Day 6 – Berlin

The bed was a bit too soft in my hotel.  Otherwise, it was restful night of sleep.  I probably still didn’t completely adjust to European timezone and still got up around 5am.  That’s not bad, I ended up watching “Home Improvement” in German.  The character in the show dubbed perfectly well in German =P  (especially Tim Allen)

I started the travel early at 7am.  The street was quite deserted.  I walked to the Zoo station from my hotel which took only 10 mins.  It was a little chilly with the wind but the day become quite warm as the sun really climbed up.   After purchasing 3 days city tour pass, I head to Postdam Plaz hoping to see a small section of Berlin wall.  That small section was really just 5/6 slab of wall used as exhibition to show the history of the wall.  I felt a bit cheated… what?  all i could see are the new huge shopping centre!?

Of course, you can’t go to Berlin without checking out its famous glass dome shape observation of the parliament building.  The line-up was already long for me but it just kept growing even longer after I finished my visit.   It is so amazingly pretty.  Both the glass dome itself and the view from there.

The rest of that day activity was a bit blurry now.  It was definitely a lot of walking.  The only thing I remember was by 3pm, I finally reaalize my two pages description from rough guide for the entire europe will not do the job.  So I stopped by “Berlin Story” to buy “top 10 berlin guide”.  That was really helpful.  I highly recommend this brand and style of guide for visit under 4 days.

Check out more picture from Berlin in my facebook album.


Day 5 – Budapest Agape Guest House

Marking the END of the 1/2 day nomadic move.  I finally begin more *stable* travel spending at least 3 day in each location.  But before that I had to endure 12 hours train ride from Budapest to Berlin.  Hour passed like day during this train ride….but it was really rewarding when I finally arrived Berlin.
Before the train ride, here are some picture of the guest house I stayed in.  Although it was very spacious even with its little bar inside my room.  I just prefer the cleaner bed and bathroom from my first hotel, besides the first one was a lot cheaper and  even came along with soothing CNN ;-)

Day 4 – Budapest super condense sight-seeing

It was a restful night of sleep accompanied by CNN news (first time turn on a TV with language I can understand).
I started my morning early and got up at 6am, had my breakfast at 7am and check out of the hotel by 8am already.  Since this hotel (the cheap but most comfortable) was fully booked, I had to switch to a different place for the night.  Quiet surprisingly, I was able to check-in and even got my room by 9am in the other place.
My main goal for this Budapest trip was looking for the old HTC (Matav) Network Operation Centre building and sport club restaurant close to that place.  So I hopped on the tram and heading to that direction.  It was very easy to spot the Novotel I have stayed before.  But hotel surrounding is completely changed to a point that I couldn’t recognize.  Also my search for HTC fail because that company is not even around anymore it is changed to T-com (maybe that’s the the new name of deutsch telecom?!)  Anyway, I gave up and and headed off to do the typing sight-seeing.
First of all, I went back to take the oldest underground system of the central Europe.  I was surprised it was very crowded even it was around 10am during weekday.  But it still bring back nice memory.
Here are a couple really off the beaten path idea if u want to visit Budapest:
1) *walk* instead of driving or taking a bus across elizabeth bridge

2) after walking across, take tram 19 at station Dobrentei ter to end.  There is wonderfully pretty view on this ride “san” tourist.  You see more local on this route and it felt a lot more enjoyable  ride to me.

At the end this tram ride, there is a nice view of the Parliament building.

 More Pictures – Budapest

Day 3 – Budapest

I was so surprised to find the shopping mall I once visited.  Not only that, the same pasta place I used to had dinner quite frequently was still there.  I can’t remember the quality remain the same as I already forgotten how it used to taste like.  Definitely tasted good this time.  A little spicy and very fresh with nice tiny chunks of bacon & ham in tomato sauce.

BTW, what’s up with asking 100ml of wine always gave me a double order?!  This happened both time I order wine.  Only one complain, why the price has tripled just like the price of the local transportation.  It used to be 600 Ft but now it is 2000 Ft.  And the 3 day pass for local transportation used to be a bit under 1000 Ft is now 3100 Ft.  How can local afford  such a high inflation?!

Day 3 – Budapest (Keleti pu Train Station)

I have been to Budapest many times before, but this was the first time I arrived at the train station.  Of course, this is absolutely different experience that the airport and driving through Austria border.  Looking out from the train into the station before I stepped out felt like I have gone back to main land China.  This feeling came even strong when I was immediately approached by a couple persons asking if I need taxi and an woman saying she need some help.
I definitely look mean.  I just ignored any person asking me any question and rush into the money exchange.  I probably shouldn’t rush as I had an extremely bad exchange rate.  As soon as I got some Hungarian Forint, I went to left luggage to store my big roll-able backpack and travel with just my day-pack and large carry bag with a couple days of clothes.
After I walked further away from train station and closer to metro station, I felt I have come back to a familiar place again.  I remembered all the major metro line, how to get around confidently without any problem.  Kind of strange as it was more that seven years since I last been in Budapest.  That felt nice!

New tram