All posts filed under: Miscellaneous

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The Unbearable Lightness of Budapest

Budapest has accumulated its own sense of vibrant mystique over the years. It has had a tumultuous past that’s set it on its own distinct trajectory compared to other major cities in Europe like Paris, London, Rome, or even nearby Prague. When I went in mid-April, spring was just beginning to emerge. The weather was warm, and the trees were beginning to blossom. The many iconic buildings and sights were brought to life amidst tender pink blooms and budding leaves in shades of vivid green. Even walking around without spending a dime is enough reason to visit this place. Budapest speaks for itself. Getting the lay of the land Budapest straddles the Danube River. The Pest (pronounced “pesht”) side is the flatter half of the city where the Jewish Quarter is situated. Perched on a hill at the western bank of the Danube you will find the Buda side. From the vantage point of the Szechenyi Bridge, which connects the two halves of the city, you can see the historic Romanesque buildings standing with dignity against the …

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Venezia!

Conventional wisdom stands that in order get the most out of your trip to Venice, you have to let yourself get lost on its narrow streets. Come marvel at the dazzling contrast of its blue-green waters and the fading multicolored edifices whose foundations plunge directly into the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll find that there’s really no other place in Europe like this city with the sea pumping through its veins. Yes, almost every metropolitan area on the continent is steeped in a rich past, but in Venice this legacy is preserved most pristinely. Its buildings have aged elegantly, and not much else has been constructed in their place. It’s as if the spirit of Venice’s past is its present. Due to a dramatic push towards gentrification in the 80s, the historic areas of Venice only contain about 60,000 inhabitants. Since its real estate has become much too expensive for most of us, lots of buildings remain uninhabited. The result is that when you meander through Venice’s small side streets, linger over stone bridges, and take in its romantic ambiance you’ll be doing so essentially …