Tag Archives: Eastern Europe

Vienna to Budapest on the OBB Railjet – A Visual Feast

By Rohan:

When planning your Eastern European getaway, rail travel is absolutely the way to go when it comes to traveling between countries. The past few times I’ve visited Europe, I’ve always traveled by train since it is fast, scenic, and usually, quite affordable. But no train has made my jaw drop more than the OBB Railjet, serving many parts of Eastern Europe, but in particular, its famous route between Vienna and Budapest. Your journey lasts about three hours and you are treated to some of the best vistas around.

While riding the Railjet, you will be treated to a stylish and luxurious train trip without having to break the bank. The carriages are equipped with television screens, free Wi-Fi, and delicious snacks to make sure you feel at home on your way to your destination. Gizmos and gadgets are great and all, but the real treat here is the view. With huge windows, every seat is fantastic for taking in some of the most beautiful scenery around.

The Railjet’s Cafe Car has treats for even the pickiest of foodies. The Caprese Panini with fresh mozzarella cheese, imported tomatoes, and creamy basil pesto was a treat to our tastebuds. If you’re in the mood for dessert, the train is stocked with Belgian chocolate and other local favorites to satisfy your sweet tooth to the fullest.

Overall, the Railjet between Vienna and Budapest is an experience that you simply cannot afford to miss. With delicious on board food, picturesque vistas, and comfortable seating, it’s a great way to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Plan your scenic journey from Vienna to Budapest at

http://www.oebb.at/en/Services/Trains_and_equipment/Our_trains/OeBB_railjet/index.jsp 

Our Top Three Vistas in Eastern Europe – Berlin, Prague and Budapest

By Rohan:

Every major city has that one vantage point that simply takes your breath away. Whether it be the top of Rockefeller Center in New York City to the Arlington National Cemetery overlooking “The Mall” in Washington, D.C. In a region rich in history and culture, it is easy to overlook the big picture and simply focus on the smaller details. Here are our top three views in Eastern Europe.

At number three is the observation tower at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. This stadium was once home to the infamous 1936 games, filled with triumphs, tragedies, and political undertones. It was here where Jesse Owens received the gold medal and became the first African American to accept the award. It was here where Hitler covered the games with Nazi propaganda, teasing his “Third Reich” to follow in the coming years. Now, it is a tourist attraction. The screaming fans and symbolic speech have been replaced by silence. At the top of the observation deck, your eyes are treated to a view of Berlin and the stadium where the games were held. On your way up, you receive a great history lesson that describes how these games were pivotal during the lead-up to World War II. If you want to make the view even more gorgeous, visit Berlin during the winter. The observation deck will be bone-chilling cold, but the snow covered building is a truly remarkable sight.
Olympic Stadium Berlin Source:  http://fc04.deviantart.net
Olympic Stadium Berlin
Source: http://fc04.deviantart.net
At number two is the view from Prague Castle, looking down on the Czech capital. Prague castle contains many of the country’s political headquarters, including the legislature and the executive branch. Many bureaucratic organizations call this palace home as well. From the top, you are treated to a spectacular view of Prague, easily one of our favorite cities in Eastern Europe. From here, landmarks like the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the Jewish Quarters can all be captured in one stunning photograph.
Rooftop View from Prague Castle, Czech Republic Source:  http://www.slrobertson.com
Rooftop View from Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Source: http://www.slrobertson.com
Finally, at number one, is the gorgeous Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest. The drive to this wonderful vantage point is an experience in itself, as you cross from the heavily populated Pest district into the more serene, mountainous Buda region. Kids will have a blast navigating the catacombs of this old fortress. Up at the top of this hill is a stunning castle, a rugged military base loaded with cannons and other forms of medieval weaponry, and a gorgeous cathedral. If you can’t get enough of this gorgeous view of Budapest, featuring the old synagogue, the parliament building, and many of the city’s cathedrals, consider calling it your home away from home. The Fisherman’s Bastion after all wouldn’t be complete without a Hilton hotel, located within the palace quarters offering some of the most stunning views of Budapest. We recommend checking out the Fisherman’s Bastion both at day and by night, as it offers two different spectacular views of Hungary’s majestic capital.
View from the Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest Source: http://static.travel.usnews.com/
View from the Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest
Source: http://static.travel.usnews.com/

KaDeWe: Stylish Shopping and Elegant Eating in the Heart of Berlin

KaDeWe's magnificent food court
KaDeWe’s magnificent food court

By: Rohan 

As an American tourist coming into Berlin with very little knowledge of the language, the fact that KaDeWe was easy to pronounce and had vegetarian food on the menu was an instant sell. It’s hard enough to find quality vegetarian places in Eastern Europe, especially in a city like Berlin.

Think of KaDeWe as your typical department store on steroids. For those who have visited Harrod’s in London, it is on the same, if not higher caliber as the famous retailer. But by far the best part of KaDeWe is it promises the latest trends, delicious food, and succulent desserts that won’t break the bank.

As I mentioned, KaDeWe is massive. Seven stories to be exact. The bottom floors boast popular luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Coach, and Armani. As you climb this massive behemoth of a store, expect floors dedicated to home goods, kitchen and bath, electronics, and of course an entire floor of toys to keep the little ones delighted.

As you reach the top of KaDeWe, you encounter an authentic Eastern European supermarket that provides access to the best of flavors from around the world. Feast your eyes (and your taste buds) on cheeses imported from Italy, or stop by the Illy Espresso and Hot Chocolate bar for a quick pick-me-up. Your options are endless.

Exit the glass elevator on KaDeWe’s top floor and you’re delighted to a beautiful food court, adorned with chic furniture, beautiful scented candles, and a picturesque glass ceiling giving you the perfect view of the nighttime sky and all of Berlin’s monuments. Try freshly made stir-fry noodles, treat yourself to a brick oven pizza, and of course, save some room for dessert. KaDeWe boasts an incredible collection of cheesecakes, puddings, pastries, ice cream, and gelato. There is no way you are leaving without satisfying that sweet tooth.

If you’re in Berlin and need a bite to eat or would like to hit up a major retailer, KaDeWe is the place to be. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.kadewe.de/en/