Day 1 - 18th September 2004 Fly to Budapest

I met 6 teddies at Luton Airport, only 2 were with children. We stayed at The Red Bus 2 Hostel which was a small, and watched Hungarian TV after going out so Debra could get train tickets for Zagreb the next morning.

 

Day 2 - 19th September 2004

Got our 1015 train to Zagreb in Croatia, it took about 6 hours. We passed what we assumed to be a lake, but was infromed that it was just a pond. We found this to be true an hour later when we started the long long run passed Lake Balaton!

crap photo of lake balaton with bushes in front

Lake Balaton is the biggest lake of Central Europe, it is 77 kilometers long and its width ranges from 4 to 14 kilometers.

 

Day 3 - 20th September 2004

The old city tour walking tour started in Ban J. Jelacic Square and is surrounded by buildings of different styles. The Square houses a fountain which in turn houses a watering hole and bath for pigeons.

photo of bearsac in front of fountain with pigeons in zagreb

The fountain is a few steps away from the original spring well which is thought, partly, to have given the city of Zagreb its name.

 

photo of bearsac by august senoa

Had my photo taken by the statue of famous Croatian writer, August Senoa. It is brass I think, and he leans against an adverting pillar, taking a little break. Now, im sure this was just a dream she had last night, but Debra is waiting to read/see the news today as she is not sure if she dreamt it or not that this statue is to be relocated to Trafalga Square in London! It seems so stupid that it would be considered a more appropriate place, WHY would it? It is where it should to be and we both feel that is where it should stay.

 

photo of bearsac at kamen vrata

There were originally four formal entrances to the city, only one of them remains. Kamen vrata (Stone Gate), was last reconstructed in 1760. The gate suffered, according to legend, a great fire which burnt up all its wooden parts but left out in its hunger the painting of Mary and child. The painting was found amongst the ashes without damage. People come to worship the painting housed in the gate which has a tiny chapel. In 1931 a golden crown was added to the painting.

 

photo of bearsac by st mark's church

In St Marks Square is St Marks Church, we did not enter, but admired the pretty multicolored roof tiles which have shields representing the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia.

 

 

Day 4 - 21st September 2004 Ljubljana

Got 0755 train to Ljubljana having my passport stamped by a bemused passport official.

Had a lovely walk around town and ate grilled sardines with potato and tomato salad drenched in garlic. I shared our bread with a friendly sparrow that was hopping around on the table, it even took bread from my paw!

photo of ljubljana from ljubljanski grad

The back streets took us to Ljubljanski grad (Ljubljana Castle) on top of the hill, 78 metres above the city, where we climbed the tower and admired the scenic panoramic views of Ljubljana.

 

 

 

Day 5 - 22nd September 2004 Bled

 

photo of jakelj hostel

Took 8am bus from Ljubljana to Bled where we were picked up for the family run hostel. The Jakelj Hostel is a pretty house set at he bottom of mountains and hills in the country and was in a quiet area. We shared room with a nice young lady called Tina whom I think rather fancied me! The hostel was family run and their family were so nice to me and thought me a wonderful teddy bear.

photo of bearsac at bled castel with church of the assumption in background on bled lake photo of lake bled with boats to side

Bled a few is a few miles away and first we went to Bled Castle perched high up on the hill (1000sit), and looked out over lake bled; the lake from here looked so tranquil. Next we took a boat ride to the Church of the Assumption. The church - based on a small island in the middle of Lake Bled has a wishing bell from 1534.

 

Day 6 - 23rd September

We were dropped off at the local train station were we got train back to Ljubljana and spent a bit of time before getting our return train to Zagreb. Got some food and some wine and the tram to Ravnice Hostel, we wern't booked in but luckily they had a bed. We roomed with 3 French people but spent most of the evening chatting to an American man an Israeli woman and some others in the kitchen.

 

Day 7 - 24th September 2004

It was raining as we left the hostel and Debra had left my raincoat at home. It took the whole 6 -7 hour train journey for Debra trainers to dry off as the heater kept going off, did they stink! and I know because I was sat beside them above the heater drying off my fur and stuffing. It's a hard life for a teddy bear when the silly human responsible for our well-being leaves our yellow plastic mac at home.

We soon found the Aboriginal Hostel and made some dinner and ate it watching an Austin Powers film in Hungarian. The hostel has an Australia theme, the doors are painted in aboriginal style and there are boomerangs and digireedoos on the walls and everything.

 

Day 8 - 25th September 2004

Left the hostel at 8am to explorey poos, using the Chain Bridge - which was the first permanent link of Buda and Pest - to cross the Danube.

photo of bearsac at buda palace on castel hill

We first went to Buda Palace on Castle Hill; great view of the Danube and Parliament from the top of the hill.

photo of bearsac by the fisherman's bastion in budapest

The Fisherman's Bastian was packed with tourists so just had a quick look. Built in 1905, The Fishermanís Bastion was named after the guild of fishermen whose responsibilty is was to defend this stretch of wall from enemy attack in the Middle Ages. Seven turrets represent the Magyar tribes who once populated the country.

Spent some time in the History Museum (800sit about £3) which covers 2 millennia of history.

photo of bearsac looking up a brass horse with shiney balls in budapest

After the museum we came across a brass statue of a horse. There was a queue of students climbing up and stroking the horses male bits. The brass was greened and blackened with age but the much stroked parts were shiny. It is meant to be lucky to stoke this part of the horse, so up Debra dragged me and we took our share of good luck.

 

Day 9 - 26th September 2004

Dragged me off just after 6am she did so she could go to the Gellert Baths early so leaving the rest of the day for other stuff. As she was being pampered I sat locked in the changing cabin envisaging the marathon exploring we would no doubt be doing once we were out of here.
We set upon Gellert Hill the hard way, Short Cuts! I hate it when she takes short cuts it always involves some sort scariness!

 

Day 10 - 27th September - Departure day

She dragged us up Gellert Hill again soon after 6am, as if yesterdays visit wasn't enough, it was freezing; we meditated whilst it was still free of tourists and dog walkers pooing their dogs.

photo of sziklatemplom - cave church in budapest

The cave church (Sziklatemplom) which is real groovy. It is a cave of chaples which was established in the 1930s by the Pauline order, which is the only order native to Hungary and was founded in1256 and was ended in 1773 by Josef II. It was re-established 150 years later; the monks of the order were confessors to Hugarian Kings. In the 1950s the monks were jailed by the Communists who blocked up the chaples which were only re-opened in 1989.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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