Trip Start May 24, 2006
36Trip End Aug 02, 2006
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Favorite Country: Hungary (Magyarorszag). I was not disappointed with anything there. And there was still so much more to explore there. Plus I've always liked Hungarians and the hospitality they showed was great.
Favorite City: Istanbul. It's so different from being in the West. The Grand Bazaar, the call to prayer, the mosques and the sea, it was all there.
Favorite Activity: Climbing Rohace in the Zapadne Tatras. Climbing a mountain 1km is something I never thought I'd do on the trip.
Favorite Exhibition: Tera Haza in Budapest. The Hungarians know how to design an exhibition, I also liked the Hungarian exhibition at the Auschwitz. They know how to invoke emotion and to make a person make them feel like they've gone back in time to see how things were.
Favorite Historical Site: I think Birkenau at Auschwitz/Oswiecem is hard to beat. It's hardly "historic" since it's so recent, but the importance and reach of the site is just so strong that it wins.
Favorite "Old Town": Krakow had the amazing Rynek Glowny where performers went and entertained every night, and Cesky Krumlov was small, narrow and compact - and it's so famous that backpackers stop by and Hostel was filmed there. So both.
Favorite Castle/Citadel: Peles Castle in Romania. Nothing beats the carvings in that place. It's lasted so long and it's made of wood. Topkapi Palace in istanbul is definitely second though.
Favorite Church: Oh, it's definitely the 1984 church in Veliko Tarnovo. It's newly built, but that artwork was amazing.
Favorite Body of Water: Aegean Sea and seeing Perissa beach. Black sands and the famous Indian in the mountain. I think I'm a bit biased on this one since I waited to see the sun rise with some good travelmates.
Biggest Surprise: Transylvania in Romania. I didn't expect Romania to be nice. I thought it would be dirty, ugly and poor. In Transylvania, they have an amazing castle, cheap delicious food, an interesting history, nice parks, and beautiful mountains. Every single building had some exterior decoration, no building was left undecorated.
Favorite Drink: Vinsanto on Santorini. A very sweet Dessert wine that they often served after meals in restaurants. Unfortunately, the only time I had it at a restaurant, we thought it was a shot they gave us and we didn't properly enjoy it. I later went to stores and tasted different types of Vinsanto.
Best Place to go out: I didn't go out frequently to the clubs (pubs and beers were another thing), but Sofia really tops the list. The beers and drinks are cheap and plentiful - Zagorka pints for a buck! The kids, yes they were fifteen years olds, that go to the bars are energetic and really bring up the atmosphere of the place. Students know how to party there and it was easy to do so - especially since drinks before going out are so cheap - a buck for a liter of beer from the underground markets!
Favorite Beer: While Czech beer is classic (both Pilsner Urquell and Budweiser Budvar), I gotta give it to Bulgaria for its price and taste. So cheap and still so good and strong. Zagorka, Kamenitza, Shumensko, Ariana, Bolyarka...
List of Places visited, chronologically:
New York, NY
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgariya
[Bohumin, Ceska Republika]
Prague, Ceska Republika
Cesky Krumlov, Ceska Republika
Cesky Budejovice, Ceska Republika
New York, NY