September 2016
  • Day50

    Cinque Terre

    October 22, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

    Ever since we saw the pictures of Cinque Terre that have recently become popular on the internet we knew we had to go there even if it meant taking 3 train transfers!

    Consisting of 5 villages on the Italian coast that make up "Cinque Terre" we decided to split our time by staying in Manarola and Corniglia. We enjoyed the beautiful views from the amazing Airbnb we rented in Manarola and got a little sun bathing and swimming in at Corniglia!

    We also hiked to Riomaggiore one day which took about 1.5 hours where we got a panoramic view of Cinque Terre. Exploring the villages was fun as each had its own character and feel.

    Cinque Terre definitely had some amazing sunsets as well which we won't forget!
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  • Day44

    Florence and Tuscany

    October 16, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    So as you can see we're getting a little slower at posting on the blog...it's about week 7 right now so as you can imagine we've been pretty busy! But of course we want to keep you all in the loop so here is a brief post on Florence.

    We really enjoyed the city and it helped that Rupal had been there before. What we found most fun about Florence were the streets at night. Deserted after the tourists had gone to bed was when we could really appreciate what the city had to offer. The amazing architecture and culture of renaissance art are still preserved in the city which make you feel like you have some how gone back in time.

    We also took a little time to explore Tuscany, the region in which Florence is based. This of course included a wine tour to taste some Chianti Classico. Not only did we enjoy learning about the wine made in the region but we also learnt a lot about olive oil and balsamic which was neat.

    We'll be back Florence, you're a pretty magical city!
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  • Day42

    Amalfi Coast

    October 14, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    After spending most of our trip in major cities, it was nice to enjoy a slower paced more scenic stay on the Italian coast. We stayed in an apartment with a beautiful rooftop view where we enjoyed drinking wine and planning the rest of our trip.

    We took a 2 hour public bus along the Amalfi Coast and enjoyed visiting a beautiful quaint town called Ravello and the town of Amalfi as well. We were lucky to get a seat both ways as the buses were packed and some people had to stand for the whole ride! The bus ride along the edge of the cliffs was more exciting than most roller coasters - we were thoroughly impressed by the bus drivers' skills of navigating the roads that sometimes turn into one ways.

    Lastly we enjoyed some limoncello a liqueur drink made in this region from organic lemons! 🍋🍋🍋🍋
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  • Day39

    Rome

    October 11, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    We spent a few days Rome-ing around the eternal city which is full of history around every corner! We enjoyed walking down small alleys to come across big plazas where locals were enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

    Over 2,000 years ago the ancient Romans built the city and many of its wonders that still exist today. We toured the Colosseum and Roman Forum which gave us a glimpse into the lives of the Romans. It's pretty impressive to think that they could engineer such amazing buildings and structures with the basic technology they had. Our favorite though was the Pantheon which was built as a Roman temple and is the best preserved ancient building to this day because it has been in use ever since; today as a church.

    We also visited the Vatican which consists of the Vatican museum full of ancient art (and lots of tourists), the Sistine Chapel home to the Pope and Michelangelo's famous ceiling painting and the St. Peter's Basilica which is full of ornate marble statues and mosaic art work all over.

    Lastly we can't forget to mention that we ate a lot of Italian food and gelato to start off our visit to Italy!
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  • Day37

    Kraków, Poland

    October 9, 2016 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 46 °F

    Where do we start with this post! Undoubtedly Rupal's home away from home! It's not only the quaint atmosphere that we enjoy each time we visit but also spending time with the people we know who have become great friends. Every night we met an old friend or two and drank a lot of vodka and ate delicious Polish food like pierogi! The time went quickly but it was a nice pitstop for a few days! Na zdrowie 🍻Read more

  • Day34

    Auschwitz and Schindler's Factory

    October 6, 2016 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 43 °F

    While in Krakow we knew we had to take some time to reflect on the history of the Holocaust which has deep roots in Poland. Krakow is home to the infamous Schindler's Factory which is also now a museum dedicated to the history of the Third Reich invading Krakow during WWI in 1939 until 1945. The Germans wanted to make Krakow a German city so they displaced the Polish people and particularly Jewish people into the ghetto where conditions were barely livable.

    The following day we took a trip to Auschwitz which is about an hour drive from Krakow. You can visit the grounds of the concentration camp with a guided tour. Walking through the camp and hearing the stories of what the prisoners went through was sombering but definitely worth the visit to reflect upon this dark time in history when over 1 million people were killed at this one camp alone.

    We highly recommend visiting both places -- very impactful. It's hard to believe what humans are capable of doing to each other, and this is certainly a reminder of what we don't want to ever relive as the human race...although there are still crimes against humanity in our world today.
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  • Day32

    Budapest, Hungary

    October 4, 2016 in Hungary ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    It started out a bit rough in Budapest after going to the wrong area at first, but it proved to get better for us, and ultimately was a good time. A lot of that was credit to Burke's recommendations after living in Hungary for about a year.

    Budapest has a diverse and sad history over the years, which much of it was discussed in Vienna as well as Krakow. We learned at the Auschwitz tour (more to come in the next post) that 400,000 Hungarian jews were killed in less than 2 months.

    The food was delicious, we enjoyed the market filled with salami and delicious baked goods, and we enjoyed the "bull's blood" wine. The ruin pubs in the Jewish district were fun as well. We did however find on multiple occasions that the people were fairly rude, although after some research this seems to be somewhat a part of their culture and a result of their turbulent past. Certainly quite a different experience from Vienna considering they are fairly close together.
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  • Day29

    Vienna, Austria

    October 1, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    We're a little delayed on posting about Vienna but here it is. We enjoyed the city with beautiful weather our first day which made it even prettier to walk around. The city is full of beautiful architecture and a vast cultural scene. There are many museums, the opera, and influence of the Royal Hapsburg family the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire all over.

    The second day was a bit colder so it entailed doing some laundry, jumping in coffee houses and taking it easy. We decided to take advantage of a free museum that occurs every first Sunday of the month and waited in line for 30mins only to get inside and find the museum was only in German! That made for a quick visit! Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel followed for dinner and hit the spot.
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  • Day27

    Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

    September 29, 2016 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    It's about 8:30pm as I am writing this post waiting for Mitch to wake up from a nap. I just took one before him when we came back from our walking tour of Vienna (that we'll write about later) which made us both pretty tired. We're almost back to normal from being sick so that's good news but I think a few more naps after long days of sight seeing should do the trick.

    Anyways, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on Cesky Krumlov. We decided to jump to the Czech Republic after being in Hallstatt since it was closer to get there on the way to Vienna rather than backtrack. Since I'd already been to Prague the most popular Czech city we landed on coming to Cesky Krumlov instead because we'd read that it was a smaller Prague with less tourists and cheaper prices. We'd have to agree on the cheaper prices, Mitch was happy about his beers costing only $1.60! There were still many tourists but definitely less then Prague so Mitch was able to get a good feel for a medieval Czech city which is surrounded by a winding river. The history of the town was interesting, especially seeing the recent communist influence 25 years ago.

    Ok, time to wake Mitch up so we can head to dinner and have a traditional Austrian wiener schnitzel which I'm sure we'll post about next time!
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  • Day25

    Hallstatt, Austria

    September 27, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

    It took us 3 hours on the public bus to get to Hallstatt but it was totally worth it! The trip went by quickly even though we had to change buses 3 times since most of it was spent admiring the scenic drive through the mountains and small villages of the Austrian Alps. We also got to watch all the local kids get on and off the bus since we quickly realized they don't have traditional school buses.

    Once we made it to Hallstatt we came upon such a tranquil and pristine view of the lake that surrounds the tiny town in the heart of the Alps. We rented a little cottage apartment right by the park where we got to sit out and enjoy the swans in the lake. The following day we had a little adventure where we went to the ice caves formed over 10 million years ago and hiked the Alps to get some amazing views and fresh air! We also discovered a new hobby we hope to take up one day.... paragliding! How cool would it be to soar about the mountains and experience things from another perspective!?
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