Late Afternoons on the Vltava River

Late afternoon and early evening are my favorite times of day to be around the Vltava River here in Prague.

In good weather, people always come out for paddle-boat sightseeing….

vltava.

And the light slanting in at this time of day is beautiful, giving all the riverside architecture a timeless look…

riverside buildings.

…as well as adding extra sparkle to Prague’s gilded accents…

gilded.

And the sparkle of the water as the sun sets is the finishing touch to the great atmosphere.

close to evening.

 
What’s your favorite time of day? : )

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Walking through Prague

I had a couple of days off work this week, and I spent the extra free time wandering the streets of Prague. I love taking in the city by exploring and meandering. : )

Today, I started my walk near the Vltava River….

cafe.

The restaurants along this part of the riverside have a great view of the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

restaurant with a view.

Later, I tried this traditional Czech/Slovak bread. It’s a good, quick snack – perfect for my walk. I loooved the taste of cinnamon.

czech bread.

Then I walked up and down these streets, near the castle…

one way.
downhill.

…where I came across this bakeshop selling goodies through the window!

windowsill.

Where did you walk today? : )

Hungarian Architecture

I am so honored to be Freshly Pressed! Thank you to WordPress and to you blog readers – so exciting! I love reading all your comments – so uplifting to hear your memories of Budapest, your plans to visit. This city has made such an impact on us all. : )

A few final words about my Hungary visit – I was so struck by the inspirational architecture around every corner! Every street looks different, every building has its own personality.

From shingled roofs and old, colorful buildings…

curbside.

…to bright, vivid paint…yellow.

…and beautiful patterns…

patterns.

…or even purple accents and highlights…
color accents.

… and the soaring marble of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
overview.

dome.

The interplay of colors and attention to architectural detail – both inside and outside the buildings – is fabulous. I could walk up and down the same street 10 times and notice something new with every pass. : )

Across the Danube River

I posted some photos from the Pest side of the Danube River in Budapest, and now here’s some more from the Buda side!

riverbank.

The first thing I saw when I crossed the river: it reads, “confidence in the ancient virtue,” the royal slogan of Franz Josef I, head of the Austro-Hungarian Empire….

confidence in the ancient virtue.

The narrow, uphill streets on this side of the river catch gorgeous shafts of light in the evening….

play of light.

streetview.

At the top of the hill, in the Castle District, there are clusters of 19th century buildings…

rooftops.

…along with Hungary’s famous Fishermen’s Bastion, an expansive neo-Gothic terrace with great views of the city and the river. Here’s one of its 7 towers….

fishermen's bastion.

And just south of the Fishermen’s Bastion is the Royal Palace/Buda Castle:

buda castle.

Buda, with its small, winding streets and Castle District, has a medieval feel, while Pest is flatter, urban, and more spread out. I loved crossing back and forth across this wide river between the two very different sides of Budapest. : )

Welcome to Budapest

I was in Budapest early last week for business, but I also had some free time to explore the city. Budapest has a really great vibe – a laid back, happening place that’s a little reminiscent of Prague with its ornate, colorful architecture.

First things first when I explore in Europe: gelato! One popular shop had this great tulip-shaped gelato – all the flavor, twice the fab. I had the chili chocolate. : )

tulip-shaped gelato.

10,000 Hungarian forint is about $50….

Hungarian forint.

Summers in Budapest are h-o-t! There are lots of fountains all around to give you a chance to cool off…

summer heat.

And outdoor cafes are around every corner! The view at the end of this row of cafes is of St. Stephen’s Basilica, the founder-legend of Hungary and an early promoter of Christianity in the region….

st. stephen's basilica.

Hungary’s famous Parliament building overlooks the Danube River….

parliament.

Buda and Pest were two seperate cities on each bank of the Danube River until 1873. These photos all show the Pest side of the river; photos of the Buda side coming soon. : )

A Central European Road Trip

I just got back in Prague earlier today after a business trip to Budapest, Hungary. I’m in love with Budapest itself, and the road trip getting there was great, too!

From Prague to Budapest is about a 5 hour drive – across the Czech Republic, through Slovakia, and into Hungary.

From the road along the way, we could see large clusters of old Soviet-constructed buildings around the outskirts of cities. These are outside Brno, Czech Republic….

soviet structures.
The Soviets’ theory was to build uniform apartment buildings so everyone would be equal, but today it’s an odd feeling to pass so many identical buildings.

We stopped to refuel in Slovakia, in the midst of vast cornfields….
sky over slovakia.

At one point, we could see Austria and it’s windmills in the distance….
austrian windmills.
Coming into Hungary, we passed through an old, mostly untended border checkpoint. Because of the open border policies of the Schengen Agreement, this disused border station is falling into disrepair.
open border.

The road trip across part of Central Europe was a great way to see some of the countryside here. : )

Today’s Giveaway: Pree Brulée

 
The giveaway today is coming to you from Pree Brulée…. They’re offering $50 credit to their online boutique plus another extra special secret surprise!

Picture 13

They’ve got tons of chic and unusual jewelry + handbags + accessories. My latest fave is this Fleur de Paris necklace…. 🙂

Picture 14

To enter:
1. Like Pree Brulée on Facebook and tell them Khollin sent you : )
2. Follow Pree Brulée on Twitter

Entries will be accepted until midnight PST Thursday, July 21st. Pree Brulée will select a winner at random and contact you from there.

Good luck! : )

Standing There in Budapest

Just a quick update…

I’ve been working in Budapest, Hungary for a couple of days – this city is great! I really love it.

When I get back to Prague, I’ll have more time to show you some more photos – but until the big reveal, here’s some sneak-peak photos of where I’ve been walking. : )

budapesti.

In front of St. Stephen’s Basilica…
rim.

fell.

There was an onslaught of rain tonight! I ran through Budapest in the rain to get back to the tram that would bring me home, and took this photo inside the tram….
rain.
I’ll get back to Prague tomorrow evening. Stay tuned for more! : )

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

 
Today is my sister’s birthday!

She’s fabulous, funny, and now fifteen. I really can’t believe how old she’s getting – it still seems like only yesterday that we were bringing my new baby sister back from the hospital and showing her around her new home.

Happy birthday, Jenny – I love you so-o-o much! Wish we were together to celebrate today, but we’ll just have to make up for it with even more celebrating when I get back from Prague. : )

Photo from last year’s birthday…

birthday.