In the last fortnight or two weeks, I’ve been telling you all about fashion and I will get back to the juicy bits in a few weeks, but for now, back to basics. Haw! Haw!
Yes, it’s that time of year.
Drum roll pleeeeease!
THE BRITISH BERLINER IS GOING TO BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE. YAY!
Shiver me timbers!
WHERE AM I GOING EXACTLY?
Well, you know me. Never the easy option!
I am travelling from Berlin to Budapest. From Budapest to Prague. And then from Prague back to Berlin again. Many people do it the other way around but I’m not many people LOL!
I’m going to Hungary and the Czech Republic and I’m going there by the train!
Hungary, also known as the Republic of Hungary is a country in Eastern Europe and thus a part of the old Eastern Bloc!
It is technically situated in Central Europe and is surrounded by Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia (not to be confused with Slovakia), Austria and the Ukraine! I will be going to Budapest which is the capital city and considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe surrounded by the river Danube and divided into two lovely parts known unsurprisingly as Buda and Pest!
My trip to Budapest is going to be a cultural one so I’ll be travelling with “The Tall Young Gentleman” and we’ll be staying at not only one (1) hotel in Budapest, but two (2)! We’ll be staying firstly, at a beautiful boutique and musically inspired five-star hotel consisting of just forty-nine (49) guest rooms and suites, and located in the historic centre of Pest right next to the St. Stephen’s Basilica. This stylish hotel is called Aria Hotel Budapest.
We will then transfer a few days later and we’ll be staying at a luxurious, Asian-inspired five-star hotel consisting of one-hundred and two (102) rooms and located at the corner of the famous Váci utca or Váci street which is one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares and perhaps the most famous High Street in Budapest. This chic but luxurious hotel is called the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace or simply the Buddha-Bar Hotel!
I simply can’t keep my breath in!
THE CZECH REPUBLIC
I have written plenty about the Czech Republic because back in the day, I used to live there and it still remains one of my most favourite countries.
I love the Czech Republic so much that we always try to go to Prague every couple of years and my favourite skiing destination is also in this rather wonderful country. In fact, I wrote quite a few things about the various ski slopes that you can go to and how one year, I pretty much only ate fried cheese and fell off the ski-lift! For more information, check out the links below:
- Going to a little skiing village: Introducing Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
- Skiing in the Czech Republic: The time that I fell off the ski lift and almost broke my leg!
- Czech Gastronomy: Czech food and other delights.
Anyhoo, the Czech Republic.
You know. Previously known as Czechoslovakia.
The Czech Republic!!
Oh yeah, the Czech Republic is another previously Eastern Europe nation behind the Iron Curtain! After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Czechoslovakia decided to split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The country is also technically situated in Central Europe and surrounded by Germany, Austria, Slovakia (not Slovenia. Think Czechooooooooslovakia!) and Poland. We will of course, be going to Prague which is the capital city. How could we not?
Everybody likes Prague! It’s just so. so. so….
What with all those kings, queens, fighting for kingdoms and holy crusades. It’s the British monarchy all over again. Although of course.
They have their own rather interesting Bohemian monarchy LOL!
Prague is said to be the “heart of Europe” and sometimes called “the mother of cities.” Not quite similar to the mother of dragons in the Game of Thrones family saga, but close enough!
It’s beautiful but in the summer months can get crowded, really noisy and sticky. I’m travelling with my I’ve-just-become-a-real-teenager son, so his comfort is of importance.
We will be staying at a four-star modern designed hotel on the other side of the Vltava River. Similar to the art design hotel in Helsinki, this hotel is large and has 168 rooms. We chose this spacious hotel as it’s trendy, in a residential quarter and quiet.
I weighed up whether to stay in the centre of Prague or to, unusual for me, choose a place a little further away. I chose further away for a little bit of peace and quiet LOL! The name of the hotel is Angelo Hotel Prague.
I can’t wait to show “The Tall Young Gentleman” my old haunts!
WHY BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE?
The first and only time that I visited Budapest was in 2004. I went with a German girlfriend of mine who wasn’t really interested in the sights, wasn’t really interested in history and wasn’t really interested in walking.
All I remember is the awful monstrosity of a “modern” hotel, a river cruise which was thankfully quite charming, real Hungarian goulash that wasn’t in the least chewy, and nothing at all about the city itself!
This visit is going to change all that.
And as for Prague? I have always had a love affair with that city of charm because after I graduated university, I went to live there!
It was my first real job and it was a high-flying graduate programme.
I didn’t speak Czech or German.
I had never been to Eastern Europe before.
I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, and I wasn’t even getting paid initially!
It was the best thing that I had ever done. I had such a fantastic time, that I stayed on, became the Regional Project Manager and lived there for (2) two years!
Prague is both romantic and successful, ancient and modern, cheap but can be horribly expensive.
But the same can be said for Budapest, and therein lies the rub.
These cities are based in Europe and have magnificent stories of richness, history and grandeur.
Both cities are classical beauties.
Both cities have mountains of history.
Both cities are based in Eastern Europe.
Which one shall be the Queen?!
HOW AM I TRAVELLING?
We will be travelling by train.
Between Berlin and Budapest, we will be taking the twelve hour (12) German Railway overland train service known as Deutsche Bahn or DB, on a direct train to Budapest.
In first class no less.
And the difference in price between the second (2nd) class train and the first (1st) class train was….
Wait for it.
Second (2nd) class €59.00 and first (1st) class €69.00.
I booked it immediately LOL!
Between Budapest and Prague, we will be taking the seven (7) hour train journey (second class this time) via the Hungarian Railways or MAV at a cost of 11,780 Ft or €38.40.
This journey should be interesting. About as interesting as when we went to the Polish country-side by local train too!
Between Prague and Berlin, we will be back on the German Network on a five (5) hour train journey (the usual second class) and don’t forget, even though I’ll be paying €29.00, on the German Deutsche Bahn trains, children under 15 years old, travelling with their relatives, are free and cost nothing at all!
I’m so looking forward to sight-seeing river cruises, perhaps going to the baths.
Rambling through the cobbled streets of both Budapest and Prague, booking a live escape game.
‘Should be thrilling!
Doing a little hiking, visiting some interesting museums that tell us a little of the history and culture, going on a walking tour, stuffing ourselves with marvellous local cuisine, going to the local theatre, watching a film in Hungarian or Czech and generally, just having a great time!
It’s going to be quite an adventure!
I have so much to share with you.
Next week, I’ll be writing from Budapest!
I’ll be there. Will you?
August is going to be quite the thing.
Watch this space!
Have you ever been to Hungary? Have you ever been to the Czech Republic? Are you team Budapest or Team Prague? Do you like my new it-took-me-a-few-hours-to-do-all-by-myself-blog-look? Any comments on my fancy logo?
See you in Berlin.
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