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House Sitting: It’s The Little Things

  House sitting sounds easy enough – who can’t look after 3 dogs and 4 chickens on a gorgeous country property?   The problem lies in the constant tension created when you are not sure of things. Why is the dog biting himself? Why is that chicken not moving? What if that had just caught on fire? What if one of… Continue reading

The Garden of Happiness

  One day I was out shopping at the mall in downtown Budapest at West End City Centre Mall…   It’s a huge five-level mall!   Not without its charms…   A bit disgruntled that I could not find a single thing I particularly wanted to buy, I was equally tired of walking and walking back and forth on five… Continue reading

French Riviera – Get Packing

  In a few days we will be landing in Marseilles, France. It’s a little surreal that you can be on the French Riviera in Europe on the other side of the world in just one day, your whole environment completely changed in a few hours.   We are house sitting near Toulouse for a few weeks (4 dogs and 4… Continue reading

What You Need to Know About Europe’s Trains – Especially Lesson 4

To get to our house sitting assignment, near Toulouse, first we had to catch the hotel shuttle bus from the hotel to the Marseille Airport, next catch the big bus to Marseille, St. Charles Train Station, a 25 minute ride for 8E (12C) each, with a bus driver that liked to take corners at high speeds, rocking us into each… Continue reading

The Bicycle Taxi Ride Of Our Lives!

In Budapest, we took a Danube Riverboat Cruise down the river to a little town called Szentendre.     Danube River Cruise   We enjoyed great views of the bridges and Parliament Buildings as we cruised slowly down the Danube…   Jaws dropped though when we saw a bus floating in the river…  Oh My God…   A few minutes later… Continue reading

Superb Food In Southern France?

  One day, from our House Sit, we went out to a 4 star Michelin Chef restaurant that had raving reviews on Trip Adviser, and was also highly recommended by a neighbor.   The host/owner offered impeccable service and the menu looked absolutely scrumptious:   We liked the soup a lot – a thick mushroom soup, in a tiny bowl.  … Continue reading

Oops – We’re In The Wrong Country!

  Trieste, Italy, was a very elegant city, combining Italian, German, Latin, Austrian, Hungarian and Slavic cultures, but it was time to move on to Slovenia and Croatia.   We could not find an automatic car to rent in downtown Trieste and found automatic transmission vehicles were only available at the airport. We paid an astonishing $120 for a taxi from Trieste… Continue reading

A People Study in Aix (or Classic French Style)

  Aix is an elegant city with extremely well-dressed people, cobblestone streets, book stores, parks, gardens, and it has the beautiful Fountain la Rotunde at the end of the Cours Mirabeau, often compared to the Champs-Elysees street in Paris. There is a cultural air in Aix, and a hint of snobbishness.   So we sat at a restaurant at the Fountain la… Continue reading

La Dune Du Pilat

  We decided to take a day trip out to the Cote D’Argent on the West coast of France, to a place I had read few people know about – Arcachon Bay, known for it’s sand dunes, and huge waves.   The Bordeaux area we drove through was full of huge wineries, with broad expanses of grape fields and winery… Continue reading

Heal Thyself in a Roman Turkish Bath House

  It seems that Hungary sits over a steaming inferno of water…   Hungary has a reputation for having the best Roman Turkish bath houses in Europe.   People from all over Europe, as well as from other parts of the world, visit their famous medicinal hot springs.   Thermal baths are literally spread all over the country. There are over 140… Continue reading

Gingerbread Medieval Lane, Kufstein, Austria

  About ten years ago, we were driving through the rich rolling hills of Austria, licking lush Gelato ice cream cones, and I swear the hills were so beautiful that they were alive with the Sound of Music…    But this time we were on the train heading through a different part of Austria – the impressive Austrian Alps…  … Continue reading

The Best Hot Chocolate & Cheap Elegant Food in Budapest

  Hungarian food is simple and hearty, offering wholesome soups, stews and goulash but there is one traditional item that is not to be missed: Langos. It’s available in many markets, malls and family events. Think of a luscious king-size fresh fry bread topped with garlic butter, sour cream and loads of cheese! One Langos is a meal in itself…… Continue reading

10 Top Travel Secrets For Europe

  If you would like to travel cheaper, save money and have fewer travel issues, these tips for Europe will help: 1. Forget super-expensive Western Europe (England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy). It’s hard to enjoy travel when you are aghast at the costs of everything. 2. Focus on cheaper Central Eastern Europe: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia with a quick… Continue reading

Gyor, Hungary

  I was so excited to return to my favourite small town in Hungary: Gyor.   Near the border of Slovakia and only an hour and a half to continue to Vienna, it’s a pleasant two hour drive from Budapest to Gyor…   Gyor (pronounced “Dyur”) is packed with charm, and has a quiet community atmosphere with the storybook river… Continue reading

Parking In Europe

  Get a load of this! Cars parked inches apart! This is the way parking is all over Europe’s cities. Space is at a premium so no parking spot is too small…     In Budapest the view from my friend, E’s, balcony up and down the street in provided ample example of the tight parking…   This type of… Continue reading

A Powerful Voice

How many times have we said we don’t like something, only to find that an authentic first-hand experience of that very thing astonishes you, and you come away with a complete change of mind… and so it happened with us in Budapest.   First of all, Budapest is an extravagant and exciting city, ranging from magnificent to modest. Architecturally, it… Continue reading

White Cinderella Castle On The Danube

  With the River Danube running through the centre of the city, Budapest is a spectacular city!   Did you know that there are two separate cities that make up Budapest? Buda is on the West side of the Danube and Pest (pronounced Pesht) is on the East side of the Danube.   One of the most impressive things about… Continue reading

Music Echoing Across The Austrian Alps

  It wasn’t the yodeling through the Austrian Alps that was impressive, no, – though I’m sure yodeling would be equally amazing – but it was the music!   We can understand much better now, how incredible it is to experience sound resonating across the giant alps and how dramatically it floats through the air…   The Kufstein Fortress of the 12th… Continue reading

Our Favourite Place In Europe

  What a surprise! This country’s lush green countryside was as beautiful as Southern France!   It was very clean and tidy, with beautiful highways and modern conveniences everywhere. Very warm helpful people too, with a great sense of humour.   This country is relaxing, easy, friendly, and has fewer tourists than France, with the same gorgeous scenery.   Where are we? Croatia!  … Continue reading

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