A couple of weeks ago, I posted this on my Facebook fan page: Post by Nomadic Chick. Notice that #5 is Budapest? There’s good reason. I’ve been to Budapest twice and each excursion there makes me fall in love with it more and more. As part of the former Ottoman and Austrian empires, Hungary’s historical value is mind blowing. I haven’t been to every Eastern European country, but thus far Hungary is close to the best for me. The food, the culture and the lively spirit of the locals charms me every time. I look forward to my next visit. Guest writer Olga Szoke explains why you have to add Budapest to your must-visit list. Budapest is a magical city that provides over 800 years of rich history that can be explored in its Baroque churches, romantic castles and intriguing Turkish baths. Travelers to Budapest are sure to leave enriched after discovering a city that has developed a fascinating and eclectic blend of its ancient elements of Roman and feudal architecture with a bustling modern city.
Oooh whee, where am I? More importantly, where was I? Italy After my huge crush on Paris, it was time to move onto Italy. I took an early morning train that zipped me across France into Milano, at the dead of night. I booked myself into a bare bones hostel to grab shut-eye. There ain’t much to say about this one, it was literally a boarding school style, beds ganged up against each other. The only thing of note when you disembark a train at 10 pm in Milano was the use of benches at the platforms. Round, and I mean, the kind of men who eat pasta three times a day, used these benches as a space to lay out and sleep. I saw several scattered across the platforms, happily snoring away, their shirts hiked up to reveal a jiggling belly. Not exactly what I wanted to see at that time of night. I got to my hostel, and literally passed out into my assigned bed. Then woke at 6:30, opening my eyes to another large, Italian man beside me, chest heaving, whistling away like a freighter train in a hurry. I couldn’t get away from them! A consolation prize was trying my first Italian cappuccino at the Milano train station before departing. My coffee palate will never be the same again. I am ruined. Forever. Next up: Verona. Why Verona, you may ask? Shakespeare says it best. In Verona, I treated myself to ricotta and spinach pasta with a house, white wine. Was deelish. Seems this train trip is centered on food.