Salzburg

27 06 2009
Salzburg

Salzburg

We took a day trip from Schladming to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a nice town near the Austrian Alps.  There is a hilltop castle and many nice buildings and streets below the castle hill. There is a river going through the middle of the city, which gives affords nice views of the castle.  Since it has been raining so much, the river was very full.  We toured some of the castle museums and then spent more time in the town below, where we sampled some more chocolates and pastries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Schladming

26 06 2009
Schladming from our condo

Schladming from our condo

From Vienna we took a train to the town of Schladming, where Alexa’s aunt Linda had a time-share condo we all stayed in for a week.  Schladming is in the mountains and is a big ski destination during the winter time.  When we where there in late June, there wasn’t much skiing, but it was during the wet season, so we didn’t see the massive mountains as much as we might have liked to.  The condo was in a nice place above the valley, with great views of the mountains when the clouds cleared. Read the rest of this entry »





A week in Budapest

18 06 2009
Buda Castle

Buda Castle

We spent a nice week in Budapest seeing the sights of the City.  Our apartment was along Andrassy street, which leads down to the Danube River and the Szechenyi bridge (Chain Bridge), and over to the hill-top Buda castle (Budapest is the combined cities of Buda, on the west side of the river, and Pest, on the east bank).  Budapest is a gritty, yet elegant city with artwork and statues sprinkled around the streets and parks.  Read the rest of this entry »





Budapest, Hungary

15 06 2009
Our apartment on the square

Our apartment on the square

We arrived at the apartment rental in Budapest (which is on a nice square) and Alexa’s mom and her aunt Linda made it the next day.  We have done some walking around the city and will post more photos as our week in Budapest continues.  The apartment rental is a treat from Alexa’s mom for us (our chance to live like civilized people), and we will see the city with them and then head to Austria next week. Read the rest of this entry »





Eger, Hungary

11 06 2009
Eger

Eger

Eger is a town in northern Hungary, known for its castle and location in a wine producing area.  The castle is famous as an important fortress during the Turkish invasions of Hungary.  In 1552, during the legendary of the Siege of Eger by the Ottoman Turks, Istvan Dobo and 2,000 people (including women, who are memorialized for pouring boiling water and pitch on the attackers) are said to have held off a Turkish force of 80,000.  Another legend says that Dobo fortified his defenders with the red wine that comes from the region.  The legends says the defeated Turks claimed the defenders were drinking bulls blood when they saw their red stained beards and encountered stiff resistance from the defenders.  Thus the local wine is now called Egri Bikavér (Bulls Blood).

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Košice, Slovakia

8 06 2009
Kosice town square

Kosice town square

After a few days in Zakopane we headed back to Slovakia to see one last city on our way to Budapest. Košice is the largest city in eastern Slovakia and is famous for its well preserved historic center and underground old city ruins re-discovered during street construction in 1996. Read the rest of this entry »





Food and Culture in Poland

7 06 2009
Apple cake, cheese cake, and bread

Apple cake, cheese cake, and bread

We have enjoyed our short time in Poland.  At our hostel in Krakow, we met a entertaining group of high school graduates from Warsaw who had just finished their matriculation exams (tests that determine their college futures).   They spoke great English and we had a good time talking with them, and sampling some Polish vodka.  They clued us in to some great food to try and invited us out to a night club. Read the rest of this entry »