Day 54 & 55: Day 2 in Budapest & travel to Cesky Krumlov

Today will be a mostly photo less blog, but I will paint you a picture.  Unfortunately on the train ride from Budapest to Vienna the next morning our camera and lenses were stolen.  We’re very lucky that’s all that was taken – money and other valuables were fortunately left.  The bags were taken from under our seats, riffled through and then returned – very strange.  Others on the train had stuff taken as well and we later found out that it’s something of a hot zone for theft between the Hungary and Austria border.  We learned our lesson and warn others to keep a hand on you bags at all times! Again luckily, all our pictures – with the exception of day 2 in Budapest are backed up.  We will be using our phones and other camera until we can get it replaced. We don’t know who did this, but it makes us feel a bit better if we imagine it was a monkey.

Back to Budapest…in the morning we rode Bubis across the beautifully lion-adorned Erzabet bridge to the Buda side.  There we climbed to the top of a peak for views of Pest and the Danube.  Unfortunately the riverfront was reserved for cars, but a high wall wall partially makes the sound and view so we could bike and walk along it.

A view of what we saw – photo credit:

Then we headed to a thermal bath – pure bliss! It was a traditional Turkish bath.  We couldn’t go to the one we originally planned, because it was naked men only day (women are only allowed 3 days a week). The Kiraly bath was great though – we spent hours there – warm pool, hot pool, cold pool, repeat.

For lunch we had the best falafel I’ve ever had at a place called Hummus bar.

Budapest has a lot of multi purpose shops. Or rather stores that combine with cafes. There was a print shop / cafe, and an analog photo studio / cafe, and a tights and chocolate store.

We went to Szimpla, the first, biggest and best ruin bar. It has an interior court and 2 storeys surrounding with bars, wacky rooms and interesting seating. It looks like a flea market and and art supply store threw up all over a dilapidated building – in a good way of course! There was an old car with booth seating, a giant fibreglass kangaroo, bathtub seats, etc.

For dinner we had Hungarian goulash! I love that word – goulash. It was hearty and paprikaey and delicious – from a vegetarian restaurant called Napfenyes Etterem.

We had an early night and packed up to catch our early train.

The next morning we headed out early and as mentioned earlier, had a little misfortune. We spent our short layover in Austria filing a police report.

We took a 4-hour shuttle from Austria to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.  The driver was great, offering info about the country and the town.  It’s a town of about 15,000 (double that in tourist season) from the 13th century.  It’s in a valley with the a river zigzagging through.  There is a castle built up on rocks on one side and a cathedral on the other.  Even at at night it was beyond quaint.

Map of the town with river winding through. Credit:

Map of the town with river winding through. Credit:

We got to our hostel, and got more great info.  We headed out for dinner and had a bohemian feast with potatoes, cabbage, millet and mead and different spices.  The restaurant was in a very old building – several centuries, that had been restored to how it would have looked.

Next we tried to squeeze into a pub with a live gypsy band – no luck so we headed to a pub serving the locally brewed Eggenburg beer.

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