Monday, August 8, 2011

Euro trip 2011: Austria

The second country in our list was Austria, the country of Mozart. Our plan was to visit Vienna and see only the downtown. From Budapest we took a train which runs between Budapest and Vienna. It was only 3 hours travel to reach Vienna. We reached after 16:00 and got in the hostel by 17:00. It's a nice hostel - neat and clean, the staffs are friendly, we even got attached toilet and bathroom with our room. We freshened up, took a bit rest and then went out to roam around the downtown.

There are many attraction in Vienna downtown and interestingly they are quite close to each other. So if you take few hours walk you can see many attraction in Vienna city. The weather was nice. We saw many people roaming around, the whole town is in festival mode, music was going on in many places, plays, shows and so on. We saw museums, cathedrals, parliament building, opera house and several other old buildings which I don't remember fully. At the end we took a ring tram to have a round to the whole city. Unfortunately we got lost :P and it took a bit longer time to return to our hostel. It was almost 11 O'clock at night when we returned. Somehow we couldn't manage to taste the coffee in Vienna :(

We prepared our dinner in the shared kitchen, ate and went to bed early since we had to catch early train next morning to go to Prague :)

Facts I noticed:

1. Vienna is a very live city. Lot of things are going on here and there - sports, play, various show, dance, opera and so on. It was not any special day but looks like it's a festival in downtown.

2. People speak average English, not very fluent.

3. The downtown is very clean but not the whole city.

4. Tram and metro service is quite good.


Just got down in Vienna

Me as well

After reaching the hostel

A roadside restaurant in downtown

I guess it's the opera house :P

Trying to shoot something with my mobile camera :P

A bunch of people were singing loudly together

In the heart of downtown

A Mozart replica

Two guys dressed like Mozart in front of the opera house

That's Mozart cafe

International dance festival, the poster doesn't look like dancing though :P

The opera house

A nice square. The concrete balls is caught our eyes

Nice shade by the afternoon sunlight through the cloud

Don't remember what was that :-S

Vienna museum

Museum again

Having snacks in front of the museum

Asked somebody to take a picture of all three of us. Should have removed the Fanta can first :D

The parliament building (from tram)

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Euro trip 2011: Hungary

We started our trip on 16 July from Kirkkonummi, Finland. We took the train to go to Turku since our flight to Budapest is from Turku airport. It was a big surprise when we reached the airport. We had to go to terminal 2 since wizzair operates from there. Surprisingly there was no direction to go to terminal 2 from terminal 1. It's almost 700 meter far but we managed to find the way somehow. When we reached terminal 2 it looks like a small bus station, even the inside looks so horrible, doesn't look like an airport at all. Anyway, we got into the plane on time and reached Budapest on time also. The flight was OK.

It was already 2230 when we reached Budapest. We took airport taxi to go to our hostel. Somehow I felt like I am in Dhaka :) There are big roadside billboards, many banners, posters in different walls, roads are also broken in many places and the driver didn't even bother to slow down - so we felt continuous jerking inside. It took half an hour to reach the hostel. The place looked bizarre. It's an old building and too dark but when we entered into the building, unexpectedly, a beautiful young girl came downstairs to receive us. It took them almost an hour to give us a room because they made a mistake to handle our reservation. Finally it turned into better because they gave us a private room. Well, we didn't expect much from a hostel which costs only 7 Euros per night. Can you imagine with that amount of rent they also provide breakfast with egg? Anyway, we got a good room but I couldn't sleep very well since Gagan was snoring like jet engine may be because of his tiredness or inappropriate pillow.

We got up early in the morning, had breakfast and went out to roam around the city. Gagan was guiding us. We bought daily pass and hop on a tram. Budapest is divided into two parts called Buda and Pest by the river Danube. All the attractions of the city are on the bank of that river. We took a tram which runs in front of all the attractions. We could easily see those from the tram. Finally we went to the Buda castle and spent some time over there. The castle is on top of a hill and you can see a big part of Budapest from the top of it. It is a nice view.

We came back to the hostel in the afternoon, had shower and left to catch the train to go Vienna, Austria.

Facts I noticed:

1. Hungary is quite cheap compared to Finland, may be 1/3. A 30 cm subway like sandwich is 2.20 Euros.

2. People are friendly but they don't speak very good English in general.

3. Some of the roads are dirty.

4. There are many homeless people.

5. If you are not cautious there might be chance to be cheated. Somebody in the metro station tried to sell fake tickets to us :)


Staring from home

Gagan and Shanila

In front of Turku airport, terminal 2

In front of our hostel in Budapest

Typical European road

A homeless person sleeping in the street

Guess what is written there :P

I don't know what that structure is but it caught our eyes

Danube river

Another view

Were we arguing? Seems so :D

Looks like we made up :P

The lonely ranger :D

A building with a nice structure, on the way to castle

The chain bridge over Danube

Another view of the chain bridge

The building is nice but I forgot what it really is :P

Strange car

Entering the castle

This guy was playing nice music at the entrance of the castle

In the middle of the castle

One side of the castle

Nice view from the castle. Well, I am blocking a bit :P

The couple :)

Other side of the castle

Another view of the castle

That's the slope car to go to the castle if you don't wanna walk, of course you have to pay :)

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