Europe 2011: Budapest, Hungary—Part 2

Budapest at Night

The M1 yellow subway line ended at Vörösmarty Square. Back in the city center, we bypassed our original plans to take a break at the hotel, as we still had plenty of sightseeing to do and so little time to do it in. In retrospect, we should have added a day to our Dubrovnik and Budapest visits. As it was, I had already missed out on one site on my list. Once an ardent philatelist, I wanted to see the Bélyegmúzeum, the stamp museum, as I own quite a nice collection of Hungarian stamps, but we had to forgo this attraction in favor of others. Continue reading

Europe 2011: Verona and Venice, Italy

Comet Glass Star on Murano

After we checked out of our hotel, I settled into the passenger seat to enjoy the exhilarating drive south along the lake to Lecco. Other forms of transportation are certainly available in Italy, but Dave, who I think is part race car driver, can never resist driving in Europe. The roads from Lecco to Verona were good and well marked. Only once did we get turned around; we had to circle a roundabout three times until we noticed the turnoff to Bergamo. But once in Verona, we found ourselves lost and our car GPS of no help, so I resorted to my iPad. Even then, we were skeptical of the directions given since the tablet led us off the main road into a vineyard. Continue reading

Europe 2013: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Author Pat Krapf Visits Monte CarloMonday morning the sun appeared as we jumped on the A8 and motored toward the Nice airport. There, we would drop off the rental car and catch a ride to our hotel in Monte Carlo. As we exited the subterranean parking lot in Avignon, we misjudged the distance from the car to the wall of the underground garage. I winced as we made the tight, sharp angle, not surprised to hear the grind of metal against stone, and wondered how much repairs would cost. But a little over two hours later, when we turned in the car, the Avis representative seemed nonplussed as he looked at the damage. “That’s nothing. Happens a lot,” he said and told us to have a safe trip down to Monaco. Continue reading