Tag Archives: water

Budapest in water

 

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This was a trip in panic.I work for a company that have some contacts and work in Hungary and last Spring we needed to go and help out with some things in Hungary. And suddenly I was told: “Two more weeks, you need to go!” And I went. I spent two weeks in a little town about 1 hour outside Budapest returning home for the weekend, since it was a holiday. The last day and a half of the second week we had time to go and see some of Budapest. It was really an express visit that made me just want to see more of it. Just a first taste.

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It was in Spring, just after flooding in Hungary and Danube slowly started to sink. Slowly. When it was as highest it was 9 meters above its normal level, so some streets, pavements and some parts of the tram were under water. We don’t have much protection against nature, so when it wants to let us know who is the boss we are very much made aware of it. Wandering around the town we were made very aware of the situation as soon as we got closer to the water. There was lots of water, even if it was not as much as few weeks earlier.Shouls I call it luck? I don’t know.

One evening and one morning go by pretty fast. We checked in to our hotel, in the middle of Budapest, had some quick gin and tonic and went out for a walk, me and a colleague.The other guys set out for drinks and planned a party night. That doesn’t really appeal to me. I prefer nature, culture and sightseeing. Call me boring or snobbish, but that’s the way I am.

 

 

 

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We walked trough some tourist street, looking at cute shops and restaurants. Almost every place was serving gulash and other Hungarian specialties. I like food in this country. I really do. When you go out to a restaurant you get lots of it and it is  very good. You never walk hungry in Hungary. Besides gulash there are all different sausages, pork, beef, lamb. There are all different sorts od pepper, some very spicy, some very mild and everything in between.

We also passed different sculptures, some more modern, some more classical. I guess, like in every city. Walking through a city is always better then taking the bus, since you get closer to it, you can explore better, you can watch people. And of course stop for an ice cream. That day in Budapest was perfect for that, since it was a wonderful and warm spring day.

 

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We crossed one of the bridges to the Buda side, after a while. We saw the Zero kilometers sculpture stone, located just beneath the castle hill. Well, it’s interesting in theory, but in reality it was just some kind of modern stone sculptureand not much.

We, of course took the mountain train up to the castle. We didn’t go in, but we walked around and looked at the view. Beautiful! I have to come back here, for sure!

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After viewing the beautiful surroundings, we walked down, crossed the flood and met our workmates for a drink. Danube felt a little more friendly, compared to other floods. There were some restaurants close to it, maybe still not perfect, but better.

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After the drinks we had some food, pretty good Hungarian food with peppers and Hungarian wine. Happy! The place was nice, staff friendly and we sat outside in the mild evemimg. We talked mostly about our job, but that’s fine.

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The following day we visited the market looking at places selling all different kinds of sausages, spices and other traditional stuff. I bought some salami and spices of course. And it was time to go back home. Did I like this place? Yes!

Link? Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue

Grade? Three, maybe four. Three, for this time.

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//Monika

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Water Flowing through Amsterdam

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Welcome back to this travel blog! It’s been some time. We’ve had bathroom renovation in our place, what a mess! We stayed at my mom’s during the ten messy weeks, while she was in Poland. Otherwise we would have to pee in a bucket in the kitchen, take a shower in a shed in the yard and cook… no, no cooking. So we took the cats, some clothes, cameras and went exile. It was better then the staying at home option, but not sleeping in your own bed for over two months is not nice. And when we got back, the internet was dead. What a joke!

Now we are back, the internet is back and the bathroom and fresh, new and nice. Pretty good. And I’m back on the blog! Have we been travelling, while on exile? Have we seen some world heritage sites? Oh, yes! We went to Amsterdam and visited several sites in Holland and I was to Budapest with my work for a day. So let’s go!

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Water everywhere

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City of cheese

Amsterdam, what a city. We went there quite early this Spring, considering Spring being pretty late this year. I think it was the first weekend with sunshine and you could actually eat outside and just enjoy the warming rays of the sun. With a jacket on, but still. We decided what we wanted to do and see, we bought a flight ticket and friends told us where to stay. And all the nice, cozy and cheap places where crowded, booked, finito. It was some kind of youth event in town and some concert. And all the cheap hotels? Forget it! But after some searching we fond a five-star hotel close to the train station with one cheap room left. It was supposed to be a small room, a shead, but still a room.

When we arrived at the hotel we were told: “We’re really sorry, your room was taken we have to upgrade you to our luxury site. No extra cgarge”. To bad breakfast was not in the price. But minibar was with free refills. And Nespresso machine with as much coffe as we could drink. Pretty good deal.

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Pretty city

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City of bikes

We started out with visiting the tulip fields. I’ll write another post about it. In Amsterdam we strolled around a biit. We had some beer, coffee and food. Mostly meat, nothing special and the most wonderful pancakes. And more beer. One night we found an African restaurant and had kudu and springbock and Savanah Dry. Oh, how I long for Africa! We passed several shops with cgeese and had to try some. Great cheese!

In Amsterdam there were bikes everywhere. The city is pretty flat, so it was easy to ride a bike, but we didn’t. We walked. And walked, and walked. It was a very cute city with old buildings and smiling people. The building were often leaning and were not straight at all. I wonder why?

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City of channels

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City of weed

We took a boat tour, of course. We saw the city from the water, going through the channels, exploring the city. We looked at the leaning houses, beautiful places and seeworthy museums. Places to visit on foot and places that could be good. The tour was very nice and we met an American couple, that was travelling around Europe. Some people say that Americans are stupid that go to several European countries in a few weeks, but I think that’s a perfect thing to do. If you don’t have much time, you should still make the best of it. Take all the best gems, the rest is for later if more time and money would show up. All my respect to these eople!

More walking in Amsterdam took us to the red light district that was more sad then happy, coffee shops and shops with weed. Maybe I’m too old but I was not impressed. I was not really impressed by people that was stoned and gone. And the smell of weed was not so nice either.  Some things are magnets for wrong kind of people and that’s nothing to be proud of. That’s my opinoin.

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Gay city

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Amsterdam by night

We visited also a cat gallery. It was a wonderful place with paitingsof cats, sculptures of cats and three living, attention demanding cats. So cool! We didn’t visit any more museums. It was just a lazy weekend. We walked across the town day and night. We walked across the channels, streets and squares. The city made us feel good and embraced us, made us feel welcome. We found gay streets with rainbow flags in every shop, pub and hanging from every house, showing that everyone was welcome here, no matter who he or she liked.

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Another night view

Amsterdam is a pleasant city. You can walk or hire a bike and public transportation is cgeap and every where. I liked it!

Link: Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht.

Grade for the Amsterdam channel system:

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