There are a lot of pictures I’ve earmarked for blog posts that just don’t have enough meat to stand on their own. Here’s a photo dump of quirky things we’ve seen across our trip.
Water Bus – Budapest
Pretty sure a strong wind would blow this thing on its side. It looks amazing though. (more…)
Visiting the thermal baths is one of those things you have to do in Budapest. There are countless spas to choose from, and swayed by its pretty yellow buildings, we chose Széchenyi. Also, it’s the largest medicinal bath in Europe, so there’s that. (more…)
Bryk is the last bar we’ll be covering in Berlin. We were a little skeptical heading in, from the outside it has a touch of that “ultralounge” vibe that defines the eurotrash experience. Thankfully the drinks were on point, though they often veered into molecular gastronomy territory.
OK, truth time: We were really not feeling Budapest at first. We’ve learned that during long-term travel it’s important to have a few places where we spend extended periods of time. This helps us re-establish routines for exercise, cooking at home, etc. During our Asia trip, we rented apartments and spent a month each in Bangkok and Hong Kong. Here, we’ve taken longer stays in Paris and Berlin, and we also decided that Budapest would be a good place to slow down, so we booked two weeks there.
However, when we arrived in Budapest we were disappointed. The heat wave still hadn’t broken so it was too hot to explore for most of the day. All the food we had was heavy and really not good. And, this was the first time our research had led us astray in terms of location. The neighborhood we chose, Terézváros, was full of touristy restaurants and bars, and just seemed like a place people went to party. Somewhere along the way, we realize, we got old. Also, we’d travel to a destination only to find this sort of thing happen…constantly:
Fortunately, Budapest started what Ian called its “win back” campaign about 5 days into our stay, and we started to change our minds about the city, so much so that by the time we had to leave we had grown really fond of it. (more…)
Budapest is really, really pretty. Here is some eye candy:
In Hungary, August 20th is St. Stephen’s Day (also known as Hungary’s birthday), and we were in Budapest to see all the festivities. St. Stephen became Hungary’s first king in 1000 AD when he was appointed by the pope. His great accomplishment was converting the nation to Roman Catholicism. We learned that celebrating St. Stephen’s Day was prohibited from 1945-1990 while Hungary was under communism. So, now it’s back in full force and Catholics abound and everyone loves a party.
This is St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s nice!
Lost in Grub Street is a weird bar with a weird name in Berlin’s business district. It was literally empty when we got there at 8PM on a Saturday; the bartender had to follow us in (he was sitting outside). He blamed “weekends in the summer,” which to me seem like good times to be in the bar business, but maybe things are different in Berlin (?)
The theme of the bar is “big bowls and short drinks.” Being as how there are only two of us, we skipped the punch bowls.
We didn’t plan to go to Bratislava. When I was researching this trip from home it seemed like the consensus was that Bratislava didn’t have a lot to offer. I hope that public opinion stays that way so the city can remain as quiet and cute as we found it. We had intended to take an overnight train from Krakow to Budapest but it booked up far in advance and the best option we found was to take a bus to Bratislava, spend a day or two there, and then take a short train ride the rest of the way to Budapest. We decided to “splurge” on a 4-star hotel with a fitness center and a fancy breakfast buffet (and air conditioning!) and it was super amazing and a great deal.