Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bratislava, Slovakia

The hotel we stayed in Budapest is Hotel Europa which is a bit out of town. It is more like an apartment since the unit my family occupied has two rooms complete with a kitchen complete with cooking facilities. If you are really into self-catering holidays, check out the link as it has list of self catering cottages, self catering holidays and self catering villas from over 4,000 destinations.

After a good night's rest in Hotel Europa, we were on the road again the next morning. We were on our way to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Along the way we made a rest stop where there was this colourful shop selling a lot of pickles and dried products, presumably from the nearby farms.

After crossing the Danube river, we arrived at Bratislava and the first landmark was the Bratislava castle that was atop a hill and thus can be seen miles away.

Before we explore the city we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant which was a bit out of town but it had a beautiful entrance.

After satisfying our stomachs, we went on a walking tour of the old city. Below is another of the city's landmark, St.Michael's gate and tower.

The centre is not very big and since most of it was traffic-free, we explored the streets on foot.

There were many interesting statues appearing from windows in the buildings and also on the street.

Inside of a church.

The palace is another popular tourist spot.

The Slovak national theatre.

The Slovak Philharmonic is another fine building nearby.
From here we continued our journey to Prague. We had dinner in Prague before we checked into Hotel Vienna which was located in a residential area.

Ronald Kwok

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Budapest in one day

So now it is back to my Eastern Europe travel after that break in Turkey.

In my last post, I was spending the first night in Vienna. The breakfast at Hotel Bork the next morning was very good and definitely provided a very bright start to our journey. We tucked in what we could before we went on our tour in the coach which took us to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Along the way we saw a number of wind turbines such as the ones below.

Our first stop was at the Citadel Hill where we had a panoramic view of Budapest.

The Danube River divides the city into two, on the left is Buda

and on the right is Pest.

Since this is one of the tourist spots, there are plenty of stalls selling touristic items including laces and Hungarian dolls.

After this overview of Budapest, we went on a river cruise on the Danube. The is a tinge of blue in the river in the photo below but only just.

There were many views of the buildings along the banks of the river.

After lunch, we went to the Hero's Square.

From here we went to the St.Stephen Basilica, the city's largest church.

Then it was shopping nearby when the main item of attraction was Hungarian lace.

We then crossed the Danube to Buda, the other side of the city and it was a visit to another hill, this time it was at the Fishermen's Bastion on the Buda side of the city. From here you have a good view of Pest.

The Matthias Church with its colourful roof is situated nearby.

After this, we had some free time for shopping in the downtown city area before we went for our dinner. Of course it was Hungarian Goulash, complete with gypsy music.

At last we checked into our hotel (Hotel Europa) which was a bit out of town and we all had a really good night's rest after a very hectic first day where we did Budapest in one day! Whew.

Ronald Kwok