We had heard in advance of going to Hungary that it was known for the wine that it produced and we certainly weren’t disappointed. In addition to having several wine regions that produce very interesting wines, we also discovered that Hungary has a craft beer scene, at least in Budapest, that is very similar to what we have in the United States. We also went to a specific wine tasting with a charcuterie board where we learned about the various wines as well as the history of Hungary.
The Dreher Lager
Many Varieties of Local Wine
The region that we heard the most about for producing excellent wine was Eger, which grows both red and white varieties of wine. As far as red wine from Eger, the Bull’s Blood or Egri Bikaver was really good and came with an interesting back-story. Legend has it that in 1552 a…
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We had the pleasure to attend Organ Music Concert on May 17th. Just fabulous!
One of the focal points for any visit to Budapest is the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Located in the Inner City District, it is in the heart of the old town region with all of the restaurants and shopping. Visiting the basilica is free, but there is a recommended donation of 200 Ft (~2 euros) for entering the cathedral. The inside of the cathedral is quite beautiful with all of the ornate gold arches and wonderful domes. Another highlight of the basilica is the observation deck, which has spectacular panoramic views of the city from a different perspective than those of the Castle District or the Citadel.
The Front of the Basilica with the Bell Towers
One of the Ornate Interior Dome
Focal Point of the Basilica
View from the Observation Deck
Roof of the Bell Tower
We actually visited St. Stephen’s Basilica twice, once on a rainy day…
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The Buda Castle District is one of the most popular locations to visit in Budapest and the Fisherman’s Bastion is definitely one of its most unique features. Built in the late 1800’s, the Fisherman’s Bastion has some interesting architecture that is both in the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles. It is basically a wall with towers along the edge of Castle Hill that surrounds Matthias Church and has wonderful views of the Pest side of Budapest, the Danube River, and the Parliament Building. Because so the Castle District is so popular, you will likely find the area to be very crowded, especially due to the river cruise ships that stop in Budapest and give their passengers a day to tour the city.
The Largest Tower of the Fisherman’s Bastion
Statue of Stephen I of Hungary
View of St. Stephen’s Basilica
There are seven towers in the Fisherman’s Bastion that represent the…
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When we arrived at number 22, Calçada do Forte in Lisbon’s old Alfama neighborhood, there was a group of people congregated around the door. They were all trying to get a table in a small restaurant called Taberna do Sal Grosso (Coarse Salt Tavern). An exasperated waiter explained that he could not bend the laws of physics to accommodate more guests. No one was happy with the news that miracles could not be made. We too walked away disappointed. But we were so intrigued by the tavern’s atmosphere that we made reservations for lunch two days later.
As soon as we sat for lunch, it became obvious why the place is so popular. It serves delicious food with a happy vibe at modest prices. This trio of qualities is rare. It is hard to keep the quality of the food consistent and feel happy about serving inexpensive meals. Joaquim Saragga…
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After enjoying a relaxing breakfast in our idyllic Garden Room accommodation at Cheshire Boutique Barns, we set off for Northwich, 22 miles to the north.
The Garden Room, Cheshire Boutique Barns
On our way we made a brief stop at Nantwich Marina where we had hoped to take a stroll along the towpath of the Shropshire Union canal but the weather wasn’t in our favour so we made a hasty retreat back to our car.
Our activities for the remainder of the day were mostly indoors which was just as well as the rain seemed to be persisting. Our first stop was at the Lion Salt Works, located in Marston, one mile from Northwich town centre. The Lion Salt Works made salt since opening in 1894 until production finally ceased in 1986, and were a major employer in Northwich playing a vital role in the community. It…
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Two weeks ago our group was in Budapest and visited this very sad memorial. Very powerful monument.
One of the interesting things that we saw when we were in Budapest was a memorial to honor the citizens, most of them Jewish, who were executed along the shore of Danube River. In December 1944 and January 1945, as World War II came closer to an end, the local fascist militia group called the Arrow Cross killed thousands of people along the shore of the river. It is a humbling reminder of the atrocities that were committed during the war. Making it even more tragic is the inclusion of the shoes of children as entire families were brought to the shore to be executed.
Iron Shoes Along the Bank of the Danube
Children and Adult Shoes
You Can Almost Imagine the People Standing Next to Their Shoes
Soldiers from the Arrow Cross would go to the Jewish Ghetto, where the majority of the Jewish citizens of Budapest were forced…
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Leading such hectic lives we decided to enjoy a relaxing break at the lovely Cheshire Boutique Barns located in Wrenbury, in the midst of southern Cheshire’s rolling countryside and leafy lanes. Although the accommodation’s tranquil setting may sound remote, it’s actually easily accessible from the M6 motorway with Nantwich being only 5 miles away and historic Chester an easy 20 miles drive.
Entrance to The Garden Room, Cheshire Boutique Barns
Set in the grounds of the owner’s property, Heald Country House are four self-contained 5 star boutique barns which were totally derelict when the Hill’s purchased the property back in 2005 but with flair have been converted into luxury accommodation. The barns, each unique but equally beautiful are called the Garden Room, Cowshed, Nest and Old Parlour giving a nod to their former use.
Inside the gorgeous Garden Room accommodation
Our short break was in the Garden Room which has…
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America has a lot of oddball “national” days. National Buffet Day seems like a cruel joke, placed as it is on January 2, just as the weight loss resolutions are getting underway. National If Pets Had Thumbs Day on March 13 is… well… strange. But is it any stranger than National Chant at the Moon Day on August 15? I can’t say. April 4th’s National Hug A Newsperson Day is fine, but could we add a National Punch a Weather Forecaster Day (for obvious reasons)? Some interest groups engage in sleazy double-dipping. For example, there’s a National Shrimp Day (May 10) and a National Shrimp Scampi Day (April 29). I’m lookin’ at you, crustacean lobby.
Still, there are several national days I can readily get behind:
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Smart and cheap airport parking deals in the UK
Teach ESL and Travel the World
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