Blogs from Hungary, Europe

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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 24th 2015

If Amsterdam was the perfect place to start this river cruise, Budapest was certainly the perfect place to end it! We actually arrived on Saturday night about 10pm and we were greeted with the most beautiful lights I've seen in quite a while. Viking invited everyone to the Sun Deck for champagne and commentary about the sights we were seeing - on both sides of the Danube. It was magical! Budapest was formed from two cities: Buda on one side of the river and Pest on the other. Buda is the older side with a medieval castle fortified city wall and several other very, very old buildings. It also has some beautiful old churches and museums. Pest, is the newer, more thriving part of the city with the spectacular Parliment building and several other beautiful buildings ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 10th 2015

Two things that most often come into play throughout our travelling have been the different currencies and languages we have encountered. As with all travel there is always a financial concern. Will we have enough money? What can we do to save money? Then factor in the exchange rates on various currencies combined with bank fees. Next we have to do a lot of calculating before spending so we know how much it is going to set us back. Most of the time we have been dealing in euros but Croatia, Turkey, and Hungary all use their own currencies. Of all the countries we have visited, we have found Hungary to be the most inexpensive. They use a currency called "Forints" which comes in a variety of denominations. Tricky to get your head around, but we ... read more
St. Matthias Church
Fisherman's Bastien
Varosliget Park

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 10th 2015

We had an event-packed trip to Hungary, a unique country and people. We enjoyed figuring out the public transportation; becoming more efficient each day. This trip we traveled almost entirely by public transport - bus, metro, tram, regional bus; 7 day pass for the entire city – ... read more
Hungarian Cooking
down to the metro
George wants a Trabant

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 9th 2015

Leaving Turkey left us with a mixture of emotions and a sense of sadness. This gentle country, with it's array of breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous mosques, the call to prayer that echoes out 5 times a day, little old Turkish men sitting around with their backgammon boards, hijab/ harem clad old women weeding fields by hand under the hot sun, and the overall gentle nature of this country are memories we will forever treasure. We had arranged to take a shuttle from Selcuk to Izmir Airport. Our meeting place was just past the hospital by a parkette. We were to be there by 10:30 as the shuttle was to arrive anywhere between 10:30 and 10:45. So we said our good-byes to the staff at Hotel Bella and began our walk to the stop. Arriving just after 10, ... read more
The Tower of St. Stephen
Holy Right Hand
Chain Bridge

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest May 9th 2015

Po check oute a odmietnutia ranajok nechavame domacemu tringelt 3lei. V novom meste kupujeme plnene pecivo (u gigiho,zrejme neaky narodny retazec) a sup zasa nazad do stareho mesta. Oproti vcerajsku je tu uz kopa turistov (je sobota) a zda sa mi,ze aj viac predajcov suvenirov a samozrejme pri vstupnej brane co oddelulej stare a nove mesto zobraci. V mestecku len posedaveme na lavickach a nasavame slnecne luce. Vcera sme mysleli, ze clock tower (podobne ako orloj v prahe len s menej panacikmi), zahaji o celej hodine neaku sou (pohyb panacikov) ale nic sa nedialo. Dari si ma odlovit dalsia keska, ale oproti tej prvej nic moc zaujimave neukazuje co by clovek nevidel aj bez jej umiestnenia. Na obed zapadame do restiky concordia (url=http://www.tripadvisor.sk/Restaurant_Review-g311309-d4324641-Reviews-Concordia-Sighisoara_Mures_Coun... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest April 23rd 2015

A lot happened at the start of our trip.... so I hope bear with me as I keep writing about all of the initial days and weeks. Soon after we got to Budapest, my friend and colleague from HSU, Tasha Howe came to visit with her family. Tasha did her Fall sabbatical in Croatia, and she decided to spend a few days with us before returning to the US. In addition to wanting to show their family the city, I was also hoping that her boys who are similar ages to my kids would share some encouraging/inspiring things to say about their experiences. (My kids were into their first week of school and decidedly not excited about the sabbatical at this point.)Tasha, her husband Mike, and their boys got here very late at night on January ... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest April 19th 2015

Writing this blog has been on my 'to-do' list since week one in Hungary. Writing it has become somewhat of a joke even in my own mind, seeing that I made no progress on it at all. But now that about half of the time here is gone, I realize I better start putting some thoughts down. We arrived on December 27 after a long but uneventful trip. The most exciting thing that happened was that Tyler got hassled a bit when entering Switzerland (which is where we entered the EU/Schengen region). His return ticket is for July 30 but US citizens can only stay for 3 months. So, he had to explain that he'd be applying for a visa once in Hungary. The kids and I traveled with Hungarian/EU passports, so we had no similar ... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Western Transdanubia April 19th 2015

Kirándulás barátainkkal egy áprilisi vasárnapon.... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Southern Transdanubia » Mohacs April 18th 2015

We had a good orientation with Hendrik our Cruise Director the night before, and a lovely dinner where we started meeting some of our fellow ship mates. Some had been on the cruise for a week already; starting in Nuremburg, and we had a collection of Canadian, American, Taiwanese, Australian, Kiwi and Indian, a great group totalling 120. Met all the staff (also very multi-cultural) and felt right at home. We realized that the Avalon Cruise isn’t just about the cabins, the meals, the incredible staff, excursions etc. but also the little attention to detail. The turn down service nightly with (a different) chocolate on our pillow; the international newsletters that Hendrik made every day for the different countries on board with the latest news, the maitre’d checking in on our food requirements nightly and ensuring ... read more
Locks of love, Pecs is famous for being the city of love locks.
Mohac
Beautiful gate in Pecs along the old city wall

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest April 17th 2015

This morning I woke up with optimistic hope; I had to believe that my passport would come in, and I was to call the Embassy between 08:30-09:00 (so, is 08:31 OK??). The previous evening we had gone for a nice long walk along the river; expel some stress energy and continue to explore the beautiful city of Budapest. We walked down to the parliament building (which is an incredible feat of architecture, no matter how many times I see it) and I wanted to get some more photos of the shoes along the riverbed. These shoes are representative of the Jewish individuals who were forced to take off any belongings of any value (including shoes) before they were shot and their bodies fell into the Danube. Yes it's horrible to write that, but we also need ... read more
Mr. Pickles enjoying his dead sea salt scrub
Getting our Hungarian Fissage
Alexandra Bookstore, Budapest




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