Posts Tagged With: Hungary

I-Love-Budapest

Due to our small delay on the border, we arrive a bit late but that is nothing to stop sweet Niki greeting us with a huge smile and warm hug.

Here’s the dollhouse view from Niki’s adorable place. I personally love the men at work making there sandwiches on the job site.

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Our day in the city of Budapest was complimented with amazing weather, perfect for a bike ride!
Tempting… But we went solo this ride.

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Here are a few photos on the way to the local market.

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Market time! We locked up the bikes and went for a walk.

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This is not my favorite part of the market, but I’ll add a few pics to give you an idea. Imagine the smell of this isle… I’ll stick to the fresh fruit!

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Next is a quick walk to stop for lunch.

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No need to debate if we were up for the challenge to visit the Citadel, a 19th century fortress that sits on top of Gellert Hill. This trek is generally done by foot at a nice pace or in a bus creeping up the windy slopes. A bus? No way! We’ere hauling our bikes to the top of this thing if it takes all day! We don’t even let a slipped chain slow us down…Marshall to the rescue!

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Marshall caught me cracking up at the fact that my camera wasn’t even on for the first few pictures (not seen here) that he took on the bridge.

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This is where there are supposed to be a bunch of photos of us riding through beautiful greenery, and dirt paths, pushing up stairs and carrying our bikes up rock filled hills. Well, I was too busy doing all of those things so let’s just jump to the pictures at the top!

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Of course this was the prime choice for the handstand shot!
“Buda” on the left and “Pest” on the right.

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As if the artillery side wasn’t interesting enough, this young girl hidden away stopped me in my tracks. Not necessarily her amazing art piece, but just the entire energy that surrounded her and the painting in front of her.

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What’s this? Don’t mind if I do! I must give huge credit to my amazing photographer Marshall, I had no idea he captured so many cool shots. Thanks pal!

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After dominating the climb and enjoying the view we headed down to cross the famous chain bridge. Some photos along the way…

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Brake… Hey look, it’s a Vegas sign! (For those of you just joining us, that’s where Marshall and I met).

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Made it to the base of the bridge to find more stairs. We love stairs!

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I forgot that I had left my camera on a this stormy effect. Glad I did, nice pics Marshall!

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I would have been totally satisfied just seeing this beautiful city during the day, but energetic Niki was determined to get us out during sun down. The first evening we got to meet one of her good friends Balasz, one of the nicest, most knowledgeable tour guides I’ve come across so far.

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Then we got to reunite with our buddy Jay! He was from the “Salzburg” post as one of the Irish Pub guests that helped us keep it going!

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Here are the only night shots I snagged from two fantastic evening out. Entertainment full of unique clubs, Irish Pubs and outdoor lounges.

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Check out the ladies room I found at one of the clubs… I feel sorry for the girls who had high heels.

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Hungry on the walk home? Forget the slice-o-pizza, it’s a hummus bar!

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Fun is up in Budapest as it’s time to make our way to Czech Republic. With the signs ahead, we have our stickers ready just in case Mr. Patrol man is doing his job (please see previous post).

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Next stop, Prague!

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Vienna to the border patrol in Hungary

After the 8 minute hike from the last post, we buckled up and headed farther east to our next destination of Vienna. A place I’ve heard beautiful things about and also the location of my next reunion!

We kept looking for “Vienna” signs…turns out they spell it “Wien”.

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Like responsible travelers we are, we take it easy our night in Vienna looking forward to the early rise bike ride. Since we only have half a day before we drive to Budapest, we thought a set of wheels would be our best bet. This decision was agreed upon with our new friend Michael. He’s another smiling, easy to talk to, ready for action traveler from New Zealand.

The bike ride was a little bitter-sweet for me. It was so nice to see everything, however with limited time there wasn’t much room for photos, cafe breaks or small street exploring. I dare not complain though, it’s a gorgeous place with many massive buildings holding rich character. A few pics from the ride.

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This is our first stop, the famous Schönbrunn Palace!
(click here for the details of this magnificent Palace) .
Although the grounds stretch beyond our exploration, the gardens we did see were amazing!

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Handstand pic!

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More through the city on our way to reunite with my friend.

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Last February I was lucky to have met this spirited one named Gypsy. He was one of my haircut clients in the hostel we were staying at. After great conversation, we spoke of meeting again somewhere, someday in the near future. The first pic was in New Zealand with a group of travelers and the following photo is us here in Vienna! So glad I got to see your smile in person, cheers till next time!

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On our path back to the car, we make time to check out the local market. Although we’re in the middle of Austria, it was what seemed like to be a Turkish market. Again with the non complaining as it was still nice to wander through fresh fruit, herbs, spices, clothes, bags and more. The boys didn’t pass up the oppurtunutiy to start off with a doner kabob!

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We got back to the car in time to say farewell to Michael and head on our way to Budapest!

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This is when I would usually end the post and cheers to our next adventure. Not this time.
So were cruising along, jammin to some Beastie Boys…

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…when we come to the border leaving Austria entering Hungary. The patrol officer was just waving everyone through with ease until we approach… His arm holding a wand of authority slams down as he points us to the side of the road. I can only assume he’s not pulling us over to complement our dance moves.

Turns out you need to stop prior to the line we crossed and get a fancy little sticker that says you’ve payed to drive on their highway. It usually runs 12-20 Euros. Well that’s easy:

Marshall- “Sorry sir, we didn’t know. Where can we get a sticker?”
Officer- “Well there are signs everywhere telling you the rules”. (As he points to a bunch of letters smeared on a sign).
Marshall- “Oh, I don’t read German that well. So may we pay back there?”
Officer- “You pay me 120 Euros.”
Marshall- “Uhh, there’s no way to go back and pay?”
Officer- “How long are you staying in Hungary?”
Marshall- “Only 2 nights”.
Officer- “You’ve got two options” (this is when a slight sense of relief comes, I like options!)
Officer continues- “You can pay me 120 Euros in cash or with a card, your choice”.

Here’s our view during this whole conversation.

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All said and done, 120 Euros later and a sense of slight highway robbery we continue on our way.
I will say Marshall and I are fantastic at destroying negative energy with a positive attitude and blasting more road trip tunes! There’s now a different level excitement in the car knowing that we get to reunite with Niki, the adorable girl we connected with in Salzburg. Friends in Hungary, here we come!

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