I’ve decided it’s about time to continue with my August holiday blog, I know, August was 4 months ago but that’s ok, I don’t mind remembering and it’s a good excuse to fantasise about being on holiday still.
After flying away from Italy it was sad to be leaving, but so exciting to be heading to Athens, Greece. A short visit in Greece. Not even a stopover really but 2 hours is a legitimate amount of time to say I’ve been there, surely.
With just enough time to take a photo and do a swift u turn from arrivals to departures I was heading to Budapest, Hungary.
Without a tour guide it was a little tricky to navigate without speaking Hungarian, and I’m still confused about the currency with its zillions of zeros, but I quickly managed very nicely to order Beef Goulash and with the aid of the handy dandy hop-on-hop-off bus I was acclimatised in no time.
I had a huge Falcon bird perch on my arm (HUGE!), discovered that Buda is hilly and Pest is flat and indeed Budapest is the city of eternal youth. I felt rather youthful while I was there. That could be because I was on holiday though. Maybe.
Next packed to the bursting brim with bags and bodies we set off on our road trip across Europe with Daniel and Marica.
We drove to Slovakia and had the yummiest salad and beetroot smoothie in the capital Bratislavia. Would never have found the quaint wee cafe/tuck shop if it wasn’t for the urgent need to stretch my legs hence a wander through the village.
Next on the road trip was Austria. A must do in Vienna is to eat Sacher Tort (a famous Viennese culinary specialty ) as well as Apfelstrudel ( a traditional Viennese Apple Strudel ). You must try both. Cricky they were delish. I’d be addicted to both in a milli-second so I’m pleased they aren’t in every cake cabinet in NZ.
Eating the strudel and tort wasn’t a grand idea considering we had to pack our bodies back into our car. We were squished before Vienna. Hindsights a great thing.
Stopping in Salzberg for coffee we then sped along at a great rate of knots to Germany.
I loved Germany. I’ve always wanted to visit although I’ve no idea why really. Could be my bizarre interest in the Hitler era and perhaps the fact we have the same birthday. Unfortunate I know.
Hitlers 50th Birthday present was The Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden. It’s a must do hair-raising 1800 metre bus trip up to a ledge on the Kehlstein mountain. The last 124 metres is accessed by a very fancy lift via a tunnel which cost many of the workers their lives during construction. Awful.
Oddly the fancy lift broke down just as we were about to get in, and I learnt kaput meant broken down in German from the brisk woman in the queue. She was not impressed. I was happy it went kaput before we got back into it. Bit of a long walk down, but that’s ok considering.
I slipped and slopped about in beer and drank from a vessel almost the same size as me at a beer hall in Munich .. such fun, very noisy and the waitress was dare I say it, plain scary .. in facial expressions and tone ! I minded my p’s and q’s when she came near.
On my to do list was a visit to a concentration camp. I just think it’s good manners if nothing else to be in that part of the world and pay some respect to the thousands of people who were mass murdered.
It was in Drakau that I visited the first concentration camp ever built and sadly the camp where human experiments were predominantly undertaken. It was humbling and frightening and I cried. I felt sad for a long time afterwards.
Carrying on the road trip I was soon enough in France ! Oooo how I was looking forward to France. As soon as I stepped foot on French soil I felt all posh and European. This was exaggerated by a wonderful stop in a winery in the Champagne region. As you do. I don’t even like Champagne, but I was going to sip away like a fancy french lass like the best of them.
I purchased a gorgeous french leather bag from an antique store, and treasured it the rest of the way around Europe. It was by far my most prized purchase.
Paris was wonderful, and I loved every minute pretending I lived there. The sights and shopping are delish and its very easy to day dream about what it would be like to take up permanent residence. Or a whole summer holiday. Not forgetting that croissants and coffee are a delish breakfast option. Especially in Paris.
I stayed in a quaint wee room with french vintage wallpaper, an old wash basin and a comfy old single bed .. my antique handbag looked right at home in that itsy bitsy room.
Love that wallpaper !
Soon enough, after playing in Paris for a while, it was time to pack up and squeeze into the car again. This task became difficult due to the fantastic shopping opportunities Paris offered !
So towards the UK I fled via the Euro tunnel … so exciting !