Monday, 12 February 2018

Destination Europe XI: Last trip of 2017

Much of Europe has been traveled and it was already the end of 2017. New Year was awaited but I wanted to make my probably last Europe trip before 2018 during the Christmas and New year Holidays. This I planned because 2018 will mark my last year at the University and I wanted to dedicate my time for successful completion of the University stuffs, most important one being the Master Thesis. Central Europe! I call it. Acclaimed to be most beautiful cities and much talked after by the travelers, I visited three cities. 

 23. Vienna: The capital city of Austria, which I am quite familiar with the name because many senior foresters graduated from a University in Vienna and also I have two of my forester friends studying there, learnt that the third friend was also not a stranger but a fellow blogger and an artist, with whom I occasionally converse. This is a plus point as I don't have to book hostels but to squeeze in their apartments and act like an important guest. I have informed my fellow foresters in Vienna about my travel plans and persuaded them to take a trip further with me as I have planned to visit the neighbouring cities too. 24th December, just before the Christmas I booked my travel and it was a tiring 15 hours journey in Bus from Greifswald to Vienna but worth a travel. 

I was warmly received at the station by one of my friends Rinzin who is a brotherly elder and senior Forester. He escorted me to their home and reaching their place gave even a warmer sensation of being at home. Four of them, two foresters and two layers were residing in the same house and sharing their meals together like a happy family. Being the lone Bhutanese, occasionally I use to have a strong feeling of loneliness and fondly miss my home. That day, however, was special with a special Bhutanese dish, jokes, gossips, and lot of laughter. The following day happened to by the Winter Solstice and it was yet again a pleasant surprise to have porridge early in the morning and begin the beautiful day contended. Later, my hosts in Vienna took me on a city sightseeing, but more than the eagerness to see the wonderful Vienna, I felt cozier talking with them and relaxing. 
My Hosts and me at Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace and Vienna

24. Budapest: I couldn't persuade them all but yes, two lawyer friends agreed to be my companion to the next destination, Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Indeed my two forester friends had already visited the city the year before and moreover, our friend Dorji, the other senior Forester friend wasn't so well so it was logical for them to make yet another travel. Yet, I was glad that three of us were traveling together. Budapest is one of those cities often ranked in top 10 lists for travelers and I heard from many saying it is a must visit place. I am glad I made it there and more glad I was with like-minded friends, who weren't complaining of tiredness but so keen to keep the sightings counting. The accommodation was booked in a standard hostel we looked for Asian foods to have a nice feast, of course with a challenge because it was Christmas time and many restaurants were closed. Surprisingly, we came across a group fo Bhutanese students who were also on a euro tour there, it made a big pleasant group for us. We were strangers but the value of being Bhutanese made close acquaintances so fast. 

We had planned a night and two days in Budapest and to the chance to have a cruise by the famous river Danube in the evening, which provided us one of the most amazing night views of Budapest, with the glowing Parliament House in centre. Bubapest is so rich in History and it was amazing to learn that its parliament house is the third largest parliament building in the world, built in 19th century for millennium celebration. It glows majestically on the Bank of Danube, the river that begins from Black Forests in Germany, passes through 10 modern Europe countries and then ends in the Black sea. Budapest is indeed the term coined after congregating three cities there Buda and OldBuda on the right side and Pest on the left side of the river. There are countless attractions, many of which are bridges with their own significance and number of hot springs, experiencing of which requires more quality time. 
Chain Bridge

Parliament Building frnt view

Castle Bridge

Parliament building rear view with river Danude

Buda and river Danube as seen from Hill on Pest side
Caught in Budapest
25: Prague: After the trip to Budapest we returned to Vienna and there I spent two more days after which my return journey began with a halt at Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. It was very cold and my experience in Prague was brief. The past few days, I was with a good companion so the Prague moment was lonely and boring. It was considered one of the most beautiful cities but the cold took all the charm and I didn't find anything special there in Prague than the normal busy European streets. What a closing journey for 2017.

Presumably, it was the last trip but I can see lights on more journey as the journey will never end. 

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