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Pecs, Hungary & Timisoara, Romania

Beautiful architecture, delicious and affordable food, and pretty pedestrian streets.

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Day 17 - Travel to Pecs, Hungary

We started off our last day in Ljubljana with a delicious breakfast at Le Petit Cafe. So fancy! It was worth the short wait for a proper Sunday brunch.
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None of us wanted to leave Ljubljana. It is such a pleasant city for biking, wandering, and people watching. I know we will return someday if not for the bike share program alone!

The drive to Pecs, Hungary was over four hours. We started off on major highways and I even drove for over an hour. The tunnels in Slovenia were remarkable.

We made one stop at a nifty observation tower that has views over four different countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. It was nice to stretch our legs and climb a few stairs.
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Finally we made it to Hungary!
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After we left the highway headed for Budapest, the roads changed dramatically. We were on narrow two lane roads for the last two hours of the drive. The roads were curvy and a little rough. It wasn't quite the drive we were expecting!

The outskirts of Pecs had lots of high-rise communist style apartment buildings and looked a little run-down. I was a little nervous as we approached our parking spot near the downtown apartment. The very kind Hungarian woman showed us to our parking space and walked us to our adorable apartment right on the main pedestrian street in Pecs. This is what $65 a night gets you in Pecs. Wow! Even a nice view.
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We settled in and I could hardly wait to explore. The pedestrian street was long and lined with the most ornate and beautiful buildings. I was in awe and was so excited to explore despite the mid-90 degree weather.
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We found a spot for dinner at Bloff Bistro. We had fish dishes, salad, and deer goulash soup. The girls loved their fancy fruit lemonades and cold beers tasted especially good. We were full and happy.
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We wandered a bit more, had some gelato and settled into our apartment for the evening.
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Day 18 - Pecs Cathedral, Mosque, TV Tower, and Shopping

We started off our day at a cafe where we had coffees, pastries and fancy yogurt. DH and I spent just over $5 for our breakfast.
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The lazy teenagers joined us a bit later and we toured the very interesting city mosque church. Its history started in the 13th century and the structure changed religions as the region was ruled by different people. There was a minaret and a bell tower which were both destroyed over the many years of tumultuous wars and occupations. The church is still used today and many recent people are still being buried in the church's crypt. So interesting!
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Next we toured the Pecs Cathedral. It is definitely my favorite church of this trip so far. The colors and paintings inside were so detailed and vibrant. I can hardly imagine the many hours it would take to paint and maintain this gigantic church. I climbed to the top of one of the four towers right at noon when the bells were ringing. So loud and dramatic! We all enjoyed seeing the colorful crypt, beautiful altar, and enormous pipe organ with over 6,000 pipes. If only I could have heard it!
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We decided to drive up the hill to an enormous TV tower with an elevator to the top. The tower was finished in 1973 and is the tallest structure in Hungary. The views at the top were impressive and high above the rolling hills and town below. The set-up seemed a little old and rickety but that added to the rustic experience.
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You can see the TV tower in the distance.
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We stopped at a Tesco for a few supplies. Tesco is kind of like European Walmart. I still get a kick out of shopping for unfamiliar brands and products.

The day was passing quickly and it was getting quite hot. I left the family to cool off while I checked out the pedestrian area, bought a few souvenirs, and found a massive mall that the kids would explore further later. Once my feet got tired, I summoned DH to please join me for a scenic beer. I even cooled off in the pretty fountain outside the theater.
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The kids did a little shopping and met up at a delicious place for dinner. Fiacre Restaurant was delicious. We had salad, goulash, a creamy delicious chicken dish, a platter of meats, and four drinks all for $27. Amazing deal!
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As usual, we are sad to move on from Pecs after such a short stay. Romania tomorrow!
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Day 18 - University of Pecs and Timisoara, Romania

We started off our day with pastries and coffee, again. We were sad to check out of our nice apartment in Pecs but we had an important appointment. DD#1 was touring the University of Pecs Humanities Department. The tour was fantastic and we got a real feel for the program. She got some free college swag and the college thing started to feel real!
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We got in the car for a relatively long drive to Timisoara, Romania. When we got to the border, we had to go through passport control because Romania is not part of the Schengen countries in Europe. The line of trucks waiting to cross the border both into Romania and back into Hungary was astonishingly long! Like miles long. Those poor truckers must have to wait hours!
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The roads to Timisoara were mostly good. The last few miles were a little challenging with some aggressive drivers. The parking situation was a little confusing. But once we found our apartment for the night in the city center, it was worth it. This is what just over $50 will get you in Timisoara. Score! Another beautiful view.
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DH and I wandered the streets of the old town while the girls found an upscale mall. We loved Bereta Brewing right in the center. Best craft beers we have had so far!

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We met at a busy local place for dinner. We were hungry and accidentally ordered too much again! I had cabbage rolls while the rest of the family shared burgers. We were definitely full!
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Romania was an hour ahead of the rest of Europe so we stayed up later than usual enjoying the busy town after it cooled off for the evening. We found gelato, some pretty buildings, and churches. Here are a few more pictures of our time in Timisoara. The town was off the tourist track and a little gritty, but in a good way. One more night here would have been perfect. More Romania to come!
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Posted by familyineurope 05:12 Archived in Hungary Tagged romania timisoara pecs Comments (0)

Seven Country Trip Itinerary!

Twenty Days Until Lift-Off

Delayed 2020 Trip Finally Happening

Our family is ready to hop back on a plane after a long school and work year. We are now travelling with 15 and 17 year olds with many opinions. They are excited to have more independence on this trip and have some travel goals of their own. I'm so happy they are just as eager for this long family vacation as their parents!

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We are leasing a car and will be driving a loop through seven countries. Here is a quick glimpse at our ambitious itinerary.

Days 1-2: Dornheim, Germany.
Here we will visit family who we haven't seen since 2019. We have missed them!

Days 3-5: Fussen, Germany.
We will explore the mountains of Germany hopefully luging, summiting Zugspitze (weather permitting), hiking, and wandering around picturesque villages. We finally get to stay in the apartment we had originally booked (and paid for) in 2020.
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Days 6-9: Campitello di Fasso, Dolomites, Italy.
I have been eager to explore the Dolomites for at least ten years! I can hardly wait to use lifts and gondolas to hike and explore these craggy peaks.
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Days 9-11: Venice, Italy
The girls have been begging to see Venice and poor DH has only been there in the rain. Crossing our fingers for good weather and manageable crowds. Luckily our only goals are to wander the city and ride the vaporettos (water buses).
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Days 11-13: Karst Region, Slovenia
We will be staying at an ecotourism farm near some of the best cave systems in the world. We will explore the caves, a cave castle, and hit the nearby beach. First time in Slovenia for all of us!
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Days 13-14: Radovljica, Slovenia (near Lake Bled)
We will drive through the Soca River Valley and Julian Alps to finally see the iconic Lake Bled. We are staying in a hostel for the first time!
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Days 14-17: Ljubljana, Slovenia
This is supposedly the most underrated capital city in Europe. We are eager to explore it using the city bicycles.
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Days 17-19: Pecs, Hungary
I have heard great things about this college town in southern Hungary. DD#1 will be visiting the University of Pecs. This trip will also serve as our college tour through Europe as she decides whether this could be an option for fall 2023.
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Days 17-18: Timisoara, Romania
We will finally make our way to the long-awaited Romania! I am most excited to explore the cities and villages in Romania. We will be staying in the city centers for such affordable prices.
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Days 18-19: Sibiu, Romania
Another town with striking architecture most known for their buildings with "eyes".
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Days 19-20: Somewhere along the Transfagarasan Highway
DH is especially excited to experience firsthand what has been called the greatest driving road in the world. We are staying in a pension near the end of the twisty road.
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Days 20-23: Brasov, Romania
We will be moving briskly around Romania but picked Brasov for a three night stay. There are nearby castles, a nice looking old town, and nearby mountains with hiking.
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Days 23-24: Sighisoara, Romania
Sighisoara is supposedly the fairy tale town of Romania. It will be a short drive from Brasov with some fortified churches/castles to visit along the way.
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Days 24-25: Oradea, Romania
I have heard that driving around Romania can be a slow and maybe challenging endeavor. We are making this last stop on the way out of the country both to break up the drive and to check out a waterpark in yet another charming old town. We will also visit a salt mine amusement park along the way!
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Days 25-28: Eger, Hungary
As we circle back to Germany, we decided to slow the pace down a bit with three nights in a small town known for wine and thermal spas. Sounds like a little vacation in middle of the vacation!
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Days 28-30: Bratislava, Slovakia
DH and I spent one night here back in 2003 and have always wanted to return. I predict that much has changed in the last twenty years in this capital city.
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Days 30-33: Prague, Czechia
We have spent more time in Prague than any other European city and can't wait to return. It is arguably the most beautiful city in Europe. This time, the focus will be touring three different universities, two in Prague and one in Brno. Czechia is high on the list for possibile places to earn a bachelor's degree in Europe. We are staying in the outskirts of the city this time so hope to experience things more like a local.
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Days 33-35: Prosslbrau Adlersberg, Germany (near Regensburg)
We are returning to a brewery inn that we stayed in during our first family European trip in 2011. We plan to slow down the pace, check out nearby Regensburg, and transition from Czech to German beers. Ha!
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Days 35-37: Bogel, Germany
On these last two nights, we will stay with family once again just outside of Frankfurt. This location is near the Rhine River where I'm sure we will do a bit of exploring.
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I will be updating the blog as we travel so please subscribe and follow along. I find myself wondering if I'm always this excited before a trip. I think the anticipation gets harder each trip as we eagerly count down the days! This one is years in the making and countless hours of travel planning. Let's do this!

Posted by familyineurope 04:23 Archived in Germany Tagged germany italy romania hungary slovakia itinerary slovenia czechia Comments (1)

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