Thursday, August 9, 2018

Road trip to Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary

Our next adventure took us to Eastern Europe. We decided to drive to Budapest with a couple stops on our way. We drove to Werfen, Austria, for our first stop. We toured Hohenwerfen (a castle), nestled at the base of the Austrian Alps.

View of the Alps from our hotel

Hohenwerfen shrouded in clouds

View from the castle bell-tower

After touring the castle, we hit the road, headed toward Bratislava, Slovakia. We didn't have a lot on the docket here (just the Old Town and some different foods). Bratislava seemed very gritty compared to Germany. Lots of graffiti everywhere and I felt not-so-comfortable walking around outside of the main tourist areas. But we did enjoy the food!

Slovakia's version of mac & cheese

Drinking chocolate...oh man, so good! I'd go back just for that!

Make your own ice cream bar :)

Palace in Bratislava

St Elizabeth's (Blue Church)

After spending the night in Bratislava, we drove onward to Budapest. We didn't really have high expectations for Budapest but ended up really enjoying it. It felt much safer and cleaner than Slovakia. We had a lot of fun walking along the Danube and wandering through the pedestrian area. Fun fact: Budapest is actually two different cities divided by the Danube River. One side is Buda and the other is Pest. We ate goulash and chimney cakes and cabbage rolls, which were all really good.

Sunset along the Danube

Sculpture of shoes from Jews who were killed here...they were shot from behind and fell into the Danube but were made to take their shoes off and empty their pockets because the those things were "valuable"

Fisherman's Bastion

This food market was amazing! I had the best cheeseburger here...made entirely of cheese!

Gelato in the shape of a rose :) And they had tons of unique and delicious flavors! We had a scoop each of basil/lemon, raspberry, and pineapple/coconut.
Our road trip ended on a good note with that delicious gelato, and we headed back to Germany. It was a nice way to see several places on a smaller budget than flying. It was kind of a "quick and dirty" trip with not even a full day in each place, but we still got that taste of each city, to give us an idea of whether or not a dedicated return trip was worthwhile. Our total drive time was about 16 hours and we left on a Thursday evening after Tyler got off work and returned on a Sunday. Not too shabby for a long weekend!