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Published: October 3rd 2014
After over 24 hours of flying, Bill and I landed in Vienna. Our plan was to spend 2 nights and one day in Vienna, and then to continue onto Eger, Hungary, via Budapest. We had been to Vienna previously (2009) so we didn't have to rush around doing the touristy things as we had done most of them. We walked around a lot, shopped, and stopped for a bite to eat (and a beer!) at an open air food market area that was part of tne Vienna film festival. The next day we caught an early train to Budapest. Like Austria, we had been to Hungary (Budapest and Eger) in 2009. Budapest's Keleti train station is just as I remembered it - old communist era feel to it, air thick with cigarette smoke (that smell still follows me 5 weeks on as everyone seems to smoke in Europe). We got some local currency, Forint (I got a really bad rate as it turned out), and we were surprised to see black-market money changers operate in front of the official one! 2 hour train ride later we were in Eger. Eger is famous for it's wine - Bull's blood. And no, it's
not really bull's blood! Legend has it when the Ottoman's invaded, they saw the local army had red stained beards, so the rumour went around that they were drinking bull's blood and that is where they got their verocity from, so the legendary wine was born. The next day we went to the Valley of the Beautiful Woman, a collection of wineries in a hoseshoe shape at the foot of the valley overlooking Eger. We went to about 3 wine houses, had some tastings of course, and lunch. We had a lovely walk around and through town. Then before we knew it, we were heading back to Budapest. We had one full day before we were due to meet our Intrepid group, so we walked around town to get reaquainted. Oh we did our laundry which took 3 hours and it didn't even dry properly due to the laundromat being so humid! So we spent most of the first night doing that! The next day we went to The House of Terror, headquarters of the Hungarian fascist and communist dictatorial regimes and now a museum and memorial. We then went to St Stephens and just enjoyed the city. That evening, we joined our Intrepid group 'Balkan Adventure' which would be our new family for the next 2 weeks.
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