Saturday, 25 September 2010

Happy holidays

Just thought I'd take this oportunity to upload some photos from the trip Steve and I just got back from, touring the cities of central Europe.

We started in Budapest, travelled by train to Vienna then trained-it again to Prague. As you can see, all three cities were amazing.

We started our trip in Budapest. This picture is taken from the "Buda" side, looking across to the "Pest" side (where steve and I stayed)

This is the chain bridge. A nice spanish couple offered to take our photo together. Which is lucky because we didn't get any more together for the rest of the trip!

In the middle of the Danube river, alongside Budapest, there are some large islands which have been turned into parks. This one was called Margrit and encouraged Steve to yell out "Maaaargrit" (ala the league of gentlemen, apparently. UPDATE: it's from Little Britain actually, shows how much I was listening...) at regular intervals throughout the rest of the trip. It was beautiful, but was it really worth it? I just don't know....

Here we are looking across to the Parliament building which Steve fell in love with. You're lucky you're only getting one picture of it, Steve must have taken at least 30.

St Mathias' church on top of Castle hill

We "bumped into" Steve's parents whilst there which was great. Not least because they generously treated us to several awesome meals including the breakfast where I was positively encouraged to have cake. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

This is one of the thermal baths for which Budapest is (although I didn't know it before I got there!) famous for. This was one of the highlights of the whole holiday - room after opulantly-decorated room of thermal baths, mineral baths, jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. And awesome apocalyptically communist changing rooms. And a 95 degree C sauna which removed all traces of nose hair.

St Istvan or St Stephani, depending on which sign you looked at. Steve was very pleased to have a cathedral named after him. I was very pleased for the opportunity to call him "Istvan" or more often, "Stephani".

Moving on to Vienna and to our favourite Viennese coffee house. We embraced this part of Viennese culture with gusto. Viennese coffee, if you don't know, is coffee topped with whipped cream with an obligatory (honest) cream-cake on the side.

This is the view across Vienna from the Shonbruun "castle", which you can see in the fore-ground.

Stephansdom. Steve was even more pleased to have a second cathedral named after him.

This was an epic meal of Wiener Schnitzle and a seemingly family-sized pasta dish. Great stuff. Definitely designed as a winter meal though. For 6-8 people.

This is one of the numerous massive/grand/extravagant buildings that makes up the whole of the centre of Vienna. The city was fantastic, and obviously very wealthy.

Yes, we did go on this ride. Yes, you whizz around a pole, on tiny chairs attached by thin chains and rise to around 100m. No, I can't quite believe that Steve persuaded me into this either.

Prague! We arrived into Prague on the most beautiful of evenings, which you can see here. This is the view from the Charles Bridge. With me getting in the way.

St Vitus' Cathedral. Yep, Steve was very disappointed. Maybe we could talk with some Christian friends to see if we can get it re-named.

The same not-stephen cathedral.

A view across the rest of Prague

This is the fantastic National Gallery for modern art in Prague, which I cannot recommend enough. The collection was HUUUUGE and the building was great too. AND there was a fantastic bagel shop just across the road.

And finally Steve's favourite part of the whole trip - the clouded leopards in Prague zoo. Which I also cannot recommend warmly enough - it's one of the best zoos I've ever been to. And it will make any big cat lover go giddy at the knees.

What a trip. We did so much in a relatively short time but also found plenty of time to relax and chill out (Steve may not agree as he insists I didn't let him sit down once). I would warmly recommend a trip to any of these capitals - or especially all three!