A Chessboard with Perfect Coffee: Turin Guide Part Two

What to see. The best starting point to an exploration of Turin is to just simply set off and wander along its expansive network of colonnades- while many Italian cities treat visitors to fancy porticos, Turin has a whopping 18 kilometres of them, of which 12 are interconnected, thus being perfect shelters from the scorching…

Northwestern Promises- Turin Guide Part One

People usually question my sanity (perhaps I should have put a full stop here, but never mind) when I tell them that Turin is my favourite Italian city. But surely you could have gone for a sexier choice, something like Rome with every bit of it designed by none else than Michelangelo (and buses on…

The Sea is on the Other Side: Genova for the Clueless

The first reason for our presence in Genova on a pleasant spring day was as straightforward as it was silly: it is close to Turin. Actually, most major towns in Northern Italy are close to at least a couple of other potentially interesting locations, often at distances of around 150 kilometres, which in Trenitalia language…

Gardens and Recreation: A Day in Füvészkert

Writing about the cherry blossom festival held annually in ELTE’s Botanical Garden (or Füvészkert in Hungarian) is perhaps not particularly timely, as this year’s event was held on the previous two weekends of April but recommending it without the pictures is somewhat of a Catch 22 situation. Sure enough, we do have pictures from previous…

Crown of the Mountains: A Weekend in Brașov

Checking the Wikipedia page of Brașov I was informed that it’s climate is humid continental, the humid part of which disturbed me slightly, but I needn’t have bothered all that much, since during our four day stay we were faced with all four seasons, ranging from a hot and sunny morning to spritely spring rain,…

Barlove: Viennese Coffee and Cigarettes. Still.

It was one of those very rare moments when I was loitering on a street in Vienna without the actual and definite purpose of going into a coffee house, which altered, and somewhat unnatural state was caused by my having just left Café Phil about half an hour before. But, as we have learned from…

Barlove: Café Phil Vienna

Borges once said that he always imagined Paradise as a library, and he was right, only you can go one better, and picture it as a coffee house with books, or a bookstore with coffee, depends on how you look at it. And breakfast, because if it’s done right, no matter at what hour, breakfast…

Sunlight through the Snowstorm: Vienna’s Kirche am Steinhof

I have often sung the praise of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker, a little gratuitous German never hurt anyone), which might seem odd for someone who is otherwise rather unattuned to classical music. Waltzes are however an exception, melodic and lightweight enough for the silly, familiar from Tom and Jerry…

Best of 2017 Travels

Sightseeing. The year began with an Arctic snap, which meant the Balaton was almost completely frozen over, and thus just in the perfect state for my tastes- its summery outing as a sea instead of a sea will stay forever alien to someone who grew up with an actual sea- it’s dark yes, and filled…