, our thirty-eight year old outboard motor Gandalf came back to life within the first few pulls of the starter cord – nothing could stop us now!

raft danube vienna donau selbstgebaut
Reinforcing the base platform

The next day we set off on what would be a 400km journey through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, taking in the capital cities of each country along the way.

raft parliament budapest danube donau stube adventure
My personal highlight – rafting past the Parliament building in Budapest

Ten different people came on board for varying lengths of time, making for an ever-changing crew of various nationalities, ages, skills and experiences.

Crew raft danube floss tour donau
Our wonderful crew

We camped everywhere from friendly canoe clubs to mosquito-plagued gravel banks, from lush riverside wild spots to campsites with free WiFi and saunas.

rafting wild camping microadventure danube
Wild camping on the banks of the Danube is quite a civilised affair

As the river slowly carves its way through Europe, we passed through pretty villages, stunning towns, luscious green landscapes, ancient castles and fortresses, quiet and idyllic side channels and new scenery with every bend of the river.

danube knee hungary visegrad raft adventure
The view from the sundeck

We enjoyed the kindness of strangers over and over again, meeting friendly locals and entertaining the Hungarian police on three separate occasions.

raft the danube paks canoe kayak club atomeromu
Invaluable help from the canoe club in Paks

Some days it was all about floating along and enjoying the sunshine…

summertime rafting adventure danube raft flosstour

Some days were about taking time off and doing a spot of sightseeing…

Budapest by night raft adventure

And some days it was about making the most of the incessant rain and eating the biggest ice creams we could find!

 

ice cream szazhalombatta raft adventure Hungary Danube

It’s been quite an incredible couple of weeks and we hope to share more of our adventure with you in the next few weeks, but first, we’ve still got a bit more unpacking to do!

sunrise raft danube hungary adventure
Sunrise on the last day of the tour

Sarah is a freelance translator living in Berlin. She loves a good old adventure, from dog sledding in Sweden to cycling Britain, from running a marathon to exploring abandoned buildings and from watching the sun rise from atop Ben Nevis to pedaloing from Prague to Berlin.

2 thoughts on “Ahoy! Rafting the Danube 2016

  1. It looks like it was amazing 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing more stories!

  2. We missed you Laura! You can’t see it, but we still had one of your vases with flowers to make things pretty and much improved storage options – you’d have been so proud!

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