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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holiday trip to Eastern Europe

Slovakia, Austria and Hungary

We left early Saturday morning from Dusseldorf airport with an awesomely cheap flight from Ryanair to go to Bratislava. A couple hours later we arrived and spend some time finding a hostel. Weirdly enough in these regions it is cheaper to book via sites like hostelbookers.com than directly at the hostel itself (quite a difference with Asia...).

Most of our day we used to walk around and explore many of the buildings with the Danube as the central line through the city. Bratislava is a nice, laidback city and you can feel it is at the forefront of developing rapidly.

A planned visit to a castle just outside Bratislava did not go entirely as planned... before we got there we ended up at a local wine festival.

Not to bad a detour I would say :-)

After a couple of days we decided that a little side trip to Vienna would be great. Vienna and Bratislava are the world's closest capitals so it only took us an hour by train to get there. We started out at the Schönbrunn Palace, which is absolutely stunning to see (also known as the home of the young empress Sissi).

Afterwards we toured the city, which also is a beauty. Everything looks very clean and well maintained, making it a pleasure to spend time there.

The next and final stop of our trip was Budapest. We heard from a lot of people that it's a fantastic place so we had high expectations. And it is very true that it is a great city, but it doesn't match up with Vienna... Nevertheless we enjoyed walking around, checking out everything the place has to offer

On of the things Budapest is known for are all the Spas. We went to the one in Central Park and had a very realxing time in the warm water and all the saunas.

Of course we also checked out the Buda side, known for the hills and the castle.

By night it is pretty as well!

The last day we checked out the infamous Sziget Island (known for the massive music festival held there every August. It is a very tranquil place and we were lucky enough to have great weather. Can't you see us being happy..?!

While traveling to different places we feel it is always important to catch up on local cuisine and that is exactly what we did during this trip as well ;-

More on the ING International Graduate Program I went to and my new position within ING will follow soon. At least a lot sooner that I posted this update... Sorry!

Na zdorovye,
Ruud & Shosh