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Living Like Royalty In Cabra Castle

  Cabra Castle was elegant. A 19th Century castle, set deep in the hills of Cavan County, it was stately and refined. While Ballynahinch Castle had felt more authentic with the hunters going out for the early morning hunt all decked out in somewhat traditional hunting attire: short pants, knee-high socks and rubber boots, a white shirt and tie, a sporty wool plaid jacket and a woolen newsboy cap, rifle tucked under the arm; Cabra was fit for a Queen, and King of course.   The entrance to the castle was long, and as the castle came into view, it felt like … More…

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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 Raba running through it…   E and I had spent a lot of time here several years ago when she lived in Gyor. She had a pretty little apartment just off downtown.   Since I was there in winter, I … More…

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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 parking is prevalent everywhere we went in Europe and cars whiz down narrow alley streets and between cars on narrow streets with inches to spare. We came to the conclusion that they are much better drivers than we are in … More…

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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 is beautiful. Many original historic buildings have been maintained, and these elegant structures seem to be valued much more in Europe in general, than they are in North America.   Much of the charm of Europe is in the magnificent … More…

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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 registered thermal baths in Hungary and over 1300 thermal springs.   The city of Budapest holds the title of having the most thermal and medicinal springs than any other city in the world.   The Roman Turkish bath houses are … More…

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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 Budapest is its diverse architectural buildings, ranging from Gothic to Soviet-era, to Baroque to Roman Ruins to Art Nouveau. This is a result of Hungary being invaded an unbelievable number of times!   Hungary’s history goes back to over 350,000 years. Considering … More…

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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!   Our destination that day, after getting lost and ending up in the wrong country… http://travellittleknownplaces.com/oops-wrong-country/,  was Plitvice, Croatia, home of the exquisite layered waterfalls.   It was pouring rain…    The mist hung over the forested hills…    But when the … More…

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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 other and tipping the top of the bus to near the sidewalk.     St. Charles Station was huge, but there was a nice view of Marseille’s Basilica Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde high on a hill, that is seen as the guardian of the … More…

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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 chickens), then driving down the picturesque coast of Southern France, then taking the train to magical Venice, Italy. Next we’ll drive through Slovenia and Croatia to the 16 cascading lakes at Plitvice Falls and back up the Croatian coast of … More…

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