The Hungarian town of Pecs has a super sized statue of a horse in its main square - points for that. We were lost for ideas as to where to go from Budapest so we picked the cheapest place we could find within a 10 hour radius, Bratislava. The "up and coming" Slovakian capital is worth the visit but we spent most of our first day there sitting by the river at an outdoor bar in the sun. The real objective was to catch the train the next day to more expensive Vienna just over the border. Although Apple Strudel was at the top of my priority list, it was soon overshadowed by the Museum Quarter and later the Theme Park. The former is a local artists' residence full of galleries, design stores and studios. We were stoked to find a permanent installation by Space Invader and I had to be dragged away from the stores selling all those cool things you don't need but are too awesome not to own. The park on the edge of town turned out to be not just a Ferris Wheel but a massive collection of new and vintage rides and entry was free. €4 to go on the tallest chair-o-plane I've ever seen in my life.
After Slovakia we back tracked through Budapest and onto Pecs in Hungary. I'll admit I didn't know this town existed until about three days prior to going there but definitely one of the cooler ones we've seen. It helped that our hostel was above a pub in the centre of town and there was no shortage of bars and restaurants to pick from (handy since it rained the whole time we were there). Picture quaint parks with fountains and red tulips blooming by the hundred. We went on the most underwhelming cave tour of my life complete with fake dragon and plastic "fossils", but the cornetto afterwards wasn't half bad. Oh and did I mention the giant horse? I've watched Troy and I'm certain Brad Pitt and the Trojans had nothing on this thing.
From Pecs we crossed the border into Croatia for three nights in Zagreb. We had hoped to get to the coast but the forecast was for pouring rain and the weather didn't disappoint. I'll just be honest, we spent our whole time in Croatia at a series of different cafes and restaurants within a four block radius of the main square... And taking trams without paying. From there we made our way straight through Slovenia and Austria (neither of which we can afford anymore) and into Munich in one day. Munich is awesome, but I think in all fairness Germany is mostly awesome. Whatever they do it seems to be better engineered, better run and more convenient than the rest of the world. We started the day at the biggest outdoor store we've ever seen. It has a climbing wall and via ferrata route running up the inside of the 5 storey building. The markets were cool but we were craving open spaces and took a long walk through the park to one of the city's Beer Gardens. It takes a long time to get through a German sized beer and it was some time later that we emerged and made our way to the BMW museum. From here the 1972 Olympic Complex is visible over the tree tops. If you aren't familiar with Olympic history these games were supposed to showcase how relaxed Germany was now (the last games they hosted were Hitler's Games). As a result security was kept at a minimum - an unfortunate decision considering the Palestinian terrorists that took members of the Israeli team hostage in their apartments. The venue has been kept in amazing condition and you can wander through the stadium, row a boat on the lake or drink beer of course. We opted for a quick round of mini golf on this sunny afternoon before discovering the one thing Germans can't do - putt.
Rachael and Jeremy