Looking to "tuk" into some chocolate, marzipan, and more? Here's where to go in Budapest (and how to get there.)
On our first full day in Budapest, Ryan and I were crossing the city's beautiful Elisabeth Bridge (while attracting our fair share of attention - but more on that later), when he remarked that some of his colleagues were recently in Budapest for a conference. I sighed in envy, unable to imagine a more wonderful work destination. But when I asked Ryan what his colleagues enjoyed most, he replied that they had been too busy to experience the city. Not experience Budapest?! I can't imagine a sadder travel tale.
Happily, we DID get to experience Budapest - or at least a taste of it. And what a taste it was! I fell head over heels in love with Budapest - not the least of which was because of the city's fantastic culinary scene. Here are our favourite sweet spots in Budapest (and most are accessible after hours just in case you're at a conference too)!
What's the best cafe in Stockholm? My vote goes towards a tiny shop among the cobblestones of Gamla Stan.
As a travel writer, I am dedicated - nay, committed - to bringing you, my beloved readers, only the finest in-depth reports on history, culture, and anthropology from the furthest corners of the globe. And, if sometimes those reports focus on coffee - purely as a vehicle for understanding said history, culture, and anthropology - so be it. And if those reports happen to include a side order of meringue the size of my head, all the better.
I know there's no one else who will appreciate this combination of jumbo meringues and anthropology quite like all of you. That's why I felt compelled to bring you this tale of our spontaneous visit to Coffee Stop, a teensy tiny coffee shop in the heart of Stockholm's Gamla Stan neighbourhood. It might just be the tiniest cafe in the city! Here's why we loved this wee spot so much.
"Rome is like a lasagna" and other sound lessons from our night walking tour of Rome.
Have you ever happened to randomly take notice of a stranger on the bus, waiting at a cross walk, or in line at the coffee shop? Maybe it was their unusual shirt or colorful shoes that caught your eye, or perhaps they were just in your line of sight. And then, inexplicably, you notice the same person in a completely different location, hours or days after the fact. There has to be a word that describes this quirky travel phenomenon!
I've experienced it a few times, but never was it so curious as in Rome, where I noticed a very distinctive elderly man on the subway. This petite gentleman was carrying a curiously shaped case - was it a ukulele or a squash racket? He was stooped over and moved slowly, but there was something still undeniably nimble about him. He was captivating to watch and I wondered what his story was.
To my astonishment, I saw him again, hours and miles later, halfway across the city, sitting at a restaurant outside the Pantheon. His case contained a lute! I saw him strumming it at a number of cafes- yet he didn't seem to be busking, nor having a drink, nor enjoying a meal. Sometimes he even sat down at tables occupied by other people. What was he up to? I was enthralled by this diminutive gentleman but had no idea how to approach him without sounding like a stalker who had been keeping an eye on him since the subway.
My octogenarian paramour was the undisputed highlight of an altogether fascinating night in Rome, discovering the city's main sights at night with City Wonders's walking tour (complete with wine!) Here's what else I loved about this tour experience.
At Prague's Chef Parade cooking classes, they're serving up great meals - and some invaluable lessons too.
My arrival in Prague was a triumph but it didn't feel so auspicious at first. At the train station, I was holding my breath. This was it. A new country. A new language, a new currency, even a new political history. I was in Eastern Europe for the first time and I was in over my head.
As living in the train station wasn't an option, I found the metro entrance, then the ticket box, and finally the convenience store that provided change through the purchase of a Snickers bar. I found the right metro train and then even the right tram, which stopped precisely in front of our hotel. Whew! As I stepped onto Prague's cobblestones for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the most incredible smell; the onion-y, savory aroma from someone cooking a mouthwatering meal. There was music playing in the square and I finally exhaled. And I started to laugh. That's when I knew that Prague and I were going to get along just fine.
In less than an hour, Prague had already taught me some important lessons, like how it's okay to feel trepidation. And that it's okay to take your time to figure things out. And that acquiring Snickers bars should always be step one of any plan! And maybe the scrumptious smell that greeted me was the fore bearer for what came next - an amazing cooking class with some surprising life lessons of its own.
Looking for affordable travel in Copenhagen? Here are our best budget picks for the Danish capital.
Copenhagen was our back-and-forth city as we planed our amazing trip through Europe. Would we or wouldn't we? On the plus side, Copenhagen was the next logical stopping point after Stockholm and easy transportation connections made it the perfect layover on route to Berlin. But could we really afford to visit two Scandinavian cities in one trip? Would Copenhagen have enough to hold our interest? Would it be too similar to Stockholm? Or so different that there was no point to try to see the sights in just a day or two?
We finally committed Copenhagen to our travel plans but I couldn't commit emotionally. I told myself that maybe I'd spend the time working. Or that it would be a good place to catch up on rest after being part of a busy conference. I needn't have worried at all. Copenhagen was WONDERFUL! I've never regretted adding it to our itinerary - and neither will you. Here's how we saved, splurged, and found great deal 'steals' in Copenhagen.