Archive for November 5th, 2008

Summer 2008 trip II: Wien-Bratislava-Budapest

This is a log for my second summer trip 2008 with my senior, Ferry Irawan Tantono. Since this log is a bit late, many details may be missing. We departed from Trento’s main train station on Wednesday evening, 6th August 2008 (using a night train), and arrived in Wien the next day. We took a free map of Wien from the information office at the train station and went to the city center. Along the way, we stopped in several famous spots. The first was the Soviet victory monument that’s erected to commemorate the Soviet’s triumph over the Nazi.

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Wien – The Soviet victory monument

The second spot was the Karlskirche located near the Karlsplatz. We went inside the church and took the audio guided tour. We went up one of the towers as well to see the surroundings.

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Wien – Karlskirche

The third spot was the Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper). Before entering the Opera House, we had our breakfast since we were starved. I took a sausage and french fries. Then we took a guided tour of the Opera House.

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Wien – me with the Opera House as a background

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Wien – inside the Opera House

Then we passed through several spots which I can’t completely remember. But for sure we walked around the Hofburg palace.

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Wien – in front of the Hofburg palace

Then we walked through the Rathausplatz where there was a market, and headed to the parliament building.We took a guided tour inside the parliament.

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Wien – in front of the parliament

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Wien – inside the parliament (taken during the guided tour)

Then we strolled through the pedestrian area to the Stephansdom (the cathedral). On the way we came accross a piece of sculpture called Pestsäule.

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Wien – Rathaus

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Wien – Pestsäule

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Wien – Stephansdom (gosshh… why do I look so dark???)

We went inside the cathedral and looked around, then we had our lunch not far from the Stephansdom. I took the famous traditional food: Wiener Schnitzel and so did Ferry. Then we headed to Mozarthaus, the house of Mozart in which he spent several years living (the longest among other houses). But we didn’t enter the house at that moment since it was already about to close. We came back to see the inner part of the house later on.

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Wien – in front of the Mozarthaus

Then we headed to the hostel that we had booked online, checked in, left our luggages, and went out again. We passed the Haydnhaus which was located not far from the hostel. It was closed, so we only took pictures in front of it. Arrghhhh….. It reminds me of the Sonata C dur by Joseph Haydn which I used to play a lot when I was a teenager. I even had a concert playing this song in Rudolfinum. It reminds me of the good-old-days 🙂

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Wien – in front of the Haydnhaus

Then we walked around the main street near the hostel, had an ice cream (McDonald’s ice cream), then had a fastfood dinner. As it was already late night, we went back to the hostel and had a rest.

On Friday morning we checked out of the hostel and took a train to Bratislava. The trip took only about 1 hour. We took another free map of Bratislava from the infromation office, and headed straight to the city center. Of course we stopped at several spots to take pictures 🙂 The first spot was the Grassalkovich palace.

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Bratislava – Ferry & me in front of the Grassalkovich palace

The next spot was St. Martin’s cathedral. We went inside the cathedral, went to the tower and visited the underground cemetery.

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Bratislava – St. Martin’s cathedral

Then we reached the main square at the old town and had our brunch (?). I forget whether it’s only lunch or breakfast combined altogether.

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Bratislava – main square

Then we walked up the hill to the castle. And it was very unfortunate that the castle was under construction so we couldn’t enter. To make things worse, it was raining 😦

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Bratislava – the castle

After the rain stopped, we went back to the city center and had an ice cream at a McDonalds just beside the Slovak National Theatre. We didn’t go inside the theatre though.

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Bratislava – in front of the Slovak National Museum

Then we asked several people about the location of the Blue Church (Church of St. Elisabeth) which in Wikitravel it was written not to miss. Yes, Wikitravel had been one of our travel guidances. And when we reached the Blue Church, there was a wedding ceremony being held, so we couldn’t go inside.

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Bratislava – in front of the Blue Church

Then we headed to Michael’s Gate tower, but we arrived exactly at the closing time. So no tower climbing. And there was a small weird cannon sitting in front if the tower gate which I thought looked cool 🙂

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Bratislava – me & the weird cannon

Then we continued strolling at the city center and found this cool statue.

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Bratislava – “don’t steal my hat……!!!!!”

Our last visited spot in Bratislava was Slavin memorial which was located on a hill not far from the main train station. The problem was that there was no sign where it’s located. So we asked several people (I used my limited Czech since none of them couls speak English), and finally made it to the spot.

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Bratislava – Slavin memorial

Then we went back to the train station and headed to Budapest. From the train station we went straight to the hostel which we had booked online as well, cheked in, left our luggages, and went out for a dinner. We had our dinner at the Burger King (it was late at night and Burger King was the only open restaurant nearby the hostel). We went back to the hostel and had a rest. Day 2 was over.

We started day 3 (Saturday) by having a breakfast in McDonalds nearby the hostel, and continued our trip by visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica. We went inside the basilica and also climbed the tower.

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Budapest – in front of St. Stephen’s basilica

Then we walked towards the Hungarian State Opera House. We didn’t go inside, just took pictures.

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Budapest – the Hungarian State Opera House

Then we took the metro to the Heroes’ square.

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Budapest – Heroes’ square

Not far from the Heroes’ square there was the Vajdahunyad Vára, a castle surrounded by a lake. We went there.

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Budapest – at Vajdahunyad Vára’s gate

We had our lunch in a restaurant suggested by someone we asked on the way, then headed to the Citadel on a hill. There we also saw the underground World War 2 museum.

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Budapest – in front of the statue of liberty inside the Citadel

When we went back down it was already dark. We went to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and took several pictures. Then we went back to the hostel. We had another dinner at Burger King.

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Budapest – me with Széchenyi Chain Bridge & the castle as the background

I remember in our room at the hostel there was a German guy traveling all the way to Budapest from Germany cycling. I forget the city where he started his cycling trip.

We started day 4 (Sunday) by having another breakfast at the McDonalds (?) and continued our trip by visiting the parliament building. We took a guided tour and found out that this parliament building is among the biggest in the world (the 3rd biggest or so). Unfortunately the battery of my digital camera ran out of energy during the tour guide (I forgot to charge it the night before), so I used Raymond’s camera for the entire day 4 trip.

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Budapest – in front of the parliament building

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Budapest – at the bank of Danube river with the parliament building as the background

Then we went through the Széchenyi Chain Bridge once again and took the Castle Hill Funicular to reach the Buda Castle. There we strolled and bought some traditional snacks.

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Budapest – Buda Castle

Then we went down the hill and had our lunch at another cheap restarant that we found the information from the internet. Then we headed to the Great Synagogue which is the biggest synagogue in Europe. We entered the synagogue with a guided tour and visited the museum as well, but due to the limited time slot, we didn’t finish the tour guide and went to the train station to catch a train back to Wien.

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Budapest – in front of the Great Synagogue

After reaching Wien, we headed directly to the hostel that we had booked (not the same hostel as the one we used to stay on day 1). I was surprised to meet the HongKong guy I met during my first summer trip to München. We stayed in a 6-bedded room with Australian, Taiwanese, and Korean guys. The Korean guy asked where I came from, and I answered from Indonesia. Then he asked me if Indonesia is located somewhere in Bali…… whoaaa…… This is also a message to my fellow Indonesians: be careful in treating Bali! In some cases it’s even more famous than Indonesia!!!!! 😀

We started day 5 (Monday) by having breakfast at the hostel and continued our trip by visiting the Schloss Schönbrunn. We followed a guided tour inside the castle and walked around the huge park. We also had fun finiding a way out in a maze garden and labyrinth.

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Wien – Schloss Schönbrunn

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Wien – Gloriette at Schönbrunn

Then went back to the city center and visit the Mozarthaus. This time we went inside and explored the 3-floor building using the audio guide.

After that we went back to the train station and departed back to Trento. It’s quite an exhausting trip, but the great experience made it worth the while.

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