Balkan 2015, Part I

München – Ljubljana

Wednesday – today is the first step of travelling. Did I get everything necessary? Will find out on the trip.

From Munich to Salzburg/Austria and then across the country to Karawankentunnel. On top of the Pickerl/Vignette a Videomaut at two points is required along the road in Austria. It can be obtained online at Asfinag.

Plan is to attend the early Free Tour tomorrow at 11 a.m. on the steps in front of the Pink Church in Preseren Square (City’s Main square). 

3 months of vacation

Yay – after almost one year and two projects in the lovely city of Vienna it’s time to travel.

I definitely want to be back again in the future to meet all the great people I had the chance to get aquainted with.
But first let’s focus on the new topics.

I. Vienna – Budapest
The Jeep is parked and waits for me to pick it up after i come back to Vienna from my first stop: Budapest.
My flat in a 1840s building right besides the house of Johann Strauss, has been given back. I went via the very speedy public transportations system via U1/U4/U6 to Bahnhof Meidling. Here, the trains to Budapest are heading off.
Small and crowded, it will be replaced by the new central station (Hauptbahnhof).

The train is an Austrian RailJet which I often used to travel between the final station Munich and Vienna. This time it’s the other final station Budapest.
Also, this time it’s second class, not first or as available in the RailJet even business class.

After arriving at Budapest Keleti, I directly went to the hotel which is conveniently located. My stomach roared like an arctic bear (which was trapped for quite a while on an ice floe). So importantly, the first trip was to counter hunger and thirst. It led me to Napfényes Étterem at Rózsa utca 39. It’s a vegan only restaurant so vegans as vegetarians can order without doubt. First the delicious homemade ginger lemonade and a bean goulash soup as a starter. The main dish was a Hungarian stuffed pickled cabbage.
Website: http://www.napfenyesetterem.hu/

Soup, vanished within seconds

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Main dish: Hungarian stuffed pickled cabbage

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But that was not the end of the day. After checking out the House of Hungarian photographers (exhibition of early Magnum work) I found myself near the St. Stephans-Basilika.
The inside is amazing, I was there during mass.
Now my target was to see the Duna/Donau/Danube river. Luckily in front of me was the world’s famous Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd / Kettenbrücke). Crossed it from Pest to Buda and back.
On the way back to the hotel Hare Krishna people crossed my path while I got a hint of the astonishing architecture of Pest.

USA West coast, part 1: MUC – PHL – SFO

After quite some security checks I’m about to board the US Airways plane. Something tells me that it won’t be as comforting as the A380 to Dubai.

As always the ride from Nordfriedhof to the airport went flawless thanks to Lufthansa Airportbus.

Back to the plane – the A330 looks better than I thought! Enough leg space and a monitor in front of me – will I be able to utilitze advanced board entertainment?

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After a more or less comfy flight (more because of space, less because of my neighbouring passengers) my conclusion is a good one. Two movies, a tiny bit of sleep and touchdown in Phili.
From Terminal A to C its not too far, the passport check and security screenings with the usual long lines of waiting people took most of the time. I threw my rucksack on a baggage thingy, still with unclosed wrap sack. So it went on its way to the plane without full protection. Also I was the first time of my life in a body scanner…urgh.

A little less space on the in-country flight, still quite enough.

Lost in Marrakesh

We arrived by train at Marrakesh main station. Ticket Casablanca – Marrakesh, 2nd class is 91 Dirham per person and the travel takes about 3 hours.

After taxi dropped us off nearby a nice boy brought us to the riad (hostel).

Now we are sitting in a restaurant whose name I don’t know and which is in a street I also don’t know. As we are staying in a side branch of our riad I also don’t know how to get back.
Officially lost in Marrakesh.

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At least no need to be hungry. Delicious food awaits us.

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A short trip to Morocco

Sitting at the gate in Frankfurt and awaiting the departure of flight LH1330 to Casablanca. Planned so far is visiting Marrakesh, Sahara desert and Fes until return to Casablanca.

Lets check if we find some Argan oil.

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As veggie dish in the plane (Airbus A321) I had Korkenziehernudel Arrabiata