Friday, August 18, 2017

Been There, Ate That

Hedge
One of the nice things about living where we do is that there is always a new restaurant springing up. This post reviews four places we’d not tried, one that changed management, and three that we visited previously.  For information on my rating scheme, take a look at Reading the Reviews. To get some information on the towns you’ll find these eateries in, click on the links that will lead you to previous blogs.




Friday, August 11, 2017

Beading through Bohemia Reviews Part 2

I
Roasting meat
t’s all about the food – or at least good food makes a trip better. We did have several nice meals made even better with a group of new friends. I’m a bit spoiled; even though I have food allergies that make getting common items sometimes a bit difficult, chefs and cooks generally do their best to accommodate me. On this trip if I ordered on my own I could talk to the wait staff and find something that was local but acceptable to my dietary needs. When I was with the group, I got grilled or roasted chicken at each meal; this was disappointing. Again, to see how my rating system works, take a look at
Reading the Reviews.


Beading through Bohemia Reviews Part 1


This was an interesting trip. Barb and I booked it with the idea that we’d see some places we’d never been, get in some good bead shopping, and have some beading time. As with any trip, there were some things we really liked, and some we weren’t too happy about. Also, our perceptions of the trip didn’t necessarily match those of other travelers. For instance, we really liked our first local guide, Blanca. She had a wealth of knowledge and filled the air with information. Our expectations for group behavior seemed to be the same as Blanca’s: keep up, ask questions, pay attention, and realize that the local guide wasn’t there to service just one person. Blanca did far better with some of the folks in our group than I did; I’d have sent them home on day one. Since this is a very long blog, it’s divided into two parts. This one covers Where We Stayed and What We Did; What We Ate is in the second post. In previous blog posts I've written about many of the things we did, so rather than rehash those experiences, I've given you links back to the specific pages. To see how my rating system works, take a look at Reading the Reviews.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Being in Budapest

Parliament Building
Each morning on the Danube was beautiful, but this day was special. We were awakened to a wonderful view of the House of Parliament with the rising sun’s rays on it. Although it was close on to 5:00AM, it was hard to go back to sleep with the stunning scenery sliding by. Budapest was officially created by merging Pest, Buda and Óbuda in 1873. But back in the first century BC the Celts built the first town that would become a portion of Budapest. This was a densely populated settlement with potteries and bronze foundries, and perhaps a trading center. Romans colonized an area immediately west of the Danube, using the natural thermal springs; the new baths in Budapest reminded me of those in Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic. By 106 AD the city had become the
Exterior of a bath house
capital of the province Pannonia Inferior and the headquarters of the governor and a significant military force. Of course this means that it was frequently involved in wars along the Danube. A parade of conquerors made the city their headquarters from the 5
th century AD through the Middle Ages. Buda and Pest started their development in the 12th century because the French, Walloon, and German settlers worked and traded under royal protection along the Danube. The history of Hungary followed the path of Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria with prosperity, and the flourishing of the arts followed by wars and destruction; in some instances Buda was a leading in others Pest was preeminent.