It seems that when I have visitors during Sabbatical that my blogging takes a backseat. I am 100% okay with this! That said, your inbox may be be flooded this week with catch-up posts! I am having the time of my life, and I am excited to share lessons learned, adventures, and of course pictures with you.
I took bus rides across central Europe! From Berlin to Budapest, total bus time was 15 hours! Of course I had a few stops in between, but that is a lot of hours of getting to know your seat mate. Constantly on the move, I spent two nights in each city.
Prague, Czech Republic
While I loved the city scenes in Prague, I didn’t fall in love with the city. This is a good thing actually because I am loving far too many cities in Europe as it is! I got creeped out by some men here, the language is harsh, and I didn’t feel safe being out alone at night. This was the first time I felt this way in my two months of travel.
The views, however, from the famous Charles Bridge and Prague Castle were fairytale-esk! There was plenty of clean and healthy food here, which I didn’t realize was going to be more difficult to find in Austria and Hungary. I should have known! I also went to one of the coolest coffee shops I’ve ever been to – La Boheme Cafe!
Leaving Prague (aka, creeper-ville), I planned on taking the metro to the bus station to catch my bus to Vienna. My plan was derailed by some guy in handcuffs in the underground station, and half of the police and fire forces must have been there. Of course my line was shut down, so I had to quickly catch a cab (with a random couple from Chile who I got to speak Spanish with) and rush off! Farewell, Czech Republic!
It was pouring rain the entire bus ride and for the rest of the evening in Vienna. Rain to me is a good excuse to rest! I always have a compulsion to hit the ground running when I arrive at a new city, so this time, I took a quick lap around a market in the rain and went home!
There were two very memorable things about Vienna to me: 1) Marco, my AirBnb host and 2) the Globe Museum!
Marco welcomed me into his home when I looked like a wet rat with bad hair covered in oversized backpacks. I was moderately surprised he didn’t turn me away! We shared the living space and kitchen, and I had my own huge, clean, bright bedroom.
Marco is a super friendly art restoration PhD student going back to school for his passion.
He was tired of working for money instead of working for what mattered to him.
He was done wasting his precious time serving something that doesn’t serve him, others, or a cause he cares about.
Walking away from a paycheck was hard for him. Choosing & embracing chaos over stability was difficult.
Everyone around him thought he was crazy.
He opens his home to complete strangers wandering the world and loves it.
He has never been happier.
Did I just go to church? Because it feels like it.
The Globenmuseaum is a small museum in size, but houses 650 objects including terrestrial and celestial globes, lunar and planet globes, and instruments related to globes such as armillary spheres & planetaria. I have a thing for maps, so I spent more time here than is probably sane. There were also educational videos of which I watched every last one! The coolest was a demonstration of how flat maps are made from globes. I read almost every placard next to each globe, something that I’ve never done in any museum. I strolled around with my headphones in enjoying the space almost all to myself. This was not high on the Vienna tourist must-see list, but I’d plead you to add it to yours!
Budapest was my favorite city of these three by far! Something about the vibe of the place just felt right to me. The language is difficult and so is the currency translation, but I embrace it all!
I stayed in an AirBnb in central Budapest on the Pest side of the the river. My host just finished walking the Camino in less than 40 days! His hiking poles were still caked in mud on the porch. I love it when the universe does cool things like this. We talked at length about Spain, the Camino, life, and how bad our feet hurt.
I walked to everything, and I took a bike tour that ended up being private because no one else showed up! Perrine, a frenchie, showed me around the city that she has grown to love!
I learned that the Communists back in the day banned the Monopoly game, and they put out their own version – How to Manage Your Finances Wisely. The goal was to buy a sofa, insurance, and your own house. A board game geared to acquire shiz…I would lose all day at this…and be happy about it. 😉
Why did I go to school for accounting???
While I struggle with not loving accounting, I am so thankful because its one of the huge reasons I can be a wanderer at the moment.
I also learned that the Western flaky buttermilk biscuit that I love (and try to avoid eating) has been surpassed by the pogasca (poh-gat-cha), a Hungarian scone. Perrinne told me its very fat (fattening). Ha!
I took a little hike up to the Castle. Perrine warned me, “Its a big walk. I don’t know how sporty you are. You look like sporty.”