Friday, August 01, 2008

FROM Hungary to NOVI SAD- Serbia.

After Budapest we jumped on a bus to NOVI SAD in Serbia for a music festival called EXIT.

Spent our days on the CITY BEACH alongside the Danube.

Met some of the locals at the festival.

Also got to see Paul Weller, Primal Scream, Juliette & the Licks, The Sex Pistols, 2 many Dj's and tons more bands but Samantha and I are unified in saying that our highlight was definitely Manu Chao. They rocked!

Most stayed in the city camp site but 4 days of festival takes it's toll so we stayed in an apartment.
We had a stove so making tea was a luxury for us. We popped to the supermarket to see what was on offer teawise and the big drink seemed to be pure hibiscus. I have always liked pure hibiscus but you cant beat hibiscus added to fruit blends. It's more of a support flavour for me.

Nice view eh!
The festival went on to the early hours every night and the builders next door started at 6am! Our saving grace was Sunday when they started at 8am.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eastern Europe trip 2008

My partner, Samantha and I have been back home for a week now after our trip abroad to Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. We took over 1200 photos & it's taken a few days to filter through them. Forgive me for indulging as I waffle on a bit about my trip. . .

6th July BELFAST - LONDON (7 hour wait for connecting flight in Heathrow Terminal 5 was made a lot more pleasurable as got chatting to Venus, the manager of EAT cafe. Damn good flowering tea and chili crayfish sandwiches)

Samantha had been in Budapest for a week prior to me arriving out and knew all the hot spots so I had my own tour guide. Budapest was very romantic and although Samantha had seen a fair bit of the city we still ended up getting lost on an adventure along the riverside in Pest and across the river to Buda where we found a lookout tower which seemed to be a local make out point. I'd definitely started to get into my holiday by this point. We finished our first day off with a tour of the Danube by boat.

HOUSE OF 1000 TEAS- 1056 Budapest.
Finally, after about 8 Years of hearing stories about this place I get there. The suspense killing me I feel like a kid just about to go into Alton Towers for the first time. The House of 1000 teas is run by Szepesi Zsuzsa pictured here. Although once in you would not realise it, it's situated off a main tourist stretch down a tunnel like alley lit by lanterns and images of tea gardens throughout the world. The first thing you see is a small courtyard, more lanterns, tea chests for tables and small groups of people sharing tea and chatting like old friends who had not seen each other for time. We had a very warm welcome and Szepesi gave me a grand tour. The tea house was very cosy, lit with candles and soft furnishings from around the world. Lots of couples sharing tea and I was told that the special that day was a First flush Darjeeling just arrived in from Ayra. I tried this later to my delight. There we're a maze of rooms all as pretty as the rest which even continued down a spiral staircase into a cave like area with a separate service area.

My plan was to set out and sample 1000 teas. Samantha had a slight problem with that grand plan though as it would have taken up most of our time in Budapest and she had other ideas.
We did manage a few though, including a great Assam but this was by far the best. . .


I tried my hardest to get the recipe for this iced delight of a drink. I can only guess at it though and wrote my tasting notes in my sketchbook.

Ice cold fiery ginger. Hibiscus and cranberry. Hint of lime.

This was definitely a very refreshing drink as I ordered two and we had them drunk in minutes.
The combination of pulped & juiced ginger with citrus and berry flavours worked in the heat of Budapest at twilight.

We spent a few days in Budapest exploring the Naturally hot baths, we dod the history bit and visited the HOUSE OF TERROR which was definately an eye opener to the history of the country. Plenty of good food, wine and relaxing. We made a point to visit this.......

Shoes on the Danube.

Looking like birds feeding from a distance on closer inspection these are iron casts of shoes.
Shoes on the Danube is a memorial to the Budapest Jews who fell victim to the Arrow cross malitiamen in Budapest and depicts their shoes left behind on the bank when they fell into the river after having been shot during World War II.

Very moving.

.After a visit to Monument Park and another conflict based history lesson we needed some refreshment. MY OWN BRAND ICE LOLLYI worked fast and along with Helen and Pandora I launched my own Lemon Ice Lolly while in Hungary. Not happy with the manufaturers though, a spelling mistake on my name and anyone heard of portion control!Lovely, took a day to eat.

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