Aside from all my beach times, I treated this trip in particular like my vacation. Meaning higher on the leisure and lower on l’histoire. I took myself to a French film and out on the town for rosé, crêpes, et moules-frites. Spent evenings walking along the shore and dipping in the blue that was cooling off between day and dark.
I returned again and again to La Crêperie on Rue Meynadier. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Ok! On the left, we have a galette au fromage, then a crêpe à la glace (AU CHOCOLAT), then another with sausage and apples. C’est cool. That one filled with ice cream was still marvelously crispy on the outside!
Here are the moules-frites I had close to the beach in Cannes. A big pot, and more than I could chew! A perfectly content gal:
For the flights from Vienna to Istanbul to Ankara, I did not have the best of luck. My first flight was delayed by almost 4 hours, I missed the connection, and stood in line for several hours in Istanbul trying to get re-booked. When I finally got my new flight, that one was delayed by several hours, so I didn’t arrive in Ankara until the early morning, about 4am. I got on a bus into the city and then into a confusing taxi ride where we could not understand each other, since not a word of English was spoken. I finally made it, and all was well!
I was in Ankara for a beautiful wedding, and the bride took such good care of me, even taking me around the city the day before her wedding! For lunch, I was spoiled with the following:
Rakı, the anise-flavored national alcoholic beverage
Afterwards, I rode the metro with a friend of the bride’s and was given a brief tour of Ankara, including the Ankara Castle. It was once under the control of the Romans and Byzantines!
The castle had great views of the city, and was lovely at sunset. As the sun went down, you could hear the call to prayer and the chants reverberating cross-town:
While in Ljubljana, I managed to fit in hours at the zoo, hours in the grass at Tivoli Park, and an hour eating Sokol, a mushroom soup served in a bread bowl, while reading in Old Town. This poor elephant was picking up lots of dirt with her trunk and throwing it on herself to try and keep cool. The monkeys seemed plenty content swinging about!
Bear! Seeking fish
Sokol (and a coca!)
Taking a rest!
From my spot in the grass at Tivoli
Lunches delightfully consumed at the university restaurant in 1 week.
Monday. Fried chicken, POTATOES, and mixed veggies
Tuesday. BACON-WRAPPED-CHEESE-FILLED-SAUSAGE, pommes (french fries), and mixed veggies
Wednesday. Chicken breast and my FAVORITE CRISPY kind of magical POTATOES
Thursday. Thin pork cutlet under that mushroom sauce! And not mozzarella sticks but — POTATO STICKS —
Fish Friday. Delicious fish, broccoli, and… POTATOES. To round out the week.
Budapest is THE CITY OF BATHS. Really, it earned the title in 1937.
There are many baths to choose from, each with multiple baths! I spent a full afternoon at the Széchenyi fürdő, which is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. They have a variety of indoor and outdoor pools, all of different temperatures. I went in every. single. one. Oh, and saunas. I had never been in a sauna before! 18 pools total, and 10 saunas.
The hottest sauna I went in was 80°C, but apparently there was one at 100°C! I noticed my skin (or dirt on my skin? or dead cells?) was peeling off immediately in the 80°C, and I went to the showers right outside to wash it off. I’m not sure what the process is supposed to be between the saunas and plunge pools, but mine was this:
1) Find a new sauna. Sit and take it in until it’s too much!
2) Plunge into the tiny cold pools right outside it!
3) Heat up in the hotter pools.
4) Chill out in the regular 27°C pools.
Lobby of Széchenyi fürdő
Entrance to Széchenyi fürdő
Hungarian food is delicious.
Let’s begin with lángos: a fried flatbread topped with sour cream, garlic, and grated parmesan. Apparently lángos is found in Austria too, but I haven’t seen it here in Villach. Maybe in Vienna! When I ordered my lángos, I meant to get everything on it, but we misunderstood each other, and this lángos is without sour cream. Still bliss for a hungry girl.
I also had dinner at a place where “tipical Hungarian food” is served. I ordered the “Royal Hungarian” meal, which came with pasta and goulash, finishing up with chocolate mousse! The waiter thought I had been waiting a long time, so he brought me a free deliciously cheesy and milky soup. Every spoonful was dripping with flavorful cheese and spices. I can’t seem to find out what kind of soup it is! Maybe someone can tell by the photo and offer a guess…I would be most grateful!
Eating like a royal Hungarian
I had about 700 forints left over at the end of my trip, and decided to spend them on –pastries–! At 99 forints each, they are crispy, flaky, cheesy, and well-seasoned. (unless you keep them wrapped up and they lose their crisp, aw man! Still good.). Perfect for a long train ride!
Matthias Church, Castle Hill
My favorite delight of Budapest? The architecture. I could take weeks walking around with my head up, checking out the intricate detail in every window frame.
Beautiful weather outside Erzsébet tér
Just another amazing building on Andrássy út
And shout out to the churches and synagogues! On Sunday morning, bells were ringing:
Saint Elizabeth Church. Bonus: what time is it?
Dohány Street Synagogue–wish I had gone inside!
Fasori Evangélikus Egyházközség temploma
Did I mention that all of the buildings are part of the feast?
Yep! I meant…
…all the buildings
Sweet summer night, Rákóczi út
Keleti train station
Let’s talk about the swine.
Reminders of the primacy of sausage in Austria are frequently encountered:
-The odor of sausage sandwiches on the bus to Venedig
-The incredible varieties of sausage in every store and every booth at every farmer’s market
-GIANT(and tasty) 5€ lunches of swine, potatoes, and salad at the university restaurant
The other day, I was in the center city of Villach and ordered a bratwurst at a stand by the river. Because…Austria.
Perhaps I was expecting bread to fit the brats? Silly. No utensils were present, so I watched the man next to me to see what he did with his order. No forks, no knives, no problem!
An order of bratwurst
Delicious city treat: caffe latte!
It wasn’t bad, but I do think I’ve had enough sausage for a while! I’ll stick to the caffeinated sweets!
Haha evidently this was incorrect, since not only did I have a sandwich with salami for lunch, but I also made these little rotbratwursts this very day!
Rotbratwursts cookin’ in the pan. Dorm livin’.