Monday, June 26, 2006

Travel Update

Hello Everyone, I am typing a quick update from Hamburg before Adam and I head off to Munich by plane. Hamburg has been a great break from all the standard tourist site and gave Adam and I some time to just sit back and enjoy the view. I can see why Adam enjoyed Hamburg so much, its really a great city.

Adam and I have also been keeping up with the football games and I think I might be hooked!! Did anyone see the game between Portugal and Netherlands?? Talk about a heated game, I almost felt like I was watching hockey!

I look forward to many more crazy german football fans in Munich. I feel like we are doing the World Cup tour. So far we have visited Berlin (Great train station, it was beautiful and site on its own) Hamburg and now Munich. Adam has also visited Frankfurt as well :)

My apologies for not posting pics sooner. Check these ones out.

This is Adam and I in the Gardens of the Visehard Castle in Prague. It was off the beaten path, very nice realxing area.

In this picture is Adams cousin and friends. We had a little pinic the day before we left Prague. It was a great ending to a great visit.

OKay these pictures are not really in order but you can enjoy them anyways. In this picture Adam and I are standing in front of the Krakow Castle.

Well I must run and pack for our flight. Talk to you all soon!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ahoj from Praha!

Just a short blog I am writing on Katie's behalf, as she sips her "pomegranate oolong" tea from inside this coffee shop/internet cafe perfectly called, "kava kava kava".

After only a short visit here (2.5 days, 3 nights), we have our final afternoon before we head to Germany tomorrow morning. This evening, my cousin Zdenka will take us to a nice garden with her boyfriend for a wonderful "klebicky" picnic (sounds almost like "clay-beach-key"). Klebickies are a small Czech delicacy; small open-faced sandwiches layered with potatoe salad, a slice of ham, pickle, and garnish of the chef's choosing. Klebickies are best when they are home-made, and luckily Zdenka has offered to make some for us.

They are, of course, my favorite Czech food, which means that they are also Katie's favorite Czech food by default.

Other than that, we have seen the Prague-basics in terms of sights: The Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Square, and Wenceslas Square. To boot, we've added a few extra off-the-beaten path sights which are a great breath of fresh air as it seems that Prague's tourism industry in the heart of the city is in such full swing that you really only need to come to Prague if you want to hear a bit of German, Italian, Spanish, English, Australian, Mexican, and every Asian country's language and culture.

Germany may not be much better thanks to the world cup, but I figure that once we get to Hamburg, we'll have a little more of a relaxing time then we have here. Prague is great, and all, but the temperature is about 32 degrees, 42 with tourists.

Nevertheless, Katie is having a great time!!! And I'm glad, considering there was a lot of pressure on me to show her a "perfect" Prague...... This was easy of course, as Prague has 2 Lush stores. Honestly, we could have been in the middle of civil war-plagued Africa, with disease, poverty, etc. and if there would be just one Lush store, it would be paradise for Katie.

Plus, Prague has all-in-all good food, another easy pleaser :) Really, there wasn't much I needed to do but point to Lush, point to a schnitzel house, and it became a perfect holiday.

So that's it for now. We are off to enjoy the remaining day, and get a good night's rest before our early morning train to Hamburg. We were lucky enough to afford a 3 hour stop in Berlin, where I'll be able to give Katie the quick Big 3 tour of Berlin: Hitler, Communism, and high-tech German architecture.

Ok, have to go, Katie just finished her tea.
This Princess needs attention!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Leaving for the Adventure...

Hello everyone!!

So in two days I will be heading off to my two week trip with Adam. Adam will be arriving today at 10pm Budapest time and he will be spending tonight and Thursday night in Budapest then we will travel by train to Poland on Friday with my roommate Jola. Tomorrow will be my last day of work, YEAH!! So I will have Friday to show Adam as much of Budapest as I can.

This may be my last post in a little while as I don't know when I will have access to a computer. But am hoping will find something so I can post pictures of Adam and I on our travels. Adam is very good with the updates as well so maybe I will let him write them :)

Well as for tonight I will be picking up Adam at the airport during the German vs. Poland Game (Go! Poland Go!) and then Thursday night the trainees will be having a little pre-send off party for me. It's only a pre-send off party because I will be coming back to Budapest on June 29th for two more nights and I can have an official Send-Off party then!!

Well I hope to talk to you all soon, Send me an email!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finally....The Baths!!

After a long weekend of football and Caves we took some relaxing time at the Gellert bath. This is something I have wanted to do since I have arrived at Budapest. The weather was not the warmest but warm enough to sit in the thermal water outside. We ventured into the wave pool for a little bit while the sun was still shining. The picture below shows the outside view. In this bath, Gellert, there is a swimming pool, unisex thermal bath, male thermal bath and female thermal bath inside and then outside is a wave pool, and another unisex thermal bath. The place is all done with tiles and everything, its beautiful! Nothing like you would see back home.

The picture below is of Jola and I in the outdoor thermal bath. It was so relaxing, I think we just say there for hours.

This is me in the indoor swimming pool. Too cold to be in for long since there was no sun heating up the water or anything.

This is the entrance to the bath. We even had our own personal escort that takes you towards the bath. It was so cool!!

Szelmoghey Caves

So Saturday the weather was up and down so we (Dominik, Jola, Moiz, Alex, Manuela and I) decided to head to the Szelmoghey Caves which are located on the Buda side. These caves were discovered in the 1930's and have been made into a tourist type of attraction. IN the 70's an experiment was done in this cave. Four people were put into the caves with no clock for 30 days, the end results was that the people became off time by 4 days. I am not sure why we need to know such things but nonetheless the experiment was performed. We were brought through the caves with a guide (but speaking Hungarian) The caves were a neat experience, but it was quite cold down there!! I was not dressed for it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Random Fact

Adam this one is for you :)

Did you know that the rubik's cube was invented by a Hungarian by the name of Erno Rubik. The cube was invented in the mid 70's.

I also have another observation or more like an annoyance really... The Hungarians may have invented the rubik's cube but they have yet to discover the material called Styrofoam! I burn my hands everytime I want a cup of tea on the go.

Oh well, they have lots of other good stuff that makes up for it, like... Turo Rudi!!

That is Jola and I holding our Turo Rudi's. I am just in love with these things!! Turo is the type of filling in the middle (like a sweet cheese) and then it is dipped in chocolate. You eat is cold and can buy it from the dairy section of the grocery store.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Plus 1

Well looks like I will be getting a visitor here in Budapest. Yes!!!! Adam will be coming to Budapest on June 14th.

So I will get to show him around my town of Budapest!! Then we will be heading to Poland to start our two weeks of traveling. Below is our rough intinerary...

June 16th - Budapest, Hungary to Katowice, Poland
June 18th - Gliwice, Poland to Krakow, Poland
June 19th - Krakow, Poland to Prague, Czech Republic
June 22nd - Prague, Czech Republic to Hamburg, Germany
June 26th - Hamburg, Germany to Munich, Germany
June 27th - Munich, Germany to Vienna, Austria
June 29th -Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary

Then I will be coming back to Canada on July 1st, Canada Day How appropriate!!! Well I am just so excited, I can't wait. Hopefully I will be able to keep you all updated during those two weeks.

Living it up in Croatia

This past weekend a bunch of us planned a trip to Croatia to see the sights since in Hungary it was a long weekend. The journey began on Friday June 2nd at the Keleti station in Budapest, we took a train at 5:30pm to the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. From there we were greeted by Jola's friend, Davor. We stayed at his place for the night then continued to Plavice Park. This park is known for it's vast waterfalls. In the picture below I am standing along one of the many bridges that guides you around the park. The weather was not the greatest since it was about 13 degrees and raining... But we decided to suck it up and head into the park for a 2.5 hour walk. The walk was great for about the first 1.5 hours then we noticed that the trails had become flooded from the rain, so we trekked through the water that was up to our ankles!!! But now I can at least say I have swam in Platvice park!! We then took a small boat ride along the lake to end the travels in Platvice Park.

From Platvice park we traveled towards Split and stopped at a town just outside (sorry I have forgotten the name but I will find out soon) Davor, being our wonderful guide, contacted his family which rents out houses along the coast and we stayed at a wonderful little place that was just a 30 sec walk from the water. I think I will defiantly need to come back there for some good R&R in the future years. That night we headed out to the most popular club in Croatia called Aurora. It was an awesome club that has a great atmosphere and great music. In the picture below in the front row from left to right is Davor, Jola, ME, Alex and in the back row is Dominik and Jerome. That was the whole traveling gang :)

The pictures below are of Jola and I right at the bottom of the street where we were staying. The water was not that warm, but you never know when you might have another chance to be in the coast of Croatia so I decided to jump on in!!!

On Sunday we headed to Split to see the sigh after our dip into the water. The drive was just beautiful along the whole coast. Oh I should also mention that we had rented a car so we drove everywhere which made everything so easy and flexible.

In the picture below I am sitting in the square in the middle of the town on Split. The buildings were so beautiful.

Here is the view of Split from the top of the hill. This place is more beautiful then I ever imagined. All the buildings have been built up after the war so everything is new mixed in with the classic history.

Well as you can see from the smile on my face I had a wonderful time in Croatia, many thanks to our guide. Croatia landscape has so much to offer and has a great warm feeling.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How You Enjoy a Europrean Monument

So things have been going great in Budapest. More trainees have arrived and we are finding lots of thing to do to keep ourselves busy. I have also been given many private German lessons from the two German trainees that are here, Alex and Dominik.

Last week Alex, Jola and I decided we should relax by Hero square (Hosok Tere) and finish off some of our loverly Eger wine. Now I would have to say this is the best way to take in an European monument. We found ourselves a nice seat along the great statues above and opened up the wine, talked and enjoyed the view. Below you will see the night view from where we were sitting. We are looking along the street Andrassy ut which runs along the Yellow Metro line.

Here is Alex and I enjoying the Eger wine. We are actually sitting right on the monument itself. All around us are people riding bikes or rollerblading around.