After enduring a week of bleak skies, cold rain, and muddy trails, we decided to spend our remaining time visiting a few cities in Eastern Europe. Our plan was to start in Prague, then take trains to Vienna and Budapest before flying back to Geneva for our journey home. When I took my backpacking trip to Western Europe two years ago, my one regret was not making it further east. It was nice to finally have this chance, and even better to be in warm weather without the chance of any rain.
The city of Prague was spectacular. We stayed at a hotel a block away from Prague Castle. We spent a lot of time at the Cathedral on our first night, and the entirety of the next day in the castle museums. The history of the castle reads like Game of Thrones in certain time periods. It’s like walking back in time when you visit the barracks, complete with armor and weaponry used through the history of the castle. Leaving the castle, we walked through town and crossed at Charles Bridge. The bridge is your typical tourist spectacle, but a fun walk nonetheless. On this side of town there are quite a few things to see as well. As timing would have it, there was a very large Jazz festival going on right in the town square. It set a pleasant mood for the rest of our city exploration.
We didn’t have as much time to spend in Vienna, but the summer festivals were rolling there too. A film festival had the city buzzing more than usual it appeared. We walked a few miles in one day and tried to see as much of the city as possible. Much like Prague, the architecture and history are a major draw.
Looking back, Budapest was probably my favorite city of the three we visited on this leg of the trip. Our hotel was in Pest, but we spent quite a bit of time in Buda, making daily crossings of Chain Bridge over the Danube. In Buda, we spent a lot of time at the Royal Palace. Although hilly, it’s a beautiful area to spend half a day just walking around. We did a great deal of walking in Pest as well, visiting the cathedral, the parliament building, and a lot of side streets with interesting things to observe. At night we went over to Kiraly U., where there are a number of great restaurants to enjoy. In all, a very good end to our trip!