Posted on 31 July 2012 by brett
Pearl Jam Prague Finale
The Pearl Jam show in Prague was so inspiring that we decided to spontaneously follow the 10 Club to Berlin for two more shows. It did help that our new PJ friends (Dave & Lauren) offered their hospitality in Istanbul if we joined the parade. And, just when things were getting exciting….. we met our favorite guitarist Mike McCready at the Prague rail station. What an amazing guy traveling like a normal dude with his friends and family.
Mike McCready at Praha Train Station
In hindsight, I wish I had told Mike about my friend Kevin. I vividly remember our sophomore year at the University of Maryland listening to Mike’s side project “Mad Season”. Kevin loved the “Above” album and always wanted to play it along with Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains Unplugged. Mad Season is up there with some of my favorite albums of all time. The band consisted of Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), a friend of Staley’s from drug rehab and of course Mike on lead guitar. Like Kevin, Mike had alcohol abuse issues…. but fortunately was able to turn his life around. I wish I could say the same for Kevin and think about him everyday. We badly wanted Pearl Jam to play “Release” in Kevin’s memory. Continue Reading
Posted on 17 July 2012 by christie
Hop On, Hop Off Train @ the Danube River
The enchanting two-sided city of Budapest is hard not to fall in love with. From the moment we stepped off the train, we were immediately mesmerized by the city’s timeless beauty. At every step and turn an architectural wonder awaits. Baroque, art nouveau, neoclassical and eclectic structures line the city streets, plenty to cause your head to spin. Feeling like we could spend well over a week in Budapest, we wished we had planned for a longer stay.
Interestingly enough, the city had once been three cities separated by the Danube River. Buda city lies on the western side of the Danube consisting mostly of tourist attractions, including Castle Hill. Pest is on the eastern side and is where most local Hungarians call home today. The cities joined together in the late 1800’s to mold what is today Budapest. Although the city was destroyed several times through war, the Hungarians have done a stellar job in rebuilding the structures to model its traditional architecture. When looking at buildings we were shocked to find that most were constructed only within the last century. Our guide was amazed that tourists say they love the medieval architecture when its really as new as America. She reminded us of Hungary’s sad history being conquered and ruled by the Mongols, Romans, Turks, Habsburg Austrians, Soviets and Nazi Germans. Continue Reading
Posted on 14 July 2012 by brett
Plaza View from Eger Castle
Most people we met en route to Hungary darted straight for Budapest, the capital city. Our engagement anniversary date is July 13th….. and we wanted to do something special in the wine country. Why? Because we were engaged at Matanzas Creek Winery in their beautiful lavendar gardens. Well, that’s easy! We will just swing by St. Stephen’s (10th century) town of Eger. But seriously, this is not a straight forward destination from places like Zdiar, Slovakia. Christie found the best route, which took over six hours and consisted of a bus to Poprad, train to Kotice, train to Fuzesabony, and train to Eger.
Eger feels like a cross between Mikulov and Olomouc in the Czech Republic. It has Olomouc’s vibrant university scene meshed with tons of historic buildings. Add wine country, thermal baths and there you have Eger. Eger’s wine tourism brings an older “cafe crowd” very much like Mikulov. So, if you’re not in school and have some time….. Eger could be perfect for you! Continue Reading