Austria.Hungary.


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Europe
September 26th 2010
Published: September 26th 2010
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First off, let me just apologize if I haven't been keeping in touch as much as I'd hoped. It may be difficult to believe but I have been trying. Things would be much easier if I had a little net book with me, but those who know me well know that I would be the last person to waste time and space with a computer if I didn't have to. I miss you all.

I left my last entry when I was in Vienna I believe...

I spent 3 nights there and it was a nice place. I guess it didn't necessarily amaze me but I had to respect the amount of culture and history there. The baroque, low rise buildings line the streets. It's very clean and well groomed. I didn't get to an opera but I don't regret it, maybe I will in 20 years, but not now.

So I had been hearing so much of Eastern Europe on my trip that I had to atleast get my feet wet. I took a 3 hr train to Budapest with not much of an idea of what to expect. Getting off the train from Vienna was a total change of environment. I found my hostel in an older building on a side street and walked up to one of the apartments. The impressions I had at that moment made me wonder whether it was a good idea to make this side trip. After one night there it was and is still my favorite hostel and favorite nightlife. The owner, the travellers I met and the events that took place on a daily basis made it feel like home in less that 6 hours. On top of that, the city has a ton of great sites to visit and the character of the place is great once you get settled.

After Budapest I made it to Salzburg (yea...home of the sound of music). It is another city with a river running through it and much quiter than its big brother Vienna. In the hostel, I couldn't throw a dart without hitting a Sound Of Music Tour poster. I felt it was my duty to my sister and mother to go on the tour. So I watched the movie in the common room with a bunch of girls and their pissed off boyfriends to get my head wrapped around the movie again. Well...sorry mom, I skipped the tour. No thanks. Good movie but that would have been a waste of time. I walked around the city and picked out the sites from the film myself inbetween checking out the rest of the place. The only place I cared about were the hills that were ALIVE WITH MUSIC. The next day I took a bus to these hiolls and visited two towns where I rented a bike and circled lakes that had mountains as their backdrop. This was my first taste of mountains on this trip and it was a memorable day. The sun went down while I was still soaking it all up on my ride, passing homes and cows with neckbells. The lakes are blue and the grass is greener than Ive seen anywere else. By the end of the day I was counting down the hours to Switzerland.

The weather had been so good up to this point that it was dissapointing to arrive in Lucerne and hear that 4-5 days of overcast and rain was expected. No worries!! I got to the most important things while the sun was still shining. Lucerne is fantastic (tired of hearing that yet?). The lakefront near my hostel east of the city reminded me of oakville in a weird way, with rowing clubs, lit up greens space etc... but the view is completely different. Across the lake is the old town and slightly to the right from my lakefront hostel was the eruption of mountains on the skyline. They were calling my name. It was late in the day so there would be no time...the next morning the helpful owner pretty much told me I had a good 3 hours before the clouds rolled over Mt Titlus. So I set off by boat then cable car and then a 1hour hike to the 1800 m peak on the mountain of RIGI. The views are not worth describing in detail. No justice would be done, but I will say that there is nothing in this world like mountains and lakes. It will always be my favorite. I hope that after Zurich I spend much more time in the alps as I head towards Italy. 1800m is only the tip of the iceburg (no pun intended...wait, is that a pun?).

In a few days it will be Interlaken and then down towards Milan but I still have some time. Hope to get back to you all soon.

Ciao,
DS





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