Sunday, February 27, 2005

This is a close-up view of the Egyptian priest. Posted by Hello

This pond and statues are of religious figures from different cultures. It is in the park behind the Gallert Hill. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This picture shows some of the old housing in Pecs. Pecs is one our side trips from Budapest. It is known as an artists town south of Budapest. I like this picture because it blends new with the old. Notice the satelite dishes, the light standards and the relatively new cars on both streets. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005

This shot was taken in the rear of the palace in Godollo. It shows some of the renovation in the foreground and some that hasn't been completed in the back. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The castle in Godollo. The pallace of Queen Elizabeth also known as Queen Sissi. Godollo is a very short trip from Budapest by train. Well worth the travel. It is in the middle of some very extensive renovations and the facade is completed and there is at least another 3/4 of the building to re-finish. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The picture was taken by Joe. It shows his view from the hotel room each morning. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Budapest, the city

Budapest is made up of two cities; Buda and Pest. The Buda side is where we spent most of our time. It is hilly and quite dramatic. Pest is the other side of the Danube and is flatter. The market is on this side as well as many of the Western hotels. Many shops and the red light district is also situated here. As mentioned earlier, Budapest is a public transit friendly city. No need to rent a car or get into a tour bus. Since we stayed here over 3 weeks we bought a weekly pass that gave us unrestricted use of the system. At less than $9, a real bargain. It even included the water taxi routes on the Danube.

We dined every night at fine restaurant and because of the money exchange, we ate very reasonably. Most restaurants are rated with stars. The best rating would be 5. But we ate in 3 and 4 star restaurants.

The view of the Danube through the pillars of St Gellert statue. The chain bridge is seen in the distance. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Elizabeth Bridge over the Danube, Budapest, Hungary. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Our Hotel

The Hotel Villa Korda is where we will call home for the next 2 and 1/2 weeks. It is situated in the cool hills of Buda in an area called Roszadomb. Our room is actually a suite of rooms including bed, bath and living room. Warren, has a single bed in the living room. Joe and I share the bedroom. Each morning we go down to the cafe/entrance to have a breakfast of cereal, bread, cold cuts, yogurt and coffee/tea.

The area is within an easy walk to a bus and to a very adequate mall with a grocery store, bowling alley, bank and shops. We hang out here often.

Budapest is an easy city to get around with public transit. Buses, trams, underground metro all make it quite navigatable. In fact, unless you want to frustrate yourself, it is the only way to travel in this city.

This is our bed and breakfast hotel in Budapest.  Posted by Hello

To Budapest

Our travels to Europe where mainly spent in Hungary. So, I will post some pictures from various parts of this wonderful city.

We start our journey in our pension in the cool hills of Huvosvolgy.

Cluj Napoca

We plan on going back to Romania within the next couple of years. Possibly making Cluj Napoca our home base.

Sinaia, 122km from Bucharest, has been dubbed the "Pearl of the Carpathians" for its magnificent mountain scenery and royal castle. Originally the preserve of a few hermits and shepherds, and later an exclusive aristocratic resort, nowdays, it's full of tourists to walk or ski in the Bucegi Mountains. Sinaia Orthodox Monastery (1846) was commissioned by King Carol I. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Statuary at Peleş Castle, Sinaia, Romania. Posted by Hello

The statue of the queen in the garden at Peleş Castle in Sinaia. This castle was built at the turn of the last century and it is quite impressive. The castle is luxuriously appointed and has been lovingly restored. Lots of stone and carved wood. The Pelişor Castle is located just beyond the main castle. It too is very beautiful.Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bran Castle's charm

Bran Castle has some very interesting nooks and crannies. It is very easy to get lost the first time through it. It even has some secret passages.

Inside the courtyard at Bran Castle. Posted by Hello

Bran Castle

One of the highlights of Romania was Bran Castle. Commonly known as Dracula 's Castle, the Bran Castle was originally a stronghold built by the Knights of Teutonic Order in 1212. The first documentary attestation of the Bran Castle is the act issued on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilage to build the Citadel. The building started in 1378 as a defense against Turks and later became a customs post on the pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. From 1920 the castle became a royal residence until the expulsion of the royal family in 1948. Today it functions as a very attractive museum of medieval arts. There are a lot of pictures from Bran Castle at this site:

The ride on the Aerial car gave us a beautiful view of Brasov below. This picture shows the old city of Brasov with newer hotels on the perimeter. The view is slightly obscured because of the window glass of the car. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The pedestrian walk in the old city of Brasov. Posted by Hello

Home Base

Our home base while in Romania was Brasov. A very picturesque city in the foothills of the Carpathians. From there we hired a guide with a car to drive us to several of the spots that are shown here; Rupia, Bran, Sinaia and Sighisoara. Hiring a guide was the best way to see this area of Romania because we were able to see precisely what we wanted. In terms of exchange, the cost was reasonable.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A quaint street within the walled fortress of Sighisoara. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 04, 2005

The clock tower in Sighisoara. Posted by Hello

This is an entrance to Sighisoara, possibly the only remaining inhabited fortress in the world. This is a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. Posted by Hello

Warren stands on the site of a fortress near Rosnov. This site has been partially rebuilt and is impressive for the view. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Part of the same ruins in Rupia. Posted by Hello


Travelling has a profound experience in my life. It allows me to peek into cultures and sites that are unique and different from my life at home. My vision of these far-away places are set in my mind and I can re-live the memory.

I hope, while I am still able, to see even more of the world, including my home country of Canada. Although I have been to both coasts, I need to see it a second and third time. Each experience will be different.

Although I can share the photos of my travels here, nothing compares with sharing the road to travel with someone. That way, we can exchange our likes and dislikes and talk about it for years to come.

The Story

Joe, Warren and I have travelled to Europe before. We were there in 2001 and visted Austria, Eger and of course, Budapest. My partner Joe, was born in Ivanc near the Austrian border in 1950 and immigrated to Canada in 1956 during the Hungarian uprising against the Russian occupation. Joe has become our translator/interpreter on our European trips. He is also a very good companion for these excursions.

Our trip in 2004 was very memorable and we travelled to Romania for the first time. The area in particular is known as Transyvania. It belonged to Hungary at one time but was lost to Romania in the first world war. The area is in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. It is very beautiful because of this backdrop. Some of the photos that I will publish will show this.

We also travelled to The Netherlands as the last leg of our trip. We spent three days on one of the most famous and lovely canals, the Herrengracht. More pictures of Romania, Budapest and Amsterdam to come. Stay tuned.

Joe, me and Warren at the ruins of Rupea Castle near Sighisoara, Romania. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Europe 2004

In April 2004, Warren, my twin brother, Joe, my partner and I travelled to Europe. We took in 3 countries including Hungary, Romania and The Netherlands. I will be using this blog to show and tell stories of this very facinating and enjoyable trip.

Peleş in Sinaia, Romania. Posted by Hello