Page 8 of The Steiners Travel Blog Posts

Europe September 16th 2007

We're back safely, we will post photos later today on those entries missing them and we will also post a Best and Worst list giving credit or discredit to each place for what they were good or not good at. * Best Looking People - Belgraders * Worst Looking People - Sofians * Best National Cuisine - Sofia * Worst National Cuisine - Budapest * Best Dining Options - Belgrade * Worst Dining Options - Bucharest * Best Taxis - Sofia * Worst Taxis - Budapest * Best Sightseeing - Belgrade * Worst Sightseeing - Bucharest * Best Hotel Options - Budapest * Worst Hotel Options - Bucharest * Best Personalities - Belgraders * Worst Personalities - Bucharestians * Best Rail System - Vienna (we can't help it) * Worst Rail System - Sofia * Best ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna September 15th 2007

Feeding on popular worldwide confusion between Austria and Australia, tourist vendors here sell t-shirts that say "There are no Kangaroos in Austria". That is of course wrong in a literal sense since there are kangaroos in zoos here, but also in a figurative since we had lunch and "winner" (a wine dinner) with Oliver (who is Austrian) and his wife Sarah (who is Australian). So we have at least corrected that new myth that these tourist shops are trying to propogate. The Belvedere The day started out a little chilled and rainy as had become the custom but I ventured out in my shorts hoping the mid-80s high they had promised us for later in the day would become a reality. So we took a back way towards the Belvedere, gently avoiding the familiar Karlsplatz and ... read more
Upper Belvedere
At the Belvedere

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna September 14th 2007

We are enjoying our Espresso's and Baileys in our little lounge as is our custom, at the loss of Cafe Pruckel (100 year old institution) since we suffered from a little bit of neglect from our server this evening, towards the end of the shift - no problem, it saved us some tip money and the costs of desserts and the gratis coffees we are now enjoying. We did however have our first bite of the Wiener Schnitzel tonight, Jennifer having, unbeknownst to her, the Kinder version, and I having the full-size Amer . . . er . . . AUSTRIAN version. It was good for what it is, thank you Tama, yes more of the same (international) fried food, but it wasn't pork so they're stringing us along for a couple more days here at ... read more
Sarcophagus of the Habsburgs
Scratch Frankfurt off the list
Kunsthistorisches Museum

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna September 13th 2007

We are at the Hilton awaiting for a room to be ready for us as we continue our trend of early arrivals. But we got access to the Executive Lounge as usual and are stuffing our mouths with the free food. More later on our trip in. I made contact with my Austrian friend Oliver from my MBA studies and we will be hanging out with he and his Australian (you read right) fiance on Saturday!!! My oh my! Where have all the community dogs gone? The city is incredible and is of course topping our list as our favorite now, so to be fair we will have to devise some categories in how we would rank and you cannot put Vienna in the same grouping as cities such as Belgrade or even Budapest that were ... read more
Two Rooms!
It's like a side-by-side fridge!
Hilton Vienna

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade September 12th 2007

We debated to the very end whether or not it was a good idea to throw in one more day in Belgrade, but at least it gave us a day of rest and it allowed us to get some laundry done, clean up Milos' place, buy a sketch of Belgrade, and explore what would not normally be explored since Belgrade is a solid two-day type of place. Final Tourist Spots These were all starting to look the same at this point, but since we had a whole day ahead of us, we felt it would be much more satisfactory if we visited at least a couple more tourist hotspots. St. Mark's is quite large but ultimately it looks like most of the other Orthodox churches we have seen and the Serbian Assembly fell into that same ... read more
Serbian Parliament
Russian Coffeehouse
No likey dessert!

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade September 11th 2007

A dreary day in more ways than one . . . We went to bed at midnight last night after what was a long night (relative to our day) and woke up about 9AM to a dreary gray sky and rain outside. On the one hand we need a break, but on the second I am feeling better. We will go out in a couple of hours and visit the Citadel and maybe go do some shopping for Jennifer who wants something from the many clothing shops on Kneza Mihailova. Despite the dreary day, I'd say Belgrade and the Serbs are still our favorite place and people so far. Italian in Belgrade We had lunch at Duomo, a great Italian place in the "Silicone Valley" street - great because of the food, service, and atmosphere. I ... read more
B-Ball Courts at Kalemegdan
Who needs a cannon?
Sahat Gate at Kalemegdan

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade September 10th 2007

The Crazy Train Jumper Last night was the roughest train ride yet in the couchette, our cabin mates were friendly enough but their habits and monopolization of the breathable air (cigarette smoke, foot smell, and body odor) and space (everyone else in the car was settled in and twenty minutes later our babushkas were still shuffling around arranging their luggage and beds). Our cabin mates were a group of four - the two ladies barely said anything to us but were clearly upset we had the bottom bunks; the two guy were okay except that they both smelled, one like a** and the other like stank feet. Stinky feet kept striking up conversations with us in whatever language he was speaking to the point where we stopped telling him we didn't speak his language and would ... read more
Jennifer in her Couchette
Milos' Digs
Milos' Apartment

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 9th 2007

We're in an internet cafe now trying to sort out banking information since we charged more than we thought we would to the credit card (the LP Guide said all train tickets would be cash and so far only RILA has been), USAA loves international travellers! Our Last Day in Sofia We had an extended dinner at Happy Bar and Grill our favorite place in Sofia where we were taken care of by a most horrible server and then went to the bar where we were taken care of by Victor who was wonderful though he would not sell Jennifer the poster of the monkey eating a banana on the toilet (you'll have to ask her about that one) - she thought he was so cute (the monkey). Victor was an okay guy, but was not ... read more
What style! What pizzaz!
Couple more Gumbas under a Dome
Sephardic Temple

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 8th 2007

Arriving in Sofia We arrived no problem into the station this morning at about 6:30AM absolutely exhausted, only to be told that we couldn't buy our Serbia tickets at the RILA office because there were people waiting in line to buy tickets for trains departing in a few minutes. We asked about the central ticket office and if we could buy there and they said yes. So we went to the central ticket office later and it was closed. Had a sneaking suspicion that would be the case! Despite the train situation it was a good day because as soon as we walked out of the train station we spotted an OK Taxi which is the only thumbs up taxi service from the LP Guide so we jumped on him. The people here are again a ... read more
St. Nikolai Russian Church
Another Cat
Saint Nedelya Church at Night

Europe » Romania » Muntenia » Bucharest September 7th 2007

Redeeming Bucharest Just as our first day in Budapest was not a fair means of judging the city, neither was our first in Bucharest arriving exhausted from a noisy, cold, smoky train only to be greeted by intransigent taxis plying their rip-off tactics. Romania, like China, seems to be a place where the only way to thoroughly enjoy it is to have at least a fundamental understanding of the culture and the way things work. Being a polite tourist doesn’t work, you’ll get treated like garbage and get overcharged, walking away wondering what you did wrong. Better equipped from the first day (but clearly needing a few more day’s practice), we walked the streets of Bucharest starting with Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament. Well, don’t forget that Romania is like China, so when we arrived at the ... read more
Dambovita River
Parliamentary Palace . . .

Tot: 0.092s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 11; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0353s; 1; m:jupiter w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.6mb