Viking’s Danube Waltz (5)

Viking’s Danube Waltz (5)

con­tin­ued from part 4…

June 5: Linz-Salzburg-Linz & Viking Cuisine

Turismus Salzburg
Tur­is­mus Salzburg

The qual­i­ty of Viking’s Danube Waltz cui­sine is uni­form­ly high. There is always a choice of three or four first and main cours­es, nice­ly bal­anced between meat, fish and veg­e­tar­i­an, with excel­lent soups (and again, there’s no rea­son why you can’t order both a starter and soup). At din­ner, sev­er­al sta­ple items always accom­pa­ny the choic­es: Cae­sar sal­ad, sautéed salmon fil­let and rib eye steak. Meats tend to be over­cooked, so spec­i­fy medi­um-rare if you mean medium—and some are tough, for which there are two solu­tions: send it back and ask for anoth­er (nev­er a prob­lem), or bring your own steak knives (unless they’ve accept­ed our sug­ges­tion that these be pro­vid­ed.) We record­ed our favorites (aster­isk = region­al specialty):

Starters: Hun­gar­i­an Farmer’s Plate*—salami, ham, pick­les, körözött (goat cheese), roast­ed egg­plant and gar­lic soup, antipasti and pesto, pota­to crust­ed mas­car­pone cheese, seared quail with aspara­gus risot­to, veg­etable spring rolls, Greek sal­ad, smoked fish plat­ter, Par­ma ham & mel­on, stuffed artichokes

Soups: car­rot gin­ger, roast­ed toma­to, cream of white aspara­gus, pota­to leek.*

Entrees: rump steak (if it’s a good cut), seared mahi mahi and cur­ry sauce, sauteéd tur­bot, sepia pas­ta and aspara­gus, zwiebel­rost­braen and onions*, braised short ribs with sauteéd mush­rooms, Tyrolean cat­fish in horse­rad­ish crust*, pump­kin ravi­o­li with lamb loin, decon­struct­ed Beef Welling­ton, sea bass and saf­fron velouté.

Lunch: gar­lic velouté, lin­gui­ni von­gole, veal chop Milanese, riga­toni gor­gonzo­la, smoked salmon que­sadil­la, thin­ly sliced duck breast, fresh figs, a dozen kinds of bread and fruit, apri­cot schnapps that would clean a paint brush. There’s also the option of light buf­fet lunches.

Desserts: Esther­hazy cake*, Float­ing Island (poached meringue with vanil­la créme), warm sug­ar waf­fle.* There’s always a splen­did cheese plate, dif­fer­ent every night, with every­thing from famil­iar mun­ster and gruyére to local specialties.

We woke in Linz and set off on a day’s excur­sion to Salzburg, 90 min­utes away by motor coach. For pas­sen­gers already famil­iar with Salzburg, Viking offers a morn­ing tour of Linz. I leave it to your brows­er to tell you all about these fine cities and will sim­ply state how Viking han­dles Salzburg. Morn­ing group walk­ing tours take you to the Old Town, Mozart’s birth­place and Hohen­salzburg Fortress above the city cen­ter. You’re then turned loose for 2 1/2 hours of free time includ­ing lunch on your own. Obvi­ous­ly this can be no more than an ori­en­ta­tion vis­it; you need to come back.

In a few hours there’s enough time for a walk­ing tour, shops and lunch. At mid-day many cafes seem to spe­cial­ize in dessert dish­es. We found one with a very good lunch (touristy prices) but it’s heavy fare. It was 90 in the shade so a cool church was a wel­come respite after­ward. The Old Town is main­ly a shop­ping area for pricey lux­u­ry goods and tschotske. The funic­u­lar up to the Fortress is said to offer a great view and it was much cool­er up there, but at this sched­ule there’d be lit­tle time for much else.

Modensee, between Linz and Salsburg.
Mod­ensee, between Linz and Salzburg.

Again in June the crowds are enor­mous; ear­ly autumn might be a bet­ter time for this vis­it. I was not tak­ing pho­tos today but I did snap one of the Mod­ensee, en route from Linz, over­looked by the south­ern alps, filled with sail­boats, a spec­tac­u­lar panorama.

Next: Pas­sau, Germany

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