Travel: Budapest by day

We enjoyed a full day touring the fascinating city of Budapest.  It’s a big sprawling city with a thriving economy and arguably too many tourists.

The sightseeing is abundant and satisfying.  Dining options are plentiful, often unique and quite reasonable.

Overall, its a wonderful city and worthy of a few days visit.

City Hall on Castle Hill
Cathedral spires on Castle Hill.
Neo-Gothic Parliament built in 1896 along the banks of the Danube River.
The dome of a popular thermal bathhouse with exceptional mosaic tile ceilings.
The Great Synagogue, a UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest Jewish temple in Europe with a mix of Byzantine, Moorish and Romantic styles.


Travel: Carnuntum, Austria and Gyor, Hungary

As we drove from Bratislava to Budapest we stopped at the Roman city of Carnuntum and later for lunch in the ancient city of Gyor.

Sample of an ancient Roman floor at extensive ruins in the countryside.
An original Roman Street in good shape.
Two rows of foundations that were individual houses. Doorways and remnants of mosaic flooring are often intact.
This marble water fountain serves water to visitors.
A beautifully restored Roman bath.
Artifacts are scattered on the extensive grounds. There’s an impressive museum on the site.
This was once a four sided Roman monument at the entrance of the site.

Gyor, Hungary is a baroque and neoclassical City.

A charming city on the way to Budapest.
A lovely moat and medieval walls protected the City.
The Basilica of the Assumption is spectacular.
This huge Ferris wheel is a popular attraction.

Travel: Bratislava, Slovakia

Yesterday was spent exploring the capital city Bratislava, both old and new.  The old area is compact, with many embassies, historic and cultural sights.
The newer areas are filled with Soviet style apartment blocks.

There is a massive modern shopping complex along the Danube River where we discovered a state of the art cinema complex where we saw the film Joker. (More on that later…)

The view from our hotel room overlooking the Danube River. Note the Soviet built bridge with restaurant in the tower.
The Opera House
Bratislava Castle overlooking the City.
The last surviving city gate into the old quarter.

Travel: On the road to Bratislava, Slovakia

Yesterday took us to Trebic, Czech Republic and one of the best preserved Jewish ghettos in Europe followed by the Lednice Castle.

A misty morning yields to bright sunshine.
Interior of the synagogue is well preserved.
Lednice Castle
The Grand Entry Hall
The Blue Room
The expansive greenhouse adjacent to the palace.
Exotic foliage everywhere.
An abstract of greenery, light and Coi.

Travel: Slavonice 2

The town square of Slavonice is dominated by An enormous clock tower.
Our hotel room is a full apartment on the third floor. It’s quite nice.
Much of the city dates to the medieval era.

Just outside the Slavonice by a 30 minute walk are Czechoslovakian bunkers from 1938.  They were built to protect Czechoslovakia from a Nazi invasion.  It’s a somber reminder of the conflict in the region not so many years ago.

WWII Tank barriers across the valley floor.
Exterior view of WWII bunkers.
Interior of WWII bunker.

Travel: Slavonice, Czech Republic

Yesterday we traveled overland to Slavonice, South Bohemia, one mile from the Austrian border.  Along the way we stopped in Cesky Budejovice for a tour of the famous Budweiser Budvar Brewery, whose brewing history dates back to the 13th century.

Hundreds of thousands of cases of beer are produced daily.
Massive copper distillation tanks.
A green river of bottles make their way through the bottling plant.

We made our way to Slavonice, a town with roots in the Renaissance.

A perfect place for an afternoon autumn walk.

We discovered a building with frescoes dating back to 1568 AD in remarkable condition.
The room with frescoes as they were found.
This frescoe depicts the fall of Babylon.
Most of the frescoes were restored in 2011.

Travel: On the road to Chesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Today was a beautiful blue sky day as we traveled southeast from Prague.  Our first stop was Vojna Memorial, built by German POWs after WWII as a labor camp for the nearby uranium mines.  After the communist takeover in 1948, Vojna became a forced labor camp for political prisoners.

One of many guard towers at the labor camp.

Creative art media on the memorial grounds.

Mining car from the nearby Uranium mines.

Slab from the Berlin Wall.

Travel: Pisek and Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic 1

Yesterday, a travel day, brought us to the cute little town of Pisek in the afternoon and later to the charming city of Cesky Krumlov where we will stay for another two nights.

Pisek, founded in the 13th century, on the banks of the Otava River.
Cesky Krumlov Castle, part of 40 buildings, built during the 14th through 16th centuries.
One entrance of the medieval city of Cesky Krumlov.
More of the town center.

Prague 3

Yesterday was our last full day in Prague.  We spent the day exploring the Prague Castle and it’s many neighborhoods.

St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle
Close up of Gargoyle on the rear of the Cathedral.
View of Prague from Castle Hill.
Charles Bridge over the Vltava River. The bridge was built in 1347, and is the second oldest bridge in Czech Republic.
Tram line to Prague Castle from City Center.