Visiting Vienna & Budapest

Sorry for the delay in posting about our travels. We experienced problems accessing the internet in some of the areas.

I enjoyed another delightful train voyage across Europe. Majestic scenery flew by my window as we traveled from Prague. Quaint villages of A-framed homes dotted the landscape in the valleys. A swift-moving river ran along beside the train for most of the trip. I felt like I rode into another time and place. This two-and-a-half hour train ride provided the best views so far. I hoped the city would impress me as much as the surrounding countryside.

With each new leg of our train journey, I learn new tricks and tips. I learned that the first class car is not always at the front of the train. Sometimes, we needed to run to the other end of the train to get on before it departed. I finally figured out that most train stations provide a board showing the location of each train car to help passengers. They also offer corresponding letters on the platforms so you can stand in the right place as you wait. Knowing this information made our boarding process so much easier.

Austria

Vienna

Vienna Overview

I loved this city. The hotel was right in the middle of all the action. Most of the famous tourist sites were within a fifteen-minute walk. We did not need to use public transportation during this stay. Once again, the old world architecture delighted me. Tourists were not as numerous as in Prague, but we still found some crowded areas. A large pedestrian mall offered every high-end retailer imaginable and felt congested. But, we found our way along alleyways and side streets to get around the crowds of people. Every corner we turned seemed to offer up an architectural delight. Credit cards were widely accepted, and most people spoke some English. Other than the high cost of living, I would love to live here.

We toured many churches in both the gothic and baroque style. St. Stephens stood in the center of the square with its marvelous gothic designs. Parks adorned with spring flowers drew large crowds and offered us a place to relax. We marveled at the beauty of the crown jewels in the treasury. And, I fulfilled a dream by seeing the Spanish Horses perform in their spectacular surroundings of the palace stables. We went to the roof of the incredible St. Charles Church. The elegant baroque interior mesmerized me. On the last morning, a marathon race impacted our ability to get around. We wandered in another section and discovered a hidden gem of a church called Church of the Jesuit. The music of the organ echoed through the building as we enjoyed our discovery.

Vienna Details

We spoiled ourselves during this stay. After saving up our hotel points for a whole year, we decided to stay at the Ritz for free. We enjoyed the included breakfast buffet each morning. Dinner proved more expensive than in other cities, but we found many great options with options to sit outside. Upon the recommendations of friends, we visited the Blaue Bar in the Sacher Hotel to sample their famous Sacher Torte. A must see if you ever go. We saved some money by not buying any transportation tickets.

Seeing the horses cost us more than budgeted but this is another must see. Most churches are free to visit but the elevator to the top of St. Charles did have a small fee. Window shopping cost us nothing to enjoy. Strolls through the parks to admire the colorful floral displays also provided us free entertainment and time to people watch. As with each city, a gallon of gas cost $5.30 per gallon, milk cost $4.36 per gallon, and a loaf of bread cost $3.10.

Hungary

Budapest

Budapest Overview

We arrived into the city at night. Disappointment set in as we learned that Uber did not operate in Hungary. We caught a taxi that accepted Euros, so we did not have to walk. The area around the train station appeared very dismal in the darkness, and my heart sank a little. But the morning sun soon relieved my first impressions. Our hotel, Kalvin House, sat in the middle of all the tourist attractions. We did purchase metro passes to allow us to get to some farther away places.

One of the items on our list was the funicular ride up the hill to see St. Mathis Cathedral and the Palace. The funicular was not running so we took a bus up instead of walking up all those steps. The sights from atop the hill looking over the city amazed me. The Danube ran between the ancient cities of Buda and Pest. Later, we enjoyed an hour-long boat ride on the river during an unexpected rain shower. On the Buda side, the palace and church dominated the scenery while the Parliament building added an air of majesty to the Pest side. We got to witness the arrival of the Thai President at the palace with lots of pomp and ceremony. The tram back and forth along the riverbanks gave us many opportunities to enjoy the Easter markets and breathtaking sight.

On our second day, we visited the local market just down the street from the hotel. We also opted for a day of relaxation visited one of the thermal baths. The bath house was a treat topped off with a relaxing massage to relieve our tired muscles. Once again, I found the old world style of the buildings impressive. We kept our pace slower which made for a great, restful visit. I enjoyed the city but not as much as some of the others from this trip. If we had spent more time, we might have journeyed outside the city to see the surrounding areas. For us, two full days is all we required to see everything.

Budapest Details

As expected, Hungary was less expensive than other places and our wallets thanks us for the break. Several areas only accepted cash, so we did visit an ATM to get local currency. The metro systems provided an easy and inexpensive way to get around. When in town, make sure to try the local food, especially the goulash. We took advantage of the lower cost and had some laundry done instead of hand washing them. Visiting the baths and the massage also were much cheaper than prices at home for another bargain.

It rained each day, so we ducked into little bars or hotel lobbies to enjoy a coffee till the storms passed. Spending time watching the world go by provides a great way to spend the afternoon. Another option to save money is to visit the island in the middle of the river. It offers many activities like walking, jogging or bike riding. Gas cost $4.95 per gallon, milk cost $3.08 per gallon and bread cost $0.80 per loaf.

Join me next week for a look at Zurich and Italy

Blessings,

Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

100% of the proceeds from sales of my book, Turning Mountains Into Molehills, go to help the orphans at Orphan Relief Effort, Inc


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9 thoughts on “Visiting Vienna & Budapest

  1. Afi Pittman – Virginia Beach, Virginia – I love God and the color purple (the actual color and the movie). My life's calling is to help Christian women overcome life, relationship and professional challenges.
    Afi

    Thank you for sharing what this part of Europe was like. I remember the first time I visited Europe I was surprised at the landscape. For some reason I thought it would be flat! But it’s amazing to have our eyes opened to what the Lord has made oit side of where we live.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      I wish we had better train service here in the US. It is such a great way to travel

  2. Unmasking the Mess – I'm a wife, mother, writer and Jesus follower. I make a lot of messes or seem to get into messes. I honestly admit that I need help from God every day. Unmask the mess with me and find out why messes might be good.
    Unmasking the Mess

    I’m enjoying your pictures and the information about each city!

  3. Melissa McLaughlin – From an early age, the beauty of nature and love of family pointed me to One who is greater, the Creator and Lover of my soul, Jesus. My writing is inspired by His Word and His Spirit. During the most desperate times of my life, I learned to use scripture prayers to be my voice when I had no voice. To find out more about my passionate prayer journey, check out my book "In Dark of Times When Words Fail, Voice of Jesus Pray for Me." Follow along and join me in this journey of loving Jesus!
    Melissa McLaughlin

    I love your travel journal, Yvonne! The memories and photos are wonderful! Blessings!

  4. Jeanne Takenaka – Award winning aspiring novelist, Jeanne Takenaka, writes contemporary inspirational fiction that tackles real life issues with a heart to draw women closer to God and those around them. She lives near the mountains in Colorado with her amazing husband and two exuberant boy-men. She loves being God’s girl—always learning about His grace, hanging out with friends and enjoying a great cup of coffee. When she’s not writing you can find her with a camera in her hand, looking for #alittlebitofpretty in her days.
    Jeanne Takenaka

    Wow, Yvonne. What an amazing trip! Your pictures are beautiful!

  5. Ava Pennington – Bible study teacher, speaker, and author of Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional.
    Ava Pennington

    Love your photos – I’m enjoying traveling with you vicariously!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks

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