Refuge by the River- Visit(s) to Szentendre

It recently dawned on me that, shockingly, I haven’t written anything about Szentendre here, though I’ve probably been there more than to any other place in Hungary besides Budapest, which figures, since it’s a leisurely 40 minutes away by HÉV line number 5, which gently rocks upstream along the course of the Danube. (An extension…

Year of the Wunderkammer- Best of Travels 2019

A Day at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. This year has been, strangely (or not so strangely, given the current state of affairs in the world) that of the Wunderkammer. Every now and then something related to cabinets of curiosities would pop up, most recently in Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. Initially, I thought I did not like cabinets…

The Roofs Have Eyes-Daytrip to Sibiu

To stop Romanians from ruling the world, God gave us a geographically perfect country. With no highways. And the chronic inability to build them. Yet when we set off on our short but sweet daytrip to Sibiu, we decided to ignore this dark curse and pretend that the 50 kilometres still lacking from the by now…

Me on My High Horse- A Visit to Troy

I would love to say that, as a half decent humanities major, I spent some of my profligate youth reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, but the farthest I got was borrowing one (can’t remember which) from the library, then procrastinate reading it, then forget to take it back on time, then pay a modest…

The Land of Pigeons and Wild Boars: The Hapless Guide to Kușadası

The first rule of Kușadası is that no one talks about the ineptitude of Google maps when it comes to Kușadası. For if they did, no one would ever go there. Jokes put aside, if your accommodation is in the old town, loosely referred to as Kaleiçi, basically the area surrounding the bazaar and the…

The Nicest Apocalypse Ever- A Visit to Șirince

In case, like most of humanity these days, you live with a constant fear of impending doom anyway, you might have already forgotten about that time the apocalypse was certain as predicted by the ancient Mayans. Opposed to now, when it’s predicted by climate scientists, but that’s a topic for another article altogether. So back…

Rocks, Saints, Rivers- A Visit to Ephesus

Present day Ephesus lies stranded inland, about 5 kilometres away from the coast. As with many ancient sites, one could hardly notice its presence if it wasn’t for the road signs. The closest settlement is Selçuk, a sleepy provincial town on the road from Izmir to the seaside resort of Kușadası. Most visitors also come…

Black Eagle, Blue Palace: A Day in Oradea

Growing up, one of the main tenets of our gang, often translated into footballing passions, was that out of the triad of neighbouring western Romanian cities ours (Arad) was the best. This was frankly contradicted by everything: Arad was the smallest, the economically least efficient and the one with the least spectacular architecture. Arguably, ours…

High Life over Vienna: The Donauturm (and other Observations)

Having found ourselves in Vienna on a particularly lovely summer’s day, we decided to do some things we’ve done before: briefly visit the Hundertwasserhaus (glad to report people are still posing with empty looks on their faces in front of the fountain), have cakes in Demel (glad to report the waitresses are still the same…

To Tourist or Not to Tourist: Day Trip to the Floating Village of Bokod

Experts in day tripping as we are, we set off on a sunny bank holiday morning with that generally ill-advised Top Gear/Grand Tour confidence of what could possibly go wrong only to be immediately confronted with the first thing that most definitely went wrong. As Hungarians are almost irrationally staunch about sticking to bank holiday…