Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hungary to Austria

My week in Budapest was excellent.  I walked all over the place….ate some great food and the wine is cheap and good. I took plenty of pictures. My hostel was a real one. Meet some new friends from around the world.

My favorite place to have dinner was at an outdoor tourist place….it had tourist things to buy and food called Langos. .a big piece of cooked dough filled with veggies and cheese…

image

Langos

I could buy a glass or two of wine and listen to 2 guys playing guitars. They were great.

image

Great music


My last night in Budapest I went to the National Opera to see Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. I had a good seat and enjoyed the music and the singing.
image

Budapest Opera

I wanted to stay but kept with my schedule. I walked to the train station and went to Vienna. My hostel is out of town so I had to take the U3 Subway to the end and a bus up to the Palace Hostel. The hostel is on the grounds of the Schlossherberge Palace, the former housing for the Vienna Boys Choir. The view of Vienna is amazing.

So this hpstel is out of the City so I had to figure out the bus, tram and subway system. I got to St. Stephens Church which was full of tourists.

image

St. Stehens

I got on a tram and ended up at the Belvedere Palace. This was jusr luck but I ended up at a great place on my first day. Sometimes when I have no plan good things happen.

image

Belvedere Palace

image

Belvedere Palace


I the way to find a way back to my hostel I ran into the Russian Orthodox Church.
image

Nice gold domes

So I will be here for a week, hope to see another opera. Vienna is beautiful but too big….

Budapest

Ok what do you think of when you hear the word HUNGARY? My first thought is goulash, then Zsa Zsa Gabor, then Gypsies. I do not eat meat so goulash is out…Zsa Zsa is still alive, in her 90s with 9 husbands…not too many Gypsies here but Budapest is really amazing… here is the Grand Market..

image

There are so many beautiful buildings and bridges here. My hostel is downtown and the neighborhood is beautiful.

I had a great hostel in Belgrade and stayed for a week. Igor, the day manager of Manga Hostel greeted me with a hug. Alex drove me from Smerdevo right to the hostel. I was still in shock coming from Thailand to Serbia. It was so nice to get to a real hostel.

image

Igor the Great

I got a long van ride to Budapest, this was Easter weekend so the border took a long time to get through.

I am at another great hostel. Suite Hostel is in an old building on the 4th floor. But it has a real old fashion elevator…scarry but it works.
image

Looks like the elevator in Rocky Horror Picture Show….

It is raining again so I am walking around with an umbrella taking pictures. Plenty of nice buildings here.

image

A place to eat


image

National Museum


image

Communist Ruin Bar

Serbia…..class

My flights from Bangkok to Doha, to Ankara to Belgrade were okay and there was Marko, his wife and sister, both Maria, waiting for me at the N.Tesla Airport. Passport and Customs could not have been easier.

They drove me to Smederevo and I went to visit Valentina and Alex’s new baby boy. They are very happy new parents. Marko and Maria have a daughter who is now a year old. Ivana visited us and I have not seen her since 2008 in Wellfleet. Both ladies still have that Eastern Europe beauty and could not have been nicer to me.

image

The food here is fantastic and a nice change from my Asian diet. They specialize in Burek which flaky dough with cheese in it. The turkish coffee here is strong. I had home cooking thanks to Valentina and Marko’s family. So lucky to have good friends around this world.

image

Good Serbian Food

I got messages from Macedonia, Crotia, Slovenia and England….. my friends asking me to stop bye. But Belgrade, Hungary Vienna, the Czech Republic and Germany were on my list this time. My friend Petar was in Belgrade to apply for a USA Visa. So I said goodbye to my Smeredevo friends and Alex drove me there to a hostel near St. Marko’s Church.

image

St. Markos Church


I will be off to Novi Sad in a few days. And then to Budapest in Hungary.

Here is a Yugo, there are many left here.

image

Yugo

Time for Europe

image

Chiang Mai is still an excellent place to spend a month. The first few days I kept to myself and wondered why I came back for the forth time. I was just walking the city to visit many temples and eating the great Thai food. My favorite place to eat is the Teatree, which is right across from the fruit and vegetable market. You can find it easily, it is the one with all the people waiting to get a fruit drink out in front and a table inside.
image

There has been no rain here, the air is smoggy due to the agricultural burning, and it has been hot. It gets up to 40ยบ in the afternoon. My room has a fan and gets some breeze through the windows. I did manage to make a few friends and started to socialize.

One of the first friends I made was Griff.
image

She has spent 3 months here in Chiang Mai and after staying at 3 other hotels/hostels was now staying at my hotel.

Griff is from northern Wales and an amazing life force at 96 years old. She is here on her own and is a well seasoned traveler. We started to have our breakfasts together at the UN Irish Pub. The pub is a couple blocks away from our hotel but worth the extra distance. They make their own bread there.

My role was to make sure no motorbike or taxi ran over Griff on our way to and from the Pub. She can really move when she has room. I told her to slow down a couple of times. The pub is on a busy street so I hold her hand as we cross the road.
image
Let me describe the way she orders her breakfast…(spoken in a crisp Welsh miltary-precise manner) I do not need the menu… I want tea with ‘boiling’ water…2 hard boiled eggs…peeled and do not cook them as long as yesterday….1 piece of whole wheat bread lightly toasted, some butter and some honey and no jelly…it really is not jelly nor jam.
The waitress is use to the breakfast orders and they all love her. We usually arrived at the pub’s courtyard at 8:50 am. Our talks go on and on, most of the time past noon and a couple of times past 1 pm. We eventually had German and UK people showing up just to be in her presence.

Our talks were amazing…she has been everywhere. She told me about the military. She worked at a radar base in Belgium when the country was still occupied. She was stationed in Ghana and she went out looking for snakes and birds. She was an excellent horse women. She later was stationed in the UK Sector of post war Germany.

At first she told me the internet was stupid but I think I changed her mind. She asked me to find a 1944 BBC production of Under Milkwood as narrated by Richard Burton. This was written by a famous Welsh man. Dylan Thomas. I found the program on Youtube and we listened to most of it at the Wat Chiang Man Temple. She did not like that Youtube only gave you 10 minute bits at a time. I have a couple hours of audio recording of her and eventually will post it.

She told me about an Australian poem she memorized when she was 6. And now 90 years later she still knows the whole thing. Bannerman of the Dandennong is a long poem and she can still recite it. I found it on the web and read it as she recited it.

image

Griff with her German admirers


We both left from Bangkok on the same day for Europe.