Week 2 - Central Europe
After our Venice stay, we boarded a train to Vienna, Austria.
St Stephen's Cathedral was just as impressive as St Peter's Basilica and St Mark's Cathedral. The art and history in Vienna were just as impressive, although somewhat different as that of Italy.
Richard and Suzanna with the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Statue
After Vienna, we embarked on a train ride to Budapest. We really enjoyed Budapest with all its history and great food. English speaking people were nearly non-existent, so it was really interesting trying to negotiate local travel and purchases.
When we first arrived in the city, we took a city tour. When the tour ended, the tour guide dropped us off in the city center, saying that we had seen the city so we could find our way back to our hotel.
The problem was that all signs are in Hungarian and none of the people we encountered could speak English. After finding a subway station and guessing at which subway line headed in the direction of our hotel and then guessing at which subway stop to exit, we embarked on our trip to our hotel on the outskirts of the city.
We had to play charades with the ticket agent at the subway station in order to buy our tickets. Thankfully we exited the subway at a station where we could see our hotel in the distance.
Millennium Monument with statue of Archangel Gabriel on Corinthian column with Magyar chieftains at the bottom, and flanked by Peace and War chariots
Skyline of Buda (left) and Pest (right). Budapest is comprised of the old cities of Buda, Pest and Old Buda.
In the second century AD, western Hungary was part of the Roman Empire. The largest Roman town in Eastern Europe was Aquincum, the ancestor of Budapest, when the city had around 15,000 inhabitants.
Fisherman's Bastion is situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill. The Bastion is named for the guild of fishermen who were responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages.
Following our time in Hungary, we took a train to visit friends in northern Germany.
Crossing Rhine River by ferry on the way to Stuttgart, Germany