Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Eastern Europe, as it once was. Welcome to Transylvania.
After our whirlwind tour of Budapest, we headed for Transylvania, Romania. We'd booked five days stay at the Count's Estate. Count Dracula?? No, but even better. Count Kalnoky's Estate in the tiny village of Miklosvar in the heart of Transylvania, perfectly situated between three cities we knew we wanted to see -- Sibiu, Brasov, and Timisoara. The Estate offers daily tours of the region, highlighting the beautiful countryside and its diverse history, homemade meals using locally grown produce, and overall seemed like just what we were looking for in order to have a full Transylvania experience. The one downside.... not quite as easy to get to as we'd imagined. Actually the directions were fine, only problem "a day's drive through the Romanian countryside" really was a full day's drive. Meaning well over 12 hours. Our naturally quick driving pace was no match for the traffic and distance so we arrived at the Estate around 1 am. Thankfully one of the Estate's kind staff members had waited up for us, so we were guided to the parking area and quickly settled for a wonderful night of sleep.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Finally we were back on track. New battery installed, Bailey was feeling better so we headed off to Vienna... not quite the Balkans, but some would argue the hub of Southeastern Europe, so close enough. As the capital of the Hapsburg and then Austro-Hungarian Empires for centuries, the beautifully designed parks, tree lined boulevards, and magestic buildings were no suprise, but the amazing diversity and mix of cultures that blend in the streets just outside the Ringstrasse were something that I had not expected. We enjoyed the wonderful cafes of the city, tried the traditional "Melange" coffee, and discovered an amazing Asian restuarant (Japanisches Gasthaus Hidori -- 89 Burggasse). We also reveled in the fact that Vienna -- despite its longstanding cafe culture -- has a Starbucks. Frankly, as a coffee lover (and one who lives without Starbucks currently), I deemed both a cafe stop and a Starbucks stop as entirely fine. Lovely weather provded us plenty of oportunities for photos here.
...So we arrived in Zagreb and bailey died right outside the Sheraton. The nice concierge men helped us push her into a spot across the street and we waited for Monday to arrive so we could have her towed to the MINI dealership. It took a few more days than planned, but by Tuesday afternoon we were off again...
Monday, June 1, 2009
Bailey parked at the beach, complete with lovely shady view of the sea (see more pics of Orebic here)