Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hungary

July 7th - July 13th, 2017


July is not the best time of the year to visit Hungary. It was very hot and packed with tourists. I think we would have spent more time in Budapest it the temperature was not in the 90's. We liked Hungary. The cities are beautiful and the people are very friendly, but the heat and mosquitoes were not fun. Did you know that on accuweather.com you can get a forecast for mosquito activity where-ever you are?




Our first night in Hungary was near Mako. The city is a popular tourist area known for the Hagymatikum Thermal Baths.

 Mako Bus Terminal



Downspouts - These were all over town.


We went to Skanzen - a Hungarian open air museum just outside of Budapest. It has villages from eight regions in Hungary. The villages represent life in rural Hungary 100 to 200 years ago.



Main living space in a home.




Wash up area.




Cooking area.




Aprons




Pantry and bread making area.



Budapest - We only spent one day in the city. It was very hot and crowded with tourists. We took a free walking tour. I have never seen so many turn out for a free walking tour. There were more than 200 people. They were prepared for it with about 6 guides, but our group still had about 35 people. Luckily we had a great guide.



Our walking tour guide with one of the many statues in Budapest.




There are lots of pedestrian friendly areas in the city.




Looking across the Danube River to Castle Hill on the Buda side of Budapest.




Matthias Church aka Church of the Blessed Virgin.





Spire of Matthias Church.




Crow with a ring in his beak - you see a lot of these around the city.




The Hungarian Parliament Building




Shoes on the Danube memorial - placed in memory of the Jews who were shot into the Danube during World War II.




Statue of Imre Nagy - Symbol of freedom for the Hungarian people.




Decoration on the side of a home.



Festetics Palace in the town of Keszthely on Lake Balation. This place was huge!


Hungarian countryside. When your not in the cities, all you see are agricultural fields.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Macedonia

July 2nd - July 6th, 2017

We visited the Lake Ohrid area in the southwest corner of the country. It is very close to the boarder with Greece and Albania. To get there, we had to drive through from the northern boarder with Serbia. It was a beautiful drive. 



The city of Ohrid along the shore of Lake Ohrid. The lake is huge, completely surrounded by mountains.




House built in the traditional Macedonian style of architecture.




Street view in Ohrid.




A front yard in town. Looks good, but how long does it take to water all those plants?




Path along the shore of Lake Ohrid.




Church of St. Jovan of Kaneo




St Clement Church




The area around St. Clement Church is an archaeological dig site. This mosaic was discovered at the site.


 Tsar Samuil Fortress



View of Ohrid from the fortress.




The Monastery St. Naum.




The Springs of St. Naum.



Peacocks are everywhere at the monastery.




Baby peacock




The Stone Dolls of Kuklica. This was a strange place located in the beautiful Kriva River valley.




Local legend calls these two stone pillars the bride and groom.


 Kokino Observatory - A Bronze Age archaeological site with amazing views of the countryside.



The 4 stone seats where the summer solstice sunrise can be viewed.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Serbia

June 29th - July 1st, 2017

From Croatia we went to Serbia. Serbian countryside is laid back, friendly, and beautiful. The roads are good and easy to navigate. That being said, the only place we have felt it was best not to tell people we were from the USA was in Belgrade. The people were friendly, but the anti-american protest banners made us uncomfortable.

We lucked out and found a really nice campground near Novi Sad. Because Serbia is not a popular tourist destination for people traveling in camper vans, campgrounds are infrequent and wild camping is not encouraged. The campground was next the nature reserve Zasavica.


 Buildings at Zasavica.

 View from the observation tower at Zasavica.





This little bird was very happy to pose, showing off her lunch. We had lunch also, but ours was much better, a traditional Serbian stew with homemade bread.



Bill made friends with a Balkan donkey.













Novi Sad - Located on the Danube River with all the interesting sites within easy walking distance.




Stairs up through the wall to Petrovaradin Fortress. 




View of downtown Novi Sad from Petrovaradin Fortress.




Shop sign.


The Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Name of Mary. 



Bishop's Palace


Belgrade 





 National Assembly



City Assembly




Pedestrian shopping area




Sidewalk cafes




Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) a city full of communist architecture.




Ada Bridge




Statue in Belgrade Fortress


Graffiti is everywhere in Belgrade.