5 photos and facts about our time in Munich.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1.  For once in our lives, we had a very uneventful and rather pleasant train ride!  Jenny read The Idiot, while I read Edie Sedgwick's bio.  I had finished Into the Wild in Italy, which wasn't bad (I'd already seen the movie) apart from being generally frustrating in terms of resolution (or lack thereof).  But Edie was gripping -- I couldn't put it down.


2.  One of our first stops: the Rathaus Glockenspiel, which is a must-see in Munich. The upside is that it's free, easy to find, and takes about two seconds of your time.


3.  Something I take all my visiting guests to do in Munich is the view from Peterskirche steeple.  Downside: you have to climb awhile and if heights are not your friend, prepare to be a little dizzy (I know from experience).  But the view is great.


4.  We stopped by the legendary HofbrÀuhaus to get a half liter of beer, which was interesting in and of itself since both of us prefer wine.  Try as we might, beer just isn't our favorite.  But we tried the beer, split a pretzel, and observed an American girl with her family (one table over) chew on her hair for a total of 8 consecutive minutes, so that was fascinating.



Next stop: my favorite sight to see in all of Munich...

20 Interesting Things That Happened to Us in Budapest

Friday, September 25, 2009

1.  I decided to stop caring about my appearance, and just wear the same outfit every day.  It was liberating, and also gross.


2.  We stayed at Victor and Jake's -- a perfectly pleasant hostel, which seemed absolutely terrifying at first, due to the fact that the walls separating each room were not, in fact, walls, but really just partitions, so that (as I so reassuringly warned Jenny on our first night there as we were falling asleep) "if that 50-year-old man in the room next to us wanted to get into our room, he could easily just stand on his bed and jump right over."


3.  The exchange rate made us rich.


4.  No, really -- each of these water bottles cost us the equivalent of .24 USD.


5.  And because I was freezing, I bought this jacket at Spar (as in, the grocery store) for, I want to say, 1 USD?


6.  The metro sounds like a carnival ride, and because there was virtually no one in Budapest this time of year, we were often eerily alone as we rode it -- something both creepy and cool.


7.  We ate at McDonald's one morning while Rihanna's "Take a Bow" played on the speakers in the bathroom, and for that reason, that song was stuck in our heads for the rest. of. the trip -- something both annoying and cool.


8.  Jenny let me borrow her skirt to go to church on Sunday!


9.  But we couldn't find the church and ended up in this beautiful courtyard instead.  So we decided to go to a teahouse and get some tea.


10.  But we couldn't find the teahouse and ended up even more lost than before, so we ended up going back to the hostel in defeat.


11.  And then a bird POOPED IN MY HAIR while standing right here outside of the hostel and, for some reason, my reaction was to scream Jenny's name angrily 100 times in a row without stopping.  Luckily it didn't get on my Spar jacket.


12.  But all was well when we went to the baths, which was more or less the reason we went to Budapest in the first place.


13.  Fun fact: a trip to the baths means you don't have to shower at Victor and Jake's!  Because as pretty as the hostel was, there is a reason I'm not including a photo of the bathrooms...


14.  The only negative experience we had at the baths occurred when an elderly man with very wet hands swam over and offered to take a picture of us and then became visibly offended when we declined.


15.  I returned Jenny's favor of lending me her skirt by lending her my blue H&M jacket (Budapest really was chilly and we were ill-prepared), and realized it looks better on her, anyway!


 16.  We saw all the sights, including but not limited to: Parliament with a side of graffiti.


17.  The Danube River was pretty, but cold.


18.  So we decided to eat some falafel for dinner and call it a day.


19.  And then we remembered we have to eat a Milka bar after every meal (that's the rule), so we sat on a park bench and shared one while discussing what Jenny's bio would be in my wedding program.


20.  And then we made a post-dessert/pre-bedtime trip to Hero's Square, before returning to Victor and Jake's to continue contemplating the likelihood of men jumping over our walls.


Budapest, we like you.  'Love' might be too strong a word but I'm willing to give you another chance one day.  Just have the falafel ready, with a side of Milka bar.

A Chilly Day in Vienna (with falafel) (and coffee) (and sachertorte)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sachertorte for breakfast!


Eiskaffee for lunch!


Falafel for dinner! 



Coffee for dessert.


Barack O. Cocktail for 2nd dessert?


Having a little rest at Museumsquartier:


Looking for more falafel on the map:


I found Lithuania:


 I found Salzburg:


Bye, Vienna.  It was nice falafel-ing with you.

The best part of Rome were these 3 things

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1.  This pizza, of which we each consumed 7 or 8 pieces and still wanted more.


2.  The artwork in our hostel (Peter Pan hostel -- our experience there was pretty unremarkable, in the sense that it wasn't great but wasn't terrible.)


3.  Enjoying this gelato in front of the Trevi Fountatin.



That is about all I have to say about Rome.  Because if you don't have something nice to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all.

15 photos and facts about our time in Cinque Terre

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1.  We ate breakfast one of my favorite crepe restaurants, where Jenny got a savory crepe (pesto with tomatoes) and I, of course, got a Nutella crepe.  Yes, Nutella makes my mouth break out and no, I can't stop eating Nutella crepes.


2.  We came across an arguably feral cat, which I for some reason, picked up and held?  I guess people do crazy things when they're in foreign countries; they buy leather jackets for much more than they're worth and they hold animals to whom they're allergic.


3.  I silently hoped and prayed that Jenny would want to spend extra days here instead of traveling on to Rome, but apparently, she is really into the Vatican, or something.


4.  We laid on the beach and talked about all of life's important issues: namely toxic ingredients found in sunscreen and how homemade sunscreen is better, end of story.


5.  We ate at my favorite restaurant of all time and were waited on by the same sweet old man who serves me every time.  The walnut-infused pasta is by far the best choice on the menu, but you can't really go wrong with any of the meals.  They're all amazing.


6.  When Jenny noticed that most of the artwork for sale in the shops depicted the same clock tower, I discouraged her from buying anything and said, "I'm pretty sure that clock tower isn't even in Cinque Terre.  I think it's just a tourist trap to sell postcards."


7.  Then we saw the clock tower which I somehow had never noticed.  ????


8.  We ate the best canoli, and of course, had to say, "Leave the gun, take the canoli" every time we thought about it for the rest of the trip.


9. Instead of hiking the trails between each village (what most people do when they visit Cinque Terre), we used our Eurrail passes to ride between each one.  It maximizes your canoli-eating time, don't judge.


10.  We made the mistake of spending an hour in Corniglia, one of the five villages that is really just a train platform and maybe one shop?  The only thing to do there is sit on the train platform and take pictures of each other doing hair flips; true story.


11.  One morning, we ate breakfast at McDonald's, except the breakfast 'biscuits' were not sausage/egg/cheese/etc.  They were ciabattas, with eggplant and other fresh vegetables.   


12.  One of Jenny's favorite 'sights' we saw in Cinque Terre was the laundry hanging out to dry.  If I may reference her favorite C.S. Lewis quote: "We are far too easily pleased."


 13.  The best part was the weather: warm enough to swim, but with a cool breeze.


14.  And swim we did.  Not only at Monterosso (Nos. 4 & 5) but also Manarola (seen below).


15.  We estimate that we consumed up to 22 pieces of focaccia on this trip.  And I already want more.