The local beer was generally one of two brands, Ožjusko and Karlovačko. The quality of both was inconsistent, especially when served on tap. A couple times I was poured beer that tasted almost stale, leading me at first to believe the way the bars were storing and serving the beer was the problem, not the beer itself.
I spent one last night in Croatia, back in Zagreb. After the long train ride back from Split, I was happy to stop for the night, particularly in a city where I could already find my way around. The weather has improved dramatically. I don’t know if a front has come through, or if Zagreb … Continue reading Another night in Zagreb
After starting the day with broiling hot weather, a cloud cover came through, along with an ever-so-slight breeze, so the evening is off to a pleasant start. I’m suddenly optimistic about sleeping tonight. I’ve booked a room for tomorrow night, after I leave Split, and it’s air conditioned. I’m totally ready for that. Still, I’m … Continue reading Spoke too soon
I think this is the hottest, muggiest day yet. Despite it being Saturday, the waterfront is virtually deserted, save a handful seeking respite in the shade of a cafe, like me. A small backpacker colony has sprung up under the shade of a couple nearby palm trees. I may join them soon.
I knew my appetite would eventually come back, and it finally did last night. I haven’t really wanted to eat since I was in Poland, so I ended up missing out on Hungarian cuisine altogether, which is almost a crime, given its multitude of influences. All I really ate in Hungary were some light snacks … Continue reading After several days, appetite returns in Split, Croatia
Another day in Split, and I’m at the beach again. Yesterday I think I over-exposed myself a bit, and this hot weather has taken away my appetite, so I think I have been under-eating. When I’ve gotten back to my room in the evenings, I’ve fallen asleep just out of exhaustion, but after a few … Continue reading Another day at the beach
I arrived in Split, Croatia, this afternoon. Finding accommodation was not a huge problem, but I did have to turn a room down. A little old lady met passengers coming off the train and offered a room. I’ve had good luck getting rooms this way, so I decided to try again. It was painful to … Continue reading Arriving and finding accommodation in Split, Croatia
The train ride from Zagreb to Split has had some stunning scenery. We’re up in the mountains, and I’ve been seeing valleys below with lakes and streams and shallow rapids, with campsites and people wading and canoeing. It makes me want to hop off.
Like many of the cities I’ve visited recently, you have to look to the historic center to appreciate Zagreb. Apart from the center, it’s a concrete, Communist-era shit-hole.
A half-liter of Amstel in the hotel bar is 900 forint, which is a little more than $4. And the hotel tacks on a ten percent service charge. The half-liter beer I’m drinking now is 300 forint, with no service charge. You do the math. I’m about 100 feet from the hotel door. I wish I knew about this place two days ago.
Those of you at home in Phoenix have probably been unsympathetic to my complaints about the weather, but I’ve experienced a bit of a break today. We’ll see how long it lasts. This morning started out with the muggiest weather I’ve dealt with yet. After walking around for about 20 minutes, I’d already had enough. … Continue reading Cheerful mood in Budapest
After getting about 20 hours of sleep yesterday and last night, I finally did some sightseeing here in Budapest today. I took a bus tour with a guide, seeing the St. Stephens Basilica and the Parliament building, among other things. There’s a lot of symbolism expressed with the architecture, so you hear the same numbers … Continue reading Budapest
After another two border crossings, both of which featured rather impolite policemen who threw the doors open in the middle of the night, I arrived in Budapest this morning. After several nights of rather uncomfortable accommodations, I had decided to splurge, so I booked ahead and had a four-star Western hotel waiting for me when … Continue reading Splurge in Budapest
I’m in Krakow for another day because my train to my next destination doesn’t leave until 10:30 pm. I looked into other ways of traveling or breaking the trip into smaller trips, but nothing seemed reasonable. I don’t like night trains. They always smell like death and they stop at every station. If you do … Continue reading Clouds
As I entered the first Auschwitz camp, I walked through the visitors center where there’s a display of last words left by prisoners, often scratched in pencil on prison walls. I read about two of them and had to leave the room because I thought I was going to burst into tears. The displays about the camp’s officers were considerably less emotional.
I’ve had some really good beer here in Poland. I don’t know why no one ever told me about Polish beer, or why it doesn’t find its way to the US. I’ve had Żywiec and Tyskie both in Warsaw and here in Krakow, and right now I’m drinking Okocim. All have been very good. I’ve … Continue reading Polish beer
Until I arrived in Poland, I didn’t really have any language issues. In England, of course, they speak English. In Iceland, the Netherlands, and Denmark, nearly everyone speaks English in addition to his mother tongue, and most signs are also in English. In Germany, this is less the case, but I speak German well enough … Continue reading Improvising to deal with language issues in Poland
I decided to spend one more night here in Warsaw. It’s a beautiful city. Mostly I’ve just been walking around, particularly through the city’s lovely parks. I had a beer and an ice cream in the old city center. Not at the same time.
I arrived in Warsaw about 90 minutes ago, and already I’m out sightseeing. I got a room in a private residence for the night. The owner approached me as I came off the train, walked me to her place, talked my ear off for a while, had a glass of wine with me, and suggested … Continue reading First glance at Warsaw
Unfortunately, my digital camera died a few days into my trip. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, but I put four fresh batteries in it, and it still shows low battery and won’t power up. I suspected something was wrong with it before I left and almost bought a new one. If I see … Continue reading Digital camera failure near beginning of trip
Another border crossing, and two more stamps in my passport. I’m now in Poland, bound for Warsaw. I actually bought a ticket for Krakow, but since there is a connection in Warsaw, and since the second ticket is full-fare, I thought I might stick around Warsaw for a night or two and continue the journey later.
Those of you who have been to Berlin before may remember that, unlike most German cities, it didn’t have a “Hauptbahnhof”, a main train station. Most tourists coming from the west arrived at the Berlin Zoologischer Garten station, often simply called “Berlin Zoo”, which was a small, crowded, overworked station in a very seedy part … Continue reading Berlin Hauptbahnhof
Earlier this morning, I bought a 1.5-liter bottle of mineral water while waiting for a train. I was a little surprised that I was able to drink it in about ten minutes. Mostly I’ve been drinking coffee and beer the past couple weeks, and I’ve been sweating a lot as I walk around cities or haul my pack around train stations, so I was probably poorly hydrated.
I’m in Berlin for the night. I’ve been here before, so I’m not really visiting, but I got a great rail fare from Copenhagen to here. I plan to hole up for the night, watch a little CNN, and continue east in the morning. I found a reasonably cheap hotel room in a quiet part of the city, and I’m ready to chill.
I wanna give a shout-out to my family. They’re keeping an eye on my place while I’m away and e-mailing me updates from home. They’re also taking care of some small chores for me, and it’s making my trip a lot easier. Thanks, y’all! Peace out.