Eastern Europe: On the Danube...

Ugh...back to work tomorrow. Oh well, the fun had to end sometime.
It was a great trip to three cities in Eastern Europe - first to Budapest, Hungary then to Krakow, Poland and finishing up in Prague. As a little background, Im generally fascinated with 1940s so visiting countries that had been occupied by the Germans in WWII followed and later became Soviet bloc countries was a very exciting prospect to me.
Overall, we had a really wonderful time and each city was stunning in its own way. We thankfully didn't have a single hiccup like lost luggage or missed transfers that have a way of spoiling the trip. Unfortunetely, we had less than ideal weather the entire time. Light rain, cold, the whole dreary bit - but it could have been much worse and we didn't let a little mositure ruin our fun!
Our first of three stops was Budapest, Hungary. As you can tell, the architecture of the city is pretty impressive. Living in NY, you get used to seeing buildings that we call "old" but you can't help but be reminded just how young America is when visiting Europe. Centuries of history tell their story side by side with modern life.
We stayed at the Four Seasons on the Pest side. It was definitely my favorite hotel of the trip. Great location, luxury and understated elegance. Check out the amazing chandelier that hangs in their lobby.
The room was simple and nicely put together but nothing much to speak about. The bathroom was a little bit over the top for me with all the marble but I lovvvvved the soaking tub and great bath products. And their hotel pool was fabulous too.
We lucked out and happen to visit during a wine festival. Bonus! Im not a wine buff so I don't know anything about Hungarian wines but there were so many varieties! Judging by the crowds even on a rainy day, they have quite a following.

The rest of our time we spent wandering the streets and sights.
We had great food pretty much everywhere we went. Pretty amazing since I don't have anywhere near that sucess ratio back home and I know where Im going! Another thing we loved was the many pedestrian areas were cars were not allowed and/or walkers had a very large area to roam around. Great for enjoying the scenary without having to worry about getting run over.

Three days just flew by. Because of the weather, we didn't get a chance to go to the Flea Market on the outskirts of the city. I figured the rain would keep most of the vendors away so it wasn't worth a trip. We also missed the thermal baths for which the city is very famous. The combination of the jetlag and the cold, made us a little bit too timid to give it a try. Something to look forward to the next time we visit :)

And then it was time to say goodbye and head off to Krakow, Poland....

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  1. wow these photos are amazing. Looks like you had an amazing time!

    You should be a professional photographer!

  2. Looks like you had a fantastic time!

  3. Amazing photos! They are seriously better than what I see on travel sites. I'm very much looking forward to tagging along on the Prague portion of your journey (if only in photos for me!)...I've been itching to go there forever.

    p.s. That is quite the loo! :-)

  4. These are gorgeous pic's!

  5. WOW!!! Fantastic. I love love love the second image, that one may be a favorite!

  6. I'm so glad you're back...so many of my favorite bloggers have been MIA lately, that I've been starting to wonder if everyone just gave up.

  7. I LOVE the bathroom.... maybe I'll have to enlarge mine...and add some marble instead of just tile..... hahahha....

    a neighbour couple just went on holiday to the same places... how strange is that? Haven't talked to them yet.... meet any Canadian couples? ...

    yes.... we have even less heritage structures here than in some of the U.S. cities... the European architecture is amazing.......

  8. Surprised you came back with photos like those.

  9. Welcome home! And your photos are amazing---my jaw dropped! you have an amazing eye!

  10. Oh.... budapest...Has been on my "short list" for eons!

    Thanks for the pix...living vicariously through you! Can't wait for more.

  11. What an amazing trip and photos! Glad you're back...you were missed. Can't wait to see more.

  12. The photos look absolutely amazing! Glad to hear that you had a great time!

  13. Lovely photos--especially the b&w. I'm looking forward to your commentary about Krakow. A friend of ours is working there for two years and we plan to visit. Her accounts and photos of Krakow and the surrounding countryside have been amazing. I'd love to know where you stayed and what you recommend.

  14. As others have said, your photography is amazing and it looks like you had a great time. Would you mind sharing which camera you're using? (And applicable lenses, if it's an SLR).

  15. Thanks everyone. Im not so strong with photographing things under cloudy skies - it all looks so gray to me but I just take a lot of photos so some of them come out well enough to call a keeper.

    I use a Nikon D50. I have other lens but most of the photos were taken with the standard zoom lens that came with the camera. I used my fish eye lens to take photos of the hotel rooms but I never bothered carrying it with me during the day.

    Krakow was my favorite city of the 3. I can't even say way - I just liked it the best. I wasn't so crazy about the hotel we stayed at but I'll give a full recap when I do the next post.

  16. this looks like such a beautiful trip.
    so many places i would love to see....
    gorgeous. your pictures turned out so great!

  17. Super slick photos. Looks like a great time.

  18. I loved seeing your pictures of Budapest. We visited that wonderful city two years ago (along with Bratislava, Vienna and Prague). I look forward to reading more about your trip.

    We've just returned from Italy, and I've been blogging about that, but maybe I'll post my trip report and pictures from our Eastern European adventure soon too.

  19. Anonymous9:22 PM

    these photos are absouletly amazing! gorgeous! sounds like you had a fantastic time despite the weather. i'd love to visit eastern europe too.

    oh and interesting you say you shoot with a nikon d50 - i've been itching to upgrade (again!) and am debating between a nikon dseries (40 or 50) or a canon (not sure what model yet).

  20. kay - I love my D50. The D40 is smaller which is a big plus but they made it smaller by putting the autofocus into the lens rather than the camera body. This isn't a problem if you don't plan on using any lens that aren't specifically made for the D40...but if you are like me and like to play around a bit, then that is a big limitation. Both are great cameras though. Im not sure if they even sell the D50 anymore...there is probably a newer model out there but I don't know anything about the options out there now since Im not shopping.

  21. Anonymous6:28 AM

    Dear Mrs. Limestone,
    I simply LOVE your blog and became atticted to it:D.
    I live in Budapest, so this post is really one of my favorites...

    (Nikon 3000 or 5000 is the new model 'replacing' D50, as far as I know.)

  22. wow. i have always wanted to visit hungary since i am hungarian...fantastic photos!

  23. I am from Europe and I am not getting why all Americans call Czech republic Eastern Europe instead of Center Europe. It does not have to do anything with Eeastern Europe, anyways...nice pictures. I really enjoyed them.

  24. Czech Republic is really one of the places you MUST see. If you go there, do not forget to see the underground town under the Oldtime Square. It has been burried under the ground for almost 1000 years.

  25. Budapest is no doubt one of the best cities not only in Western Europe, but in Europe as a whole. I like the mixture of modern Western Europe and the spirit of the East feeling in the air. You've made wonderful photos and a great destination choice.


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