Page 3 of Campingmat Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 5th 2018

Our last full day in Vienna was dedicated to Schloss Schonbrunn. In order to get there, we decided to take the Subway, and were carefully instructed as to how to get there without having to switch lines, which was a very important factor to us even though it required walking to a station further away from the hotel. Needless to say, we were completely dumbfounded once we got to the station about the, supposedly, simple task of buying whatever ticket we needed for the ride. We were so frustrated that we were about to give up on the whole idea and just pay for a taxi ride when a gentleman approached us and offered his help. In no time at all we had our tickets, were in the right side of the platform, and were even ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 4th 2018

Our first morning in Vienna we discovered that not only did our breakfast buffet was as extensive or more than in Budapest, but this enlightened hotel kept sparkling wine on ice for those who wished a little perk me up in the morning! Our first full day in Vienna was planned around some of the major landmarks around the Inner City. Hofburg Palace, the Museum Quarter, the Opera House, etc. With slightly more confidence as to where we were going, we set out for the Inner City and managed to do a fairly good job about finding the landmarks we were looking for. I enjoyed the Hofburg complex, and the wonderful architecture of the Museum Quarter, although having the grounds prepared for a festival was a bit of a turn off. The highlight of the day ... read more
Hofburg Palace
St. Michael's Gate, Hofburg Palace

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 3rd 2018

Our departure from Budapest could have ended in disaster! We got to the train station early, and were directed to our platform where a train for Munich was waiting. We were still not particularly aware of procedures but, in our defense, I should say that we asked at least three different persons to make sure we were in the right place and, although friendly, it wasn't until the last person we asked who actually told us that the train we had been staring at for fifteen minutes was the train we should be on! Yes, it was for Munich, but it made several stops along the way, Vienna being one of them! We were embarrassed, but eventually laughed it off with relief for not having missed the train. We had seats in the first class compartment, ... read more
The Harmonie Hotel
Around Inner City, Vienna
St. Peter's Church

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest September 2nd 2018

Our last day in Budapest started with a short walk to the Great Synagogue on Dohany Street to start our tour of the Jewish Quarter. This synagogue, the largest in Europe and second largest in the world, is also significant as a monument to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. We started the tour at the Jewish Museum, which contains many beautiful donated artifacts, and then moved on to view the synagogue and the grounds which contain the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, and the Memorial. We visited the graveyard where over two thousand of those who died in the ghetto from hunger and cold during 1944-1945 are buried. The names of those who were able to be identified line the mass grave. To the back of it is the Heroes' Temple, which is used ... read more
Dohany Street Great Synagogue
Items from the Synagogue's Museum

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest September 1st 2018

Our second day in Budapest, we decided to cross the chain bridge and explore the Buda side and its two hills, Gellert and Varhegy. Our hotel was within easy walking distance so, after a very generous and varied breakfast buffet that was included with our stay, we made our way leisurely across the beautiful bridge and headed along the Danube towards Gellert Hill. It was hot, much hotter than we had hoped, so not rushing was a must. The Danube Promenade on the Buda side was lined with nice parks, and lots of restaurants and cafes. It was a nice stroll. The climb to the hill was challenging, with equal parts steps and steep lanes, but we stopped at various levels for a break and to admire the view from different levels. There are shady benches ... read more
Entrance to Palace Gardens
Entrance to Gellert Hill

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 31st 2018

The flight to Budapest was brutal, New Orleans to Detroit, Detroit to Amsterdam with a four hour lay over in Amsterdam, and then another flight to Budapest. It started very cheerfully. We had premium seats so, before the plane even left, we had been greeted with a glass of sparkling wine. We had a couple more, and then wine with dinner, and after dinner. But then there were only a couple of hours left to the flight and I found it impossible to get any sleep. So, by the time we arrived in Amsterdam, the euphoria from the start of the trip and the wine had long left me. The arrival in Amsterdam was surprising, because we only had to clear passport check and then we were back in the airport waiting for our next flight. ... read more
Shoes on the Danube
Shoes on the Danube
Shoes on the Danube

Asia » Nepal » Patan October 2nd 2017

The trip to Nepal ended with a tour to Patan City, the oldest of the original three cities in Kathmandu Valley, also known as Lalitpur or the “City of Beauty.” Reaching Patan Durbar Square, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Monument and a marvel of Newari architecture, involved a short walk through interesting streets that required careful watching of the surroundings since they lacked any kind of sidewalk and the vehicles and crazy scooters could come uncomfortably close to pedestrians. Even though it sustained heavy damage during the April 2015 earthquake, here was another breathtaking display of Hindu temples, Buddhist monuments, and stone statues with wonderful carvings. I believe at one point it may have been the most beautiful of the Squares and it's buildings some of the most elaborate. Krishna Mandir is the most important ... read more
The Golden Temple
The Golden Temple.
The Golden Temple

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu October 1st 2017

Upon our return to Kathmandu Valley, we explored Kathmandu City, capital of Nepal. The Durbar Square includes the sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, the ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty. We also visited the Temple of Kumari, home to Nepal’s most important living goddess. The Nepal Kumari are little girls chosen for their physical and mental perfection and worshiped as living goddesses until their first menstrual period, at which time they are retired and a new Kumari is chosen. During our trip, a new 3 year old Kumari had been chosen just a couple of days before, and we saw the long line of devotees waiting to be brought to her presence for a blessing. Because of religious reasons, we were not allowed to see her personally, so we had to be contented with access to one of the ... read more
Dhansa or Kabindrapur
Vishnu and Inrapur temples
Kumari's Palace

Asia » Nepal » Chitwan September 29th 2017

Our trip to Chitwan started with a morning flight to the village of Bharaptur from the same small airport that we used for the Himalayan flight. The drive to the Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort was picturesque through small villages and rice fields. The resort is next to the banks of the Narayani River and Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chitwan National Park, established in 1973, is the first national park in Nepal. Originally the hunting grounds of the ruling class, the area is home to the One-horned rhinoceros which were close to extinction by the end of the 1960s with only 95 remaining, and 70% of the jungle having been cleared. The population has now recovered, as well as that of Bengal Tigers, although not without some cost to humans. In order ... read more
Arriving in Bharatpur
Narayani River

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley September 27th 2017

The flight to Kathmandu from Delhi displayed, once again, the contrast between their security and efficiency to ours in the USA. Not only did we go to the usual security entering the airport, but a second round before boarding the airplane. In spite of the flight being barely over an hour, we were served a tasty hot lunch. I was impressed. The drive through the City to our hotel was fascinating. Once again, sidewalks were practically nonexistent for the most part and there were endless arrays of shops and stalls with colorful displays. In some areas, the garbage was piled high, although I’m not sure whether this was an usual circumstance, or a result of the Goddess Festival that was taking place here as well as in India. We arrived towards its culmination and, again, I ... read more

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