Last year after the season was over my American teammate and I booked a last minute flight to Fuerteventura, Canary Islands; this year my new American teammates (and one adopted American) headed to Austria and Hungary to finish up the European year.
Our adopted American, Kata, is actually Hungarian but she has lived in Austria most of her life. Her family has houses in both of these neighboring countries so we thought we would take the great opportunity to see her life. It was awesome for me, too, because though I’ve been to a lot of European countries, these two weren’t on the list.
Kata lives a 30 minute train ride outside of Vienna so that old, regal city was our first stop. All the European cities I have been to have a lot of things in common: water, old buildings, big ornate churches, and city center squares. Vienna was no different with lots of beautiful sights including my favorite, the view from Gloriette on top of the hill at Schoenbrunn Palace (a summer home of the royal families).
The next day we drove three hours to the Balaton Lake in Hungary, the biggest lake in Central Europe and Kata’s summer playground. The place was like a ghost town as we were about three weeks too early for the tourist season but the lake was gorgeous in Siofok, Hungary. We had a relaxing day and watched the sunset on top of a little hill.
Budapest was our next stop on our four day trip and it didn’t disappoint. Again with the Danube River, big interesting buildings, and sunshine. The view of the Parliament Building from Fisherman’s Bastion on the river reminded me a little of London:
Like I said, a lot of the sights in every country have their own mystique and story, yes, but they are also very similar. One thing I have found that is different: every country has their own cuisine. We tried Wiener Schnitzel in Wien (Vienna) and Goulash in Budapest and both were amazing!
Now it’s time for me to head home to the land of fast food and extreme portions (but I love it there,too!)