Antwerp. One of the biggest cities in Belgium. Known by tourists and locals for its diamonds, fashion, shopping, historical buildings, museums, and so on. Maybe you have even visited its zoo or done some grocery shopping in one of the Chinese supermarkets. And finally, perhaps you have read somewhere that its train station is one of the most beautiful in the world.
But that’s what we are notgoing to show you!
Lars and I have two very dear friends living in Antwerp and we asked them to show us the lesser known places during one weekend. After a lot of walking and driving around, we have come back with hundreds of pictures and lots of stories.
Vienna! The beautiful city with its churches, cathedrals, palaces, monuments, museums! The Sacher Torte! A city that has lot to offer when you love culture and history!
Well… we didn’t visit it.
Lars and I had both visited the city extensively in our younger years and we didn’t feel like going back. We didn’t want to go to the touristic places. We didn’t wanted to be with the crowds. We wanted to do something else. What about the following the Donau from Vienna to Bratislava? You never know what we could discover!
We started our exploration in small villages like Haslau an der Donau and Regelsbrunn. There is not a lot to see there; they are like any other village with pubs, shops and a church. But they happen to be located at the waterside and that is what attracted us to them. Actually, the Donau is a lot narrower here than we had expected. But it is still big enough for the local population to go canoeing and to do some fishing.
… there were about 200.000 buffalo in Hungary. Now less than one thousand remain.
On Wednesday, Lars and I visited the Buffalo Reserve of Kápolnapuszta, which is located near Balatonmagyaród:
The Reserve is located just outside the village; big road-signs guide you towards it. The entrance fee is about 650 HUF. But why is this reserve so important? According to their website,
The exhibition site plays an important role in the survival and the conservation of genome of the indigenous buffalo in Hungary, and it is the popular display center of the species since the tameness of the livestock makes direct connection possible with the visitors. The visitors become acquainted with the gentle, pitch dark animals on the path supplied with picnic area, information boards and lookout tower, and at the exhibition on buffalo history. An interactive exhibition displays the flora and the fauna of Kis-Balaton, part of the Balaton Uplands National Park. A car park, a snack-bar and a souvenir shop await the visitors from spring till autumn.
In 1992 the reserve started with only 16 animals; now there are about 180. And although the exhibition was quite interesting, we couldn’t wait to see them!
Lars was right: Szentendre was really beautiful! The town has a Balkan atmosphere, because of the presence of Orthodox churches.
We found a church on top of a hill and we had a splendid view on the whole town. The church was surrounded by trees and roofs of houses; it was simply picturesque.
Szentendre is also an art colony, with lots of art galleries and museums. And of course, there are the unavoidable tourist shops and the expensive pubs and restaurants, next to the Donau. Go to Flickr for more pictures!
By the way, when we went back to our hotel, we drove through Budapest… I was so impressed by the beauty of this city that I simply forgot to take pictures…
Since Hungary is not located to any sea, you can imagine that a lot of its people go to Lake Balaton during the summer holiday. Balantonlelle has a sandy beach, for which you have to pay and a grass beach, which is free. Somehow we couldn’t find either beach. A lot of camping sites and holiday houses are located right next to the lake and they obstructed our view. So we just chose a street that led to the water and took some pictures.
Once a year Balatonlelle attracts a lot of visitors, because of its wine festival, which is usually held during the first week of August. In general however, this is a quite cozy and quiet resort.
Ingrid and I have had many discussions about whether we should publish this or not. The problem is that we simply can’t remember the name of this beautiful mansion. We have a notebook with us when we travel, but guess what… We forgot to write down the name of this magnificent building. All we remember is that it’s located not far from Ringe. We have had a look at different maps and consulted my family in Denmark, but all to no avail. So here it is: the mansion. When we were there, there was an exhibition about modern art going on. Ingrid and I didn’t visit the building itself, since I wanted to show her something else.
The last day of our trip to Denmark had arrived. Ingrid and I decided to drive around a bit and see what else we could discover. Our first find was the passage grave of Mårhøj.
This is Denmark’s biggest single-chamber burial mound. It dates from the 4th – 3rd century BC and is built on a hill. A farmer discovered it in the 19th century, but all he found inside was a skeleton and some more bones. Probably the grave had been plundered. The single chamber is about 10 meters long.
The burial mound is easy to find – there are road signs towards it once you leave Kerteminde. You have to cross a field in order to reach it, so wear appropriate shoes! Entrance is free and you can visit it whenever you want to.