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 08 July 2012 by christie
Lively Streets of Krakow, Poland
Krakow, Poland wasn’t part of our travel itinerary. After detouring from Prague to Berlin for the Pearl Jam tour, traveling through Poland was essential to get back on track with our visit to the High Tatras in Slovakia. And, boy were we happy that we didn’t miss this wonderful little city, along with its friendly Polish residents.
Krakow is the second largest city in Poland, but still quite small compared to other cities we’ve visited in Europe. Our primary reason for staying a few nights in Krakow was to visit the Auschwitz concentration camps, which are just 80km outside the city. Brett had visited Poland several years ago and was sorry that he missed the opportunity to visit the camp. Krakow in itself is worth spending a few days, exploring its neighborhoods, sites and enjoying its riverside activities. Continue Reading
Posted on 02 July 2012 by brett
St. Vitus Cathedral – Gothic Gargoyles & Musicians
During our time in the Middle East, we agreed to venture northwest to Prague and catch part of Pearl Jam’s Europe 2012 Tour. We hadn’t seen the band since Portland 2010! We are Ten Club (10c) members, but missed the initial on-sale. A nice PJ fanatic named Matt from Poznan, Poland offered us one ticket. We waited several weeks more for our other ticket to appear via Peleg from Tel Aviv, Israel. Now, we just had to plan our travels across Eastern Czech Republic through Mikulov and Olomouc into Prague.
A nice expat (living in CZ) named Jeremy organized a PJ group beer walking tour of Prague Old City. The gathering took place a few days prior to the show at Kotleta Bar & Restaurant. Many fans were just arriving from two shows in Amsterdam. The excitement was building as tour stories surrounded us. We learned that they played an old Temple of the Dog favorite called “Crown of Thorns”. Eddie was still drinking his bottles of red on stage and spraying the audience. A longtime Pearl Jam fan was allowed to create an entire Amsterdam show setlist. The bands’ families were on tour and the children very close by the stage. Matt Cameron’s son (12 years old) had recently played drums during “The Fixer”. Continue Reading