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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest January 13th 2015

We had a good deal to Budapest, that included flights, 3 nights at Hotel Gold, 48hr hop on hop off bus (Big Bus Tours 7000 HUF per adult) that also included a 2hr boat trip on the Danube and an hours night bus tour. We weren’t expecting too much but were pleasantly surprised! We had arranged transfers through the Hotel Gold (8500 HUF or 30 euros) who were duly at the airport with a board and a 30 minute taxi drive, took us over the Elizabeth bridge onto the Buda side of the river and to our hotel at the top of the hill! It was quite a luxurious (for us!!) lovely room, double sized shower, flat screen tv sunk into the wall – all very pleasant – even the Italian restaurant underneath did superb food! ... read more
Vajdahunyad Castle
The outside Hot Baths
Inside the Cave Church

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Buda December 4th 2014

Budapest – final day So here we are still in Budapest. The sun is shining, is it because we are leaving soon? Who knows, but I am grateful, because we are seeing the additional sights today, and climbing up on the Buda side of town. So last night, the cruise slowing went on down the Danube so we could see the illuminations of the city. What an awesome sight that was. The best pics are in todays blog. The Parliament building, this stunning illuminated building is the 2nd largest parliament building in the world, just behind Rio . You will also see the beautiful Budapest Castle illuminated on the opposite side of the Danube. It truly was an awesome sight to see. So, tripping around the city with a group of travelers from the cruise. We ... read more
Buda Castle
such beauty looking back to Pest (1)
us at Buda castle

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Pest December 2nd 2014

Budapest! 01/12 There’s no other Hungarian city like Budpest!! At the very heart of Europe, this kidney shaped country claims a unique place in the continent’s soul. Doubters need only listen to the music of Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok, view the romantic Danube River as it splits Budapest in two, or taste the nations unique (paprika infused) cuisine to be convinced! There’s no other Hungarian city like Budapest in terms of size (2.55 million), and importance. But, it’s the beauty of Budapest, both natural and constructed that makes it stand apart. Straddling a gentle curve in the Danube, the city is flanked by the Buda Hills on the west bank and the beginnings of the Great Plain to the east. Architecturally it has enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and art nouveau elements to satisfy anyone. Budapest ... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest November 9th 2014

The second part of the Bologna-Budapest travel install… Last year, within one month I decided to visit Hungary and Italy. Scorching hot yet laced with the winds of change that were to reveal themselves through the months that were to come. And so this year, when life found me visiting those same two countries again, amidst a mild European winter, I reflect on just how much has happened since my last visit. My inner journey has taken me farther than any passport ever will and for that I am grateful. Budapest. One of the most striking cities in Europe, its beauty so overstated that even on my second visit to the stunning capital, I walked around agape at its architectural beauty.... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest November 6th 2014

This was our last day in Budapest so we decided to take it a little easier and just see what evolved. We started with a walk to the Dohány Street Synagogue and had a peek in and a good look on the outside. It holds 6000 worshippers and is the largest synagogue in Europe. Built in 1859, it survived WW2 but was used by the German Forces to round up deportees. We didn't go in as the queues were long and you had to take a guided tour. We didn't want to use that much time on this. Instead we walked to the Astoria Cafe to have breakfast but were disappointed to find it closed. I poked my head in for a look and then we went to look at the Embassy side of town which ... read more
Memorial to the Budapest victims of the Holocaust.
The Astoria
Astoria Cafe

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest November 5th 2014

Today we were going to cross the Danube and spend much of the day visiting Buda and its attractions. We had breakfast at the apartment and decided to visit the Jewish Quarter first. Wandering the streets you see the shops, cafés and businesses that make this area so unique. The references to the war and what occurred at various sites,such as the roundup and deportation of so many Jews, made you realise how intense the war effort was in such a small area. We called in to the Orthodox Synagogue and could go inside to see the beautifully refurbished building that was used as stables by the German Forces during the war. We finished our tour of the Jewish area of Budapest with a visit to the Frohlich Cafe, a renowned Jewish cake and coffee house. ... read more
Inside the Synagogue
Frohlich Cafe, Budapest
Our accommodation, Godzu-Udvar

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Pest November 4th 2014

We rose early and had breakfast at the Komorski's apartment and then waited for Anna to pick us up for our days journey. Last night Natalia's uncle, aunty and cousins came around to meet us and catch up with Tim. It's difficult when you have no knowledge of the language spoken but we were kept involved and it was a lovely end to our stay. On hearing of our trip to Auschwitz tomorrow, Natalia's uncle was concerned that I didn't think it was a Polish camp, and I wonder if this is a concern to many Polish people. I think most people know the evil behind this. We had a great stay in Poland, largely due to the love and hospitality shown by the Komorski's who kept inventing new ways to make our stay better, but ... read more
Krakow Square at Dusk
Gypsy Accordian Player
Krakow Square

Europe » Hungary October 23rd 2014

It's a grey, cold Dunedin winter's day here in Budapest but Dick and Su are warm aboard the good ship Expressions while Lynette and Terry have taken a bus tour around the city with other passengers. Lynette and Terry took 31 hours to get here on Monday after be diverted to Heathrow before transferring on an extra fight to Budapest because of a Lufthansa pilot strike. However, after settling into the hotel they managed to join Su and Dick on a riverside walk before catching up on some much-needed sleep. Tuesday was a sightseeing day and as Wednesday morning before boarding the Avalon Waterways ship. And what a ship. It is just 11 months old, has 166 passengers and 44 crew, has marble bathrooms, big glass windows everywhere, stunning art and floral arrangements, and would you ... read more
The Expression
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Europe » Hungary October 20th 2014

We arrived in Budapest about 9am yesterday and right from the airport to now, the only place not clean and well cared for was the Gillert spa. After Istanbul where litter and cigarette butts reign supreme, Budapest is altogether a completely different place...they even have men with brooms and shovels sweeping up the autumn leaves. A losing battle but full marks for trying. From the 2 hr Turkish Airlines flight yesterday we hopped straight onto a 2hr bus tour of this lovely city. In that time we saw just a small but significant portion of the city. Many of the buildings have been rebuilt since the war and more recently, the deliberate destruction of of treasured ancient architecture by the occupying Soviet regime, true to their original plans. Even the re-built bridges over the Danube have ... read more
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Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest October 4th 2014

Monday 29 Sep – Budapest Today is 23C and sunny. Our hotel had THE best beds we’ve encountered in Europe. The only bed that stands out even more is the Westin heavenly beds (and of course, my own latex piece of awesomeness)! Eger is a cute town surrounded by vineyards. It’s famous for Bull’s Blood – a type of dry red wine. Nothing to do with animals but that was the rumour back in the 1500’s and it’s stuck ever since. There is an old fort that is being renovated, although you can still wander around it whilst they are hammering away. It gives a good view of the town. We decided to have lunch here before heading to Budapest since there was a 3-course meal on offer for 1300HUF ($7) at one of the restaurants. ... read more
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