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Terra Firma no Talamh Crua

Well back to the grindstone after a fantastic two weeks of travelling around South-Eastern Europe. Saw some fantastic places and sights and I can only hope now that the film footage comes out well and reflects the memories of the various attractions. It was tough going being on our feet the whole time but there’s also a great amount of satisfaction derived from getting around these places on our own; mostly down to the effort and time put in by Siân in organising the route and schedule.

Our journey started in Venice where we spent a couple of days in temperatures which reached in excess of 40oC. From there we left St Lucia train station in the direction of Slovenia and to the capital Ljubljana. From there we got a connecting train to Bled and a short bus journey to Lake Bled in a very nice Alpine region where the temperatures were a very welcoming coolness compared to Venice. Bled is a fantastic area and one definitely close to my ideal getaway. The only disappointing factor was that we weren’t able to visit it before the other tourists many years ago. Sadly the lake has been built up on one side and the splendour of green forests touching a lapping mountain lake shore have been spoiled by the presence of large looming hotels. Our residence for the short stay was more in the keeping of the region; a small family owned home with a private room and bathroom facilities.

After Bled we made our way to Croatia and to the capital Zagreb. Dusty, dry weather greeted us when we landed at the platform. Not altogether a bad area and any signs of the minimal conflict in recent history have been removed from a reasonably historic mish mash of olden architecture with post modern occupants. We spent two comfortable nights in the Ravnice youth hostel and would recommend it to any would-be travellers.

After Zagreb our travels continued to the wonderful city of Budapest on the banks of the Danube and Si�n summed it up perfectly by saying it was Paris without the tourists. A wonderful city with so much to see and do and the scenery within close proximity was too much for us to take in during our 3 day adventure. One tip for anyone going to Budapest is do not accept accommodation offerings from people at the train stations and definitely check out a vegetarian restaurant in the banking district just off the river bank called Govinda, great food!!

So Hungary ended and we ventured towards Austria and Vienna. Staying at the fabulous Pension Kraml our stay was as good as any four star hotel I have ever found myself occupying. Vienna itself is a very nice city with a comfortable pace of life and friendly population. During our stay we naturally had to visit the Freud museum. Sadly the museum itself lacked an extraordinary amount of content given the cover charge and was more like an advertisement for a museum. Sigmund himself would probably have plenty to say about it and if you really want to find out more about the man behind the “interpretation of dreams” then you would do yourself more justice by visiting your local bookstore and reading the preface of any of his publications rather than visiting the museum in Vienna.

So many Cappuccinos later in a typical Viennese Starbucks and it was onto a night train and back to Venice to catch a flight home. Fantastic trip, fantastic time and can’t wait to see more of the world!