• The Little Princess
    Blog,  Europe,  Hungary,  Travelogue

    The princess and the tram

    Budapest has plenty of things that make it a delightful city to visit. One of them must be an innocuous statuette sitting casually on a railing along the Danube promenade, right in front of the track on which the famed Tram # 2 runs – the Little Princess. The palace in Buda As seems the norm these past few years, I found her quite by chance. Walking along the promenade between Elizabeth Bridge and Chain Bridge on the Pest side, I initially spotted Tram # 2, ranked as among the top 10 tram rides anywhere in the world. While I didn’t do the journey, hopping on the tram gives you…

  • Centimetre VII
    Austria,  Blog,  Europe,  Resources,  Reviews,  Travelogue

    Vienna’s friendliest bartender is at Centimetre VII

    The next time you are in Vienna Austria, why not take time off your sightseeing and make a trip to Centimetre VII. Once there, find yourself a comfortable table with a view, or sit at the bar, order your favourite pint and get down to feeling right at home. A customer sits by himself enjoying his lunch at Centimetre VII Vienna That’s what we did when we were in Vienna. On our first full day in the city, we found ourselves outside Alser Strasse Station. As we tried to figure out how to reach our first destination for the day, figuring whether we go north, south, east or west, something…

  • St Peter's Church Spire
    Blog,  Europe,  Latvia,  Travelogue

    Bremen Town Musicians

    What do perestroika, the Brothers Grimm and this statue in Riga, Latvia have in common? Depends on your understanding of history, especially during the early 1990s, when Europe was going through winds of change. View of St Peter’s Church in Riga On one of those wet afternoons while in Riga, my travel buddy and I managed to find ourselves in front of St Peter’s Church. Originally built more than 800 years ago, turns out it is one of the city’s most important monuments. And while only a few walls and pillars are what remain of the original construction, it still has some of the most amazing Gothic architecture. The highlight,…

  • Blog,  Europe,  Hungary,  Travelogue

    Discover a surreal part of Budapest

    Memento Park is like Disneyland, communism style. It’s home to 42 statues, busts and plaques of socialist heroes fictional and real. Rather than being consigned to the dustbin, they’ve found themselves another home today, albeit not where they would have expected Entrance to Memento Park A bit of history 63 years ago, in 1956, Hungarian students and citizens demonstrated in Budapest demanding reforms. One of their demands was the dismantling of Stalin’s monument in a park in Budapest, that was ironically, only installed seven years earlier as a gift from the Hungarian people to the Moscow and its leader. They proceeded to break the statue, leaving only the boots on…

  • Main entrance to Freetown Christiania
    Blog,  Denmark,  Europe,  Travelogue

    Bevar Christiania

    Christiania is one of Copenhagen’s, and Denmark’s most popular destinations. In fact, for many residents, it is a way of life that started as a social experiment and continues to thrive today. Always controversial, this Freetown is much loved by many, including locals and tourists. Graffiti spray painted on the outside walls of Christiania The only reason I wanted to go to Copenhagen was to see the Little Mermaid, perhaps the city’s most iconic statue, and based on the fairy tale of the same name, written by Hans Christian Andersen. As luck would have it, she wasn’t there. Instead, she had been shipped off to an exhibition, somewhere in China.…

  • Blog,  Europe,  Sweden,  Travelogue

    Discovering Brahehus Castle

    A drive from Stockholm to Copenhagen take can anywhere between seven to eight hours, depending on traffic and how quickly you want to get from point A to point B. I like my pit stops. In fact, the more, the better. Once you are outside Stockholm city limits, find and get onto the E4 highway. This is an excellent motorway (though it can get monotonous) and stretches all the way to Helsingborg. From there, it’s not too far to the Öresund Bridge that connects Sweden with Denmark. Keep an eye on the road signs as you wouldn’t want to miss out on Gränna. In about four hours (for me  it…

  • Blog,  Europe,  Norway,  Resources,  Sweden,  Travelogue

    The train from Oslo to Stockholm

    In Oslo, we had time on hand and no clue on where we wanted to head to, or when. Which is how, walking around one evening, we found ourselves, quite by chance, in front of Oslo Central Railway Station. After a bit of discussion, we figured Stockholm was the prime next destination, and bought our rail tickets for the next day. I know there are various modes of transport between these two cities. A direct flight takes about an hour, but that isn’t as much fun. Besides, getting ready and heading to the airport a couple of hours before the actual flight can be a drag, especially when you know…

  • Blog,  Europe,  Norway,  Travelogue,  UK

    How not to plan a trip to Norway

    Landing at Oslo airport has to be among the most surreal experience I’ve had in awhile. Not for anything except that it was the lousiest bit of planning I’ve done in ages. The problem was that we only decided to go there during a night of heavy drinking (which is generally when the grandest plans are made). All we had were our Schengen visas and our multiple entry visas into the UK. And so, that happy night in London, we decided, just like that, to head to Norway, with no further idea of what we planned to do there. We also figured that since we were going all the way…