So I never did a ‘final’ post… here it is

I’d been meaning to do a wrap up post but never got round to it. Got some time this evening so here it is.

So all in all, trip was awesome… liked America way more than I expected. So for the best, worst and oddities…

Best

  • Disneyland
  • Las Vegas
  • Zion National Park
  • Budapest – partly due to the Hungarian currency tanking whilst we were there, and hence us becoming ‘rich’ and stuffing ourselves silly at dinner…

Worst

  • Way too many tourist bus type tours in Prague
  • BMW museum – I’m not a big fan of cars…

Oddities
All of these are from America…

  • Prepaying your petrol before you filled. This was actually quite a pain. Firstly the things in gallons, your driving a car you don’t know how far the mileage goes on a tank, and you can’t use the machine at the bowser because you have an international credit card and hence ‘enter your zip code’ doesn’t really mean much.
  • Petrol stations where you have to pay for an undisclosed amount of air?!? To add weirdness the air filly things didn’t even have a gauge, so you couldn’t tell how much more you needed to fill the tyre.
  • Lamingtons in Budapest

Oh and there has to be a list dedicated to best food experiences…

  • The Buffet at the Bellagio, Las Vegas
  • Menza, Budapest. Best food ever, so much so 3 of 4 nights was where dinner was had. Deviated once and it was terrible so decision made, to eat where it was good.
  • Chocolate butter kek from Aldi, Munich – and they have the exact same ones here in Aldi, imported from Germany but with a different name… Tastes good ‘cos the EU have a law where chocolate has to be at least 25% cocoa solids… the Aldi chocolate – 35%

Baths… thermal baths

Today included a visit to one of the many thermal baths that exist in Budapest. A visit to one of the more touristy oriented ones was made so no nudie bathing required (more traditional baths have different days for males and females and are in the no bathing gear sense).

The 37.35 degree celsius water of one of the outdoor pools was really nice and warm. Like a huge never ending bath… and with fountains and jets as well!

Also went on a tour of the Parliament building which was quite pretty and nice, with lots of gold things…

Tomorrow is actually Hungary’s Republic Day so it will be visiting some museums and the zoo and stuff, as most other stuff is closed. Found some of the museums closed a different day this week to stay open tomorrow.

Anyways that’s it for tonight…. (and maybe the trip)

Budapest… I like

So in a Budapest Macca’s drinking hot chocolate as it has free wi-fi! And it is fast. Budapest is a nice change from Prague and Munich. It’s not as touristy, easy to walk around and the food is great and cheap (when compared to Prague and Munich). You can have a top sit down meal with drinks for $25 AUD approx. Which whilst I could not afford to eat like that every day of this trip, seeing we’re at the end it’s like a ‘why not?’ Especially thinking about 27+ hours it will take to get home.

What has been a little 🙁 is that most of the European countries visited have taken to maintenance works of things which has scuttled some of the pretty building views… but not all at least.

Oh also, Budapest marked the staying at an easyHotel which is from the ‘easy’ group brand that Stelios (of easyJet fame) created. For a 7×8 square metre room (the smallest) it is surprisingly big – maybe about the same size as the hostel room in Hollywood. At $120 AUD for 4 nights I can’t complain.

Postings tomorrow night from Macca’s on the nightly hot chocolate run…

It’s cold….

And windy at times over here, so jackets, gloves and beanies are in use. Prague is a very nice city but it has lots and lots of tourists. You can tell it when you are stuck between swarms of tour groups with their leader flying their ‘flag’ and also at the absurdity of the costs of things. Things that were free as early as 2 years ago now cost like $20 bucks to go in! For example some churches cost just under $10 bucks to go in… which for me is just a little too steep. It was good in Munich as you could visit things and they were reasonable and or free. Prague is just a little over tourist-ed…

That said have enjoyed it, and am leaving tomorrow morning to Budapest. Can’t wait to get home though…

Grey skies and rain

In Prague and it’s grey and rainy all round. I suppose that’s Europe getting to winter weather. Or telling us it is…

Anyway quick post as there is only one computer in this hostel for everyone and it is kind of very slow…

Maybe even the last post till I return…. I figure easyHotels don’t have easy internet access… not at 15 euro a night…

Munich

Very short post as I have 7 minutes of internet left (as expected, no free wifi access). Last day in Munich today, flying to Prague tomorrow. Quite a nice city, easy to walk around and lots of people ride their bikes everywhere. Is quite pretty as is fall right now and all the leaves have turned orange/red here whereas in the U.S. they hadn´t yet.

May post once from Prague and Budapest otherwise will do a rundown post once home on Sunday week.

Ice skating at the Rockefeller

So this morning headed back to the Rockefeller for a little ice skating. Slightly pricey but fun nonetheless. Morning session was actually 3 hours but only stayed 1 – there’s only so much circling of ice that one can do. I’d imagine in real winter when the other bigger rinks are open it would be even cooler.

Then it was some subway riding to downtown to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Stacks of people walking one way or the other. Another GG reference spotted the park where they played touch football(I think?) at the Christmas time episode in Season 1.

Then it was a stroll through the New York uni area and back to the hotel for a rest. All the walking and early wake ups is starting to take it’s toll.

Tomorrow early evening it’s onwards to Europe. Not sure whether I will be posting much from there but should be in Munich till mid week then Prague for 4 days then on to Budapest then home.

Broadway and Friday happenings

So last night was spent at the theatre watching The Lion King. Had tickets in the 3rd front row smack in the middle. The theatre wasn’t really that big (which was a surprise) so the seats were pretty awesome and gave us a view of everything. Really enjoyed the show as whilst it was a musical there was also some dialogue as well. And the animals/costumes were pretty awesome.

Today was up the Empire State. It is a nice view, but not as nice as the top of the Rockefeller. The Empire State is very crowded and the observation decks are very narrow whereas at Top of the Rock it’s not and there are 3 decks.

After that it was downtown to catch the free Staten Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty. Which isn’t very large at all. Then back to head past Wall St and to where Ground Zero is. Walking past Wall St was quite interesting given the financial situation. News trucks pretty much everywhere and very crowded/busy. On that *OMG* at the AUD which now only buys $0.63 USD! It dropped like 5 cents overnight! An every day is a new cycle where panic seems to drop every market lower. In the lift up the Empire State it had one of those TV screen things, and it said the Dow dropped 500 points in the first 5 minutes of it opening!

Then it was a walk to Chinatown where some 1 <3 NY shirts were bought. And a snack or two. Confusing moment when I was trying to order a drink but they didn't speak English and I don't speak Mandarin. On to Union Square and a look at another Apple Store then back to the hotel. The Rockefeller Ice Rink is open from today so swung by that this evening to take photos and will go tomorrow morning for a skate. It's somewhat odd because it's outdoors but it isn't really cold yet here. Anyways that's it for now...

Spotted on the steps of the Met

Spotted on the steps of the Met… Deline happy that she is still on holidays. Little does she know that there is just only over 2 weeks left before the return home.

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Okay that probably doesn’t make much sense to many readers, but Em and Trish you probably will get it. They had construction on the steps though. I think there was a reference to that in the first ep of this season – will have to re-watch when I get home…

Anyways, am in NYC now. For the rundown of the flight across read scroll down to below the —–. For a insight into it, it was written during a 5 hour wait at the airport… an hour of which consisted of sitting on the plane!.

Arriving a little later than expected once the bags were dropped it was off out and about. Being somewhat addicted to GG a walk past the ‘Palace’ was required, and since it was pretty much almost round the corner the first stop (not really in the Upper East Side). After that a hot dog on the way to the Rockefeller Center to go to Top of the Rock which is an observation deck at the top. There are 3 levels and it gives you views out over all of Manhatten. Was pretty cool to look out at night.

Next was the Apple Store at 5th avenue then on to Times Square… Times Square had lots of flashy signs. Not sure if Vegas copied Times Square or Times Square copied Vegas. Unfortunately no Naked Cowboy was present. Then a stroll back to the hotel.

This morning was going to head up the Empire State but it was too hazy/foggy so decided to try tomorrow for a better view. So headed up towards Central Park for a walk around which was quite nice then checked out shops on 5th avenue.

Back at the hotel now for a bit of a rest but heading back out to Broadway/Times Square in the evening as watching the Lion King tonight.

Top of the Rock
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Times Square
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—-

So this is being typed from SF airport to be posted later. We’re having a TAR moment… it’s just on 8am have been at the airport since 4 something and the flight was meant to leave at 7:20am. If not for a faulty air conditioning part. And there was no definite answer for like more than an hour… instead something like ‘We don’t know if it is cancelled or is just delayed yet. There is a part at LA or maybe another plane but no decision.’. Which isn’t actually helpful. So after a bit of waiting jumped in the customer service line as well as trying to phone United. Except the line was long and the phone service was all automated and didn’t like me.

In the meantime there’s ‘a plane has arrived from LA, we have to check if the part is on it…’ Hmmm how hard is it to know if they packed the part or not? Anyway, eventually it was confirmed, they were fixing it, and we’re now leaving at 9:15am. Ironically everyone tried to book onto the next JFK flight which is full and it is leaving pretty much at the same time as us now.

Yay to flight delays… meh and they don’t serve food domestically here in the US even when the flight is just short of 6 hours.

Goodbye SF hello NYC…

So this is probably the last post from San Francisco. Heading to a hotel near the airport tomorrow afternoon/evening because of the early flight to NYC the next morning and it has no free WiFi.

Today was pretty much a casual day around. Got a cable car down towards Fisherman’s Wharf in the morning. Surprisingly at 8:30am in the morning there was already a queue! Hate to think what it is like on a weekend. Down at Fisherman’s Wharf again, I decided to get a numberplate… just for randomness of the driving through 4 states.

After that onwards to the Golden Gate Bridge and then to Golden Gate Park. A bus ride back towards Civic Center went through a couple of suburbs that looked rather hippie-ish and then it was time for laundry washing. Which in this case required waiting for it to finish given the somewhat dodgyness of this area… the part of SF with high population of homeless and substance addicted peoples.

Other than that was quite shocked at how much the dollar has dropped overnight – 1 Australian dollar = 0.7152 U.S. dollars! And that means the actual cash conversion rate is probably under 70 cents! So on that a little bit glad that there is approx a week left in the States…. at 70 cents USD to 1 AUD things start getting a little bit pricey.

Next post maybe from NYC if the free WiFi in the hotel lobby works… After that no idea what the net access is like… Must say Australia is very behind in this free WiFi thing…