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 26 July 2012 by christie
Saxon Triangle, Lands of Transylvania
When people think of Transylvania, vampires, beasts, fairies and Dracula always come to mind. But, this fairytale land is so much more. Transylvania is home to the most well-preserved medieval towns, Saxon (German) architecture, glorious castles and stunning mountain scenery. Interestingly, Saxon (German) villages dominate this region. German Saxons came to Transylvania during the mid 1100s from the German regions of Northern Europe. They were placed in Transylvania by the Hungarian King to defend the border of Hungary against invasion. Highly skilled and talented, the Saxons built several fortress cities to protect their adopted homeland. We never imagined to find such German heritage nestled in the heart of Romania.
“Just taking my Cow for a leisurely walk”
After leaving the smeltering heat of Bucharest behind, we set out on a week-long car adventure around this remarkable land of mountains and walled citadels. Before making our way across the Transylvanian border, we spent time with our friends Calin and Mara in the Prahova Region where we tasted wine (Fete̯askə Ne̯aɡrə) and stayed in a countryside villa. There… animals, pedestrians and horse-drawn carriage dominate the roads. Brett skillfully navigated around cows, horses and stray dogs as we never knew what would lie ahead on the undeveloped Romanian roads. We had a relaxing evening barbequing, drinking wine, listening to David Gilmour and sharing stories with our Romanian friends. 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