Thursday, July 24, 2008

Final post on the Circus blog and Urban Pasadena is alive once more!

The Circus has left town!!!

This is the last blog on my One- Person Circus blog and it will be active again when I am on another extended travel.
A photo diary of living in Los Angeles will take place of this blog.

A contest of 3 cities! Bratislava, Budapest, Prague in a showdown.

Budapest, Bratislava and Prague are similar in many aspects the most obvious is that they were parts of the Soviet Union and this is what I think of them: (Vienna is not part of this contest because unlike these three cities Vienna stayed independent and wasn't terribly effected by the war and it had a wonderful time to flourish after the war)

Most beautiful- Budapest
Least beautiful- Bratislava

Cleanist- Prague
Dirtiest- Budapest

Best Subway- Prague
Worse Subway- Budapest

No subway- Bratislava
Best transportation-Budapest
Worse transportation- Bratislava

Most American like cities (in apperance)-Bratislava
Least American like cities (in apperance)-Prague

Most Capitalistic- Prague
Least Capitalistic- Budapest

Most Socialist like- Budapest
Least Socialist like- Bratislava

Most attractive Men- Budapest
Least attractive Men- Prague

Most attractive Women- Bratislava
Least attractive Women- Budapest

Best food- Budapest
Worse food- Bratislava

Happiest Residents- Prague
Saddest Residents- Budapest

Most prograssive- Prague
Least prograssive- Budapest

Most expenisve- Budapest
Least expensive- Bratislava

Most English speaking- Bratislava
Least English speaking - Budapest

Most drunks and Homeless- Budapest
Least drunks and Homeless- Prague

Best shopping- Prague
Worse shopping- Bratislava

Most bars- Bratislava
Least bars-Prague

Most Chinese population- Bratislava
Least Chinese population- Budapest

Best place to live- Prague
Worse place to live- Budapest

Best art scene- Budapest
Worse art scene- Bratislava

Friendliest People- Budapest
Least friendly people- Budapest

Best music- Budapest
Worse music- Prague

Most interesting the first day- Prague
Least interesting the first day- Bratislava

Most interesting after 3 days- Budapest
Least interesting after 3 days- Bratislava, Prague

Most designed-Prague
Least designed- Bratislava

Most money hungry- Budapest
Least money hungry- Bratislava

Most money making- Prague
Least money making- Budapest

Most Romantic- Budapest
Least Romantic- Prague
Best dressed- Prague
Worse dressed- Budapest

Budapest Day 46/ Los Angeles: A return...

pic left: Budapest airport
pic right: London airport

My last day and final time in Budapest for a while. I got up bright and early and enjoy my likely last breakfast at Medosz hotel and what was absence was the abundance of cake selections. I will miss them.

I did a bit shopping at the airport and spent 35 dollars on Budapest t shirt and said my goodbyes to this wonderful experience of a lifetime. I arrived in London and had a delicious lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Airport restaurant. The long flight took me back to Los Angeles and the weather was just perfect and the freeways lined the landscape and palm streets doted the cityscape. Finally, I am home, once again.

Vienna Day 8th- Budapest Day 45: Death and Goodbyes

pic left: view from the "middle"
pic right: little old lady twins at the train station

The hostel was alive with noise early in the morning so I decided to wake up early and see a few sites before leaving Vienna for Budapest. While eating breakfast at the Hostel's dining room I got to know my roommate of 1 night pretty well.

He is Phil from Australia and will be traveling in Europe for the next 6 weeks and is on his way to Budapest today. He only stopped in Vienna for one night and didn't see anything around town at all. He decide to tagged along and travel with me to Budapest but first we went to St. Stephen and climbed the center tower (only allowed in the middle 22 out of 45 stories) it was some workout but the pay off view was amazing. I wonder what it would like to be on the very top.

I than took a tour under the Cathedral in the catacombs. It's a 25 mins tour of the old and creepy, saw tons of sculls, coffins and dead bodies. Sculls and bones stacked up from the ground up to the ceiling, jars with body organs, ancient coffins with real dead bodies from the 12 century, even a well with bodies of people died from the Plague loved the experience too bad no photos were allowed. We got on the train and it was good traveling with someone and it was a breeze!

We arrived in Budapest and I helped him with finding a hostel, direction and Budapest advices and went seprate ways. I have returned to the Medosz hotel and it's like I have never left. It felt like home which is a little bit scary.. and I really want to come home to LA at this point. I saw Beata and exchanged goodbyes and some warm words.

I met up with my friend Sandor for a drink in a lounge and suddenly a pouring rain with horrifying winds blowing through the city followed by a half an hour of hail. Budapest is always surprising! After meeting with Sandor, I went to Attila's restaurant to say goodbye and a little snack. It was wonderful to have a least a little bit of time to say goodbye to some friends.

Vienna Day 7th- A buffet of art and food!

first- upper palace
second- lower palace
third- one interior
four- marble room

My only full day in Vienna and I the full ay planned since I was last here.

I want to eat more of the of those delicious gyros from little shops around town, more of crêpes, and more of everything! I want to see art, visit the Belvedere gardens and fill myself with Vienna until I am ready to puke!

First, Gyros and ice cream than I am off to Belvedere Gardens and unlike my last attempt I was lost and 50 miles away from Vienna. The Garden is a lot smaller and more urban than I have pictured. The beautiful sculptures adorn the gates of the garden and steps of both palaces. They are wonderful welcome art to the public. I started my tour on the upper palace museum and saw the many painting from 1800-the mid 1900's. I was blown away by the carefully selected collection and wonderful display of painting and art for each artist. It was one of my most enjoyable classical, neo- classical painting viewings; before I knew it 3 hours had passed.

I walked trough the gardens felt the sensibility of European gardening and how its different than Americans. I didn't lingered too long because I know the Lower Palace's Vienna Fantastic Realism exhibition which made me terribly excited!

The gallery space is smaller and only on one floor unlike the 3 levels of display spaces at the Upper palace. The art here is more modern from the 1940-1990's and fantastic!!! It took me 2 hours to finish looking at all of the art works.

It was chance encounter, I met a wonderful new friend Jim in Vienna from NYC, we had a long and fun conversation and it was the first meaningful in depth conversation since arriving in Europe. He used to live in vienna for 7 years and for some reason I knew this would happen on my last night in Vienna.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Czech Republic day 5/ Vienna Day 6: A Lucky day to be back In Vienna!

Wow, today is my lucky day! unlike a few days ago the omen was looking over me today is my lucky day. My alarm clock broke a few days back so I was a bit worried for not being to wake up in time for the train to Vienna . I got up half an hour before and once at the reception someone just happened to find my contact lens storage I lost the day before. I made my way to the train station, got some food item and went to a vendor and got a peach and realized the train arrives at 1023 not 1030 and it was 1022. I made it just one min before it took off.

Everything can possibly gone wrong went right! I even got on the nice Czech train not Hungarian too cheap for air conditioning train. It was actually cold and I had to put on a jacket. I slept like a baby but the train was delayed for about an hour due to unforeseen reasons.

It was a breeze getting to the hostel from the train station too. I began to worry a little because everything was so perfect. I checked into the hostel and rushed to the Leopold Museum but only had 40 mins to see the exhibition before closing. I hesitated for the short time and 15 euro entrance fee but the perfect day continued... the ticketing agent said it's free just don't tell anyone! I ran up stairs and saw as many art as possible but only managed to finished 3 floors out of 6.

A nice evening stroll near St. Stephens followed...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Czech Republic day 4- its much worse and better than I thought!!!!

photo left: st. charles bridge
photo right: a russian doll retail store

Today is my last day here and I wanted to see as much as possible even though I didn't get up in time for lunch. The room almost got a entire group of new people. Hostel culture is so very strange, it's like fast food friendship. I rushed myself to St. Charles Bridge on the right bank and walked over to the left bank there are even more tourist today because the weather is nice and even though it's Monday the bridge and the surrounding areas are packed with tourist, wall to wall just like Las Vegas.

Vendors and "artists" sell their crafts and goods and the bridge is nice with picturesque view of the river and the antique towers on both ends.

I finally got around to buy some souvenirs and it end up costing a lot because I am somehow still with the Slovakia exchange rate, I don't know how the total comes up to be 70 dollars for just a few things like t shirt and key chains This city is really gearing itself towards tourism and nothing else matters to them at this point. Many things and buildings look beautiful in the city center but once you are out of the city it's "eastern Europe" everywhere but they are doing a great job in getting the tourist dollars.

I met up with my new friends Michael and Hanza from the night before and we went for some drink and followed by a wonderful Czech dinner. I really enjoyed the food here too after all I am not as picky as most people thought. I liked everything so far.... yummy.

What happens if a go go dancers is a terrible dancer and can't dance at all (think of a 80 year old women with one leg dancing) the only thing he can do is to dance to even wore music, songs from Air Supply, Village people, Judy Garland.... I never knew people can dance to air supply songs... it's so strange. They are still stucked in 1979. After dinner I rushed back to the hostel and got ready for bed before my journey to Vienna again. I thought Vienna was fake but after visited Prague, Vienna is as real as South Central Los Angeles.