Vienna to Bratislava – Marilyn Oldman

Taking the slow road to Cyprus

Image of the Old Towne Hall (Stará radnica) in... Image of the Old Towne Hall (Stará radnica) in Bratislava, at the old town square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a short drive of only one and half hours, we arrived in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia.  A small but very quaint old town,  where everything seems to happen around the old town square. Cafe after cafe, restaurant after restaurant, bar after bar. There are also some quite up market shops along with the usual souvenir shops. The old town square is steeped in history, going back some 700 years. Famous musicians and composers such as Franz Listz, Mozart, Beethoven and Hayden all played  here at some time in their careers.  The dominant feature is the castle in the hills, this  overlooks the old town square. So overall a very  pretty setting.

The temperature when we left Vienna was 28 degrees, and we noticed the difference in Bratislava where it was much hotter, especially in…

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Goulash and Liszt – Budapest

Home-made Hungarian goulash soup. Magyar: Házi...

Home-made Hungarian goulash soup. Magyar: Házi gulyásleves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, we spent many hours sitting outside on the open-topped tourist buses seeing the sites of Budapest. The hop-on/hop-off buses are excellent value, with audio commentary in more than a dozen languages – when there is no commentary, its non-stop Liszt Hungarian rhapsodies. It was cold and wet – temperatures had dropped nearly twenty degrees in two days. By the time we got off the bus in the castle area of Buda, we were seriously cold. This was a call for authentic Goulash soup!

We saw a board that read “special of the day, goulash soup and paprika chicken” and that was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was amazing, the goulash and chicken paprika sign was bringing in an assortment of tourists, including Germans, Japanese, French and ourselves. Our ears pricked up when we heard “Arf bot and goulash”. It was the French couple struggling to order a half bottle of wine and the daily special. The food was excellent and incredibly inexpensive – we were now fortified!

We headed back out into the rain, looked around the amazing castle and stunning panoramic views of the city, checking out many antique shops to get out of the rain. We continued our tour back to Pest and late afternoon went for a boat trip on the Danube. We walked home in the rain, stopping in a delightful piano bar in the Broadway type neighbourhood about 7.00PM.

We returned to our hotel for a couple of hours, then about 9.30 PM went back out into the rain, in search of a restaurant. Near the Broadway type area, on the East side of Andrassy we spotted a charming trendy bistro. We were lucky to get a table because the place was full. We settled on some excellent tapas dishes and local white wine. If you happen to be in Budapest, we thoroughly recommend this bistro called Ket Szerecsen – the atmosphere is great, the food is excellent and the prices are amazing value.