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Published: December 17th 2014
Hi everyone! Hope you are all well 😊
On Tuesday I will finally be on my trip of a lifetime when I leave for Dubai, but before that I took a little warmup to Central Europe where I visited many places of important historical significance to me.
The trip started in Budapest, Hungary where the temperatures were exceptionally hot - and did infact break the record temperatures ever seen in the country in August at 40˚C. Being so hot, free water was given out all day long to keep people hydrated. We started our trip by taking a tour of the Parliament building, before taking in the view of the city from Gellert Hegy. We then walked over to Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion, where the buildings had now been lit up after sunset, and finished by walking across Chain Bridge to view the riverbank in darkness.
The following day we went to the House of Terror, which like the KGB museum in Vilnius featured many genuine torture objects from the days of communism. Scarier still was the fact the last time Mum was in the city, these activites were still going
on. Following on from here we went to Heroes Square, the Central Market and then the city centre, where we stocked up on naff souvenirs. Being so hot it was hard to cram in all the sights we wished to see, but we managed the essentials! On the evening of our final day, my friend from Erasmus, Hanna came to meet up with me and we spent the evening catching up on Gellert Hegy. Luckily that night there was a storm, and so the heights of 40˚ would never be seen again (at least not until Dubai in 3 weeks) - and leaving 22˚ feeling rather chilly.
The second part of the trip involved visiting Lake Balaton in the west of Hungary. We stayed in the resort town of Keszthely, where there was a lovely beach into the shallow lake which was rather refreshing after the hot weather of recent. On the next day we took the trip to Sümeg, the village where my grandad lived until he escaped Hungary in 1956, and where the majority of the rest of his family still live. Despite speaking no Hungarian, and most of them speaking no English, we were
warmly welcomed and had a thoroughly enjoyable day getting to know them and visiting Sümeg Castle.
The following day we visited the spa town of Hévíz just up the road from Keszthely where the thermal lake had waters of 30˚C+, something I had yet to experience. The sun also left its mark on me tha day, allowing me to sport a lovely sunburn for the next week. On our final day we relaxed a little as our next day involved a 5-leg travel into Austria and spent the day at the market hunting for Noodle scrapers!
Making it into Austria we were immediately hit by modernity...electronic updated travel information and electronic doors! Once we made it to Graz early than expected we decided to visit the local shopping centre, rather than cramming it into the plan for the next day - however we didn't realise that actually we arrived on a Bank Holiday, and so it was shut...
Scrapping that plan, the following day we started with visiting the house in Graz where my great grandmother lived, before climbing the Schloßberg and viewing the symbol of the city - the Uhrturm,
and then making our way down into the market place. Being a small city we then had ample time to visit the shopping centre where we ate the classic Schnitzel, topping up our culinary delights after the Paprika Chicken in Hungary!
The following day we left Austria for Slovenia where we arrived in Ljubljana in 3 hours. The following day we took the trip to Lake Bled, one of the most beautiful places I've ever witnessed, and took a walk around it before heading back to Ljubljana, where we explored the following day - starting with the castle, before making our way to the market and then the Triple Bridge.
Having wanted to visit this area for a long time, I can definately say it was worth it, and would highly reccommend Budapest, the Balaton area and Lake Bled to all of you!
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