Hospital in the rock: Budapest’s best kept secret

Hospital in the rock: Budapest’s best kept secret

Ready. Set. Nuclear KA-BOOM!

This was the scenario the Hungarians were preparing for during the Cold War. A very dark and powerful side of the history of Budapest is hidden in the rocks and caves under the Buda hill. Located a mere 5 minute walk from the Matthias Church, a place that is crawling with tourists 24/7, is a relatively new and still unknown museum appropriately called ‘The Hospital in the Rock’. Since the museum’s no-photo policy is very strict, I am really sad to inform you that there won’t be any photos on this blog post, but I urge you to go through my confessions of a travelholic, because this was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. However, there are some links to websites with photos at the end of the post. Continue reading

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Margaret Island: Riding like the Flintstones

Margaret Island: Riding like the Flintstones

After the busy and tiring day we spent in Vienna we decided to give our legs a little break. Since we are an outdoorsy couple we choose to spend a day in nature on Margaret Island.

Margaret Island is a quiet place on the Danube, located about 500 meters north of the Parliament building. It is a perfect spot for a chill-out day and relaxing from the crowded streets of  Budapest. Continue reading

Photo of the Week 4 – Palacio de Cristal

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

Wandering through Parque de Retiro in Madrid we ran into Palacio de Cristal. Made of steel and glass, this beautiful structure is located on a lake in the heart of the park. The magical trees surrounding it make the scenery like it came out of a fairy tale.

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Location: Madrid, Spain

Vienna: A quick trailer

Vienna: A quick trailer

After spending a great day at the Budapest zoo, we decided to hop on a train and go for a one day excursion to Vienna. Since we have a friend there we wanted to visit her. We got up at 6 am (which is always a pleasure, especially on a vacation) so we could catch the 7 am train and use most of the day for our wanderings through the capital of Austria. For 25 euros, which I think is not expensive at all, we bought a round-trip ticket for our 3 hour journey. Continue reading

Budapest zoo: Scary bugs and pointy pigs

Budapest zoo: Scary bugs and pointy pigs

Because it wasn’t our first time in the capital of Hungary we decided to spend the day in the Budapest zoo. When I say ‘we decided’, what I really mean is ‘Ana decided’ because she is a little obsessed with animals. As for me, I just like looking at weird animals. That reminds that nature has a great sense of humor. Continue reading

Photo of the Week 3 – Peleș Castle

PotW 003a

Romanian Peleș Castle emerging from the surrounding forest. The road to the castle gives an amazing preview of the beautiful scenery and architecture of the place.

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Location: Sinaia, Romania

Zeitenlik cemetery: Voyage through history

Zeitenlik cemetery: Voyage through history

The last stop on our Greek tour was the military cemetery of Zeitenlik, located near the center of Thessaloniki. With its history dating back to the mid 20s, this is a monument to the soldiers who died in the First World War on the Salonika front. More than 8000 Serbian soldiers found their final resting place here, along with their French, English, Italian and Russian combatants. Continue reading

St. Paraskevi Church: It was not a bathroom break

St. Paraskevi Church: It was not a bathroom break

On our drive through the Vale of Tempe on our way back from Meteora our bus stopped for what I thought was a bathroom break. We parked at a small widening on a two-lane road that went through a gorge. There, in the middle of nowhere, we ran into some stairs that went beneath the road. At the end of the subterranean passage there was a live little market selling souvenirs for something we have yet to see. The narrow paths between the vendors were crawling with tourists. Continue reading

Photo of the week 2 – Venice

2009-12-20 Venezia 007

Whenever I go to Venice it amazes me. This happens again and again. But when we came here in December it was exceptionally beautiful. The snow gave it a new dimension that you can’t see on any postcard.

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Location: Venice, Italy

The Great Meteoron: Penthouse for the monks

The Great Meteoron: Penthouse for the monks

After driving up the mountain through the beautiful scenery of the Meteora region we made it to the parking lot of its biggest monastery – The Great Meteoron, also called the Holy Monastery of Transfiguration of Jesus. Situated on the top of ‘Broad Rock’ it’s the largest and the oldest of all six monasteries. From the moment we got off the minibus we could feel the splendor of the place. Continue reading