When you go to Budapest, I absolutely think you should buy some nice grocerys with you. Budapest has several food markets and I love to visit these.
1. Paprika powder
In Hungary you can buy several different kinds of paprika powder. There is sweet, strong and smoked paprika powder. There are maybe even more varieties. The powder is much more palatable than I think it is in Sweden. I always buy lot to myself and to my friends.
2. Paprika on tube
In Sweden you can buy tomato paste on tub but I have never seen peppers on tub other than in Hungary. It is very good to use in spice butter or flavor a casserole. If you only travel with hand luggage, it is important to remember that the tube must not be too large. I was unlucky to get rid of a big nice tube at the security check once.
In Budapest you can buy a variety of good sausages. In a market we found small sausages that looked like little pigs. Perhaps the most famous brand of sausage is Pick. This is a kind of salami.
In Hungary there is a dessert wine called Tokaji. The wine is golden in different shades. Often it is a sweet wine but the sweetness also varies. Aszú means that the wine is sweet. How many Puttonyos a wine has gives a guide on how sweet it is. 6 Puttonyos is the highest.
5. Cork for Tokaji
In some restaurants you can get a very small roll table with different kinds of Tokaji. In order to be able to find out which variety you want, you can smell at the wine. The wine is dosed in the cork and when you have smelled it is poured into the glass or back into the bottle depending on the choice you made.
I would like to have this apartment but I would like it at home. The surprise gift went well. The apartment had two bedrooms, kitchen, living room and TWO toilets. We booked it through Booking.com. It was a charming apartment with parquet flooring and so high in the ceiling that you looked really small when standing in the living room. In the evenings you could lie down on the sofa and rest your tired legs with a good wine in your hand.
A walk over the chain bridge and a quick climb up the stairs made you feel warm even though the weather was quite chilly. I had misunderstood where to get the tickets so we got a little lack of time. However, it was not a problem as we were the only one in the guided tour. We got a thorough review of how to control the segway and an individual drive before we got into the streets with the guide in the lead. This was a fun way to experience the city. We have been here a few times before so we wanted to do something new. Buda felt like a good place to drive segway. There were various stops and the traffic was minimal. The guide adapted to us and we felt safe with her.
I found this activity through Tripadvisor. I’d probably never found it otherwise. The homepage was in Hungarian. It felt like the taxi ran infinitely before it stopped in the middle of a residential area. I had booked a guided tour in English. We got to taste both hot and cold chocolate, watch movies and make our own chocolate cake. In the basement we tasted some traditional liquor, Palinka, too.
Food and drinks
The food in Budapest is abundant and robust. We pass a food market and of course the market hall. I always buy paprika powder and paprika on the tube to take home. The sausages are nice too. Nice pastries can be found in many cafes and some warm wine to drink in the cold.
You have to take your swimwear with you and go to a bathhouse when you are in Budapest. We visited two during this trip. We visit the Lukacs bath for the first time. It was an outdoor swimming pool and various indoor pools. Our favorite bathhouse is beautiful Széchenyi. The hot water makes a thick fog over the whole area when the air is cold. When you get used to the heat in the skin, a nice heat spreads all the way into the marrow. Here you can spend many hours in a many pools with varying temperatures and scents.
In the castle area there are dark and long underground passages. We went down and send some time there. Sometimes you felt a little lost and suddenly the darkness lighted up and the opera music sounded around you.
We had brilliant weather when we arrived at Tulum. Fortunately, there were plenty of palm trees and other things that shaded. The whole area was well signposted and we were lucky to have all the information we received from the guide when we were in Chichen Itza. The citizen were iguanas. They were all over the ruins. You could get quite close to them.
There was a barred beach. That was the turtle’s beach. We didn’t see any turtles but maybe it wasn’t a season for it. There were several beaches too. Outside the area there was a beach with fantastic sand.
We sat down before we went back to Playa del Carmen. There were acrobats who lashed down from a high pole hanging up and down. It looked like a huge swing. We had seen it once before but this time we had the opportunity to see it from the beginning. The men shot around so that the ropes were twisted up along the bar. Then they started spinning out the ropes until they stood on the ground again.
Trainer for a day
Dolphins are amazing animals. I found a dolphinarium that had a good reputation and booked Trainer for a day. The whole day was on the dolphins’ terms and they thought it was fun. A young dolphin bushed around a lot and then we immediately got back out of the water so that everything was safe for both people and animals. They used shaping as a method for dolphins to learn different characters. Shaping is a common method even when working with positive reinforcement for dogs. Before we even got close to the dolphins we had to learn a lot about dolphins. I’m so glad that I chose to be a dolphin trainer for a day. It was a wonderful experience.
If you come to Isla Mujeres you have to get out on the pier. We gather there every night to watch the sunset and drink some beer. The man on the plane had recently met a woman and was crazy in love. He was on his way back to Mexico even though it was only a few weeks since he was there last time. And we kept our promise …
We went with collectivo, taxi and a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres. We did’t want to go back the same day so we booked two nights on the island. We booked our accommodation on the island via Booking.com
The island was extremely beautiful. The colors were amazing even though the sun did not shine when we arrived. The atmosphere was calm and relaxed. We strolled around, sat down in some nice place, ate and drank well and much.
Like many others, we rented a golf cart to explore the island. We took plenty of time and spent the day driving around the whole island. We stopped and took a drink at the southern tip and looked out at the sculptures by the sea. We also took a geocache. Geocaches are usually found in nice places so it can be fun to find someone when you are abroad.
On the western side of the island, along a narrow tongue of land, lay a small island. It was an artificial island made of PET bottles. It would have been nice to look a little closer but we just peered from the road.
The pelicans gathered on the quay hoping to get fish cleaning from today’s catch. We took a six-pack beer with us and went out on the pier to surprise the man in love. He was there, just as he said. He seemed very surprised and very happy. We had the privilege of meeting his great love. It may be the island of love, Isla Mujeres.
We stayed in Playa del Carmen in a beachfront apartment. It suited us well and there were plenty of things to do in the area. It was quiet were we lived. In the center it could be crowded sometimes. We walked around a lot in Playa del Carmen and stayed at the beach sometimes. Most of the time we went on tours.
We left everything except the swimwear. We had to shower carefully before we got dressed in wetsuit, bathing shoes, life jacket and a helmet with lamp. Camera was excluded, unfortunately. After a short walk through the jungle we came to the opening which took us into the cave. It was a wonderful experience, perhaps the best we did in Mexico. We waded and swam or floated with the stream in the underground river. Everywhere there were stalagmites and stalactites. We often floated on our backs so we could look at all the beautiful formations. The entire Rio Secreto was about 35 km long and we followed the stream for about 1 km.
We packed our snorkels and took a collectivo to a cenote in the morning. It was a small oasis with crystal clear fresh water. When you put your feet down in the water, it came a lot of small fish. It was like a natural fish spa. If I stood still and fixed my snorkel equipment, the fish tickled me a in my waist so you have to move if you didn’t want to laugh a little hysterically.
We swam in the clear water and looked at the amazing world that is under the water
I expected to see turtles when I came to Akumal. Everyone told me that they saw them everywhere. I swam and swam but saw nothing exciting and was heading towards the beach again when it appeared just below my feet. No turtle but something else ….
We were on our way to one of the seven new wonders. For once, we had booked a guided tour and that was good. From Playa del Carmen there was a full day tour into the country. The guide was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about Mexico, Mexico’s history, the Mayan people, the calendar and Chichen Itza throughout the day.
The guide told us that the pyramid, El Castillo, is constructed after the calendar on top of a large underground cenote. Also a distance from each corner is a cenote. In the cenot, people were sacrificed. When you clapped your hands at the pyramid, it sounds like a bird’s song. Twice a year, a snake is formed by the shadow when the sun shone on one side of the pyramid.
The area was very large and after the tour we had the opportunity to walk around on our own.
I’m not a baduin, i’m a gooduin! No, women no cry, no sugar no chai. Our guide in the desert was an entertaining bedouin. He took care of us and joked with us the hole afternoon and evening.
The cliffs shifted in all shades of pink, orange and brown. We went around in the desert in a jeep. I thought it would be was hot in the desert but here it was cold and luckily we had taken on thick sweaters and windproof jackets. We got to see colorful sand dunes, high mountains, ravines and rock carvings.
In the desert there was a rock bridge that nature had created. You could go over it, but I was quite happy to photograph the others. When the dusk was on the way, our guide lit a bonfire that we could warm ourselves as we watched the sunset.
After sunset we went to the camp to eat. They had dug a pit in the sand. In the pit they had cooked food on a stand. We ate at a fire inside a tent. When darkness had fallen it became colder and we sat closer to the fire, ate food and drank chai.
You should not dip your head under the water and you have to beware of getting water in your eyes. We dipped a finger in the water and tasted it while we watched when the young man dipped his head cheerfully because he tried to stand on his hands in water. It was terrible salt.
We booked a taxi with another couple and left Aqaba at 8am. We wanted to bathe in the dead sea and go to the hot springs that were a bit further away. We stopped on the road and looked at the cliffs by the sea. The salty water formed salt crystals that stuck to the rocks at the water’s edge.
We floated around in the water like corks. It was difficult to keep the legs under the water when swimming. The salty water made you lei on the water not in the water. It was cool. When we had bathed enough we went up and dried in the sun. The salty water formed salt crystals on our skin.
When we had eaten our lunch bag and showered ourselves in ice-cold water, we went on to the hot springs. The water in the waterfall was about 40 degrees. It was like standing in a hot natural shower. It was lovely. There was even a cave that was hot like a sauna. The stones there were emerald green. in a natural pool a bit away, the water was about 50 degrees. There you couldn’t jump in without having warmed up before. It was really hot when you carefully put your feet down. Gradually the body could manage to sit in the pool for a while. Then you were really warmed up and had to go up to cool off. We were back again in Aqaba late at night and felt incredibly happy.
Snorkeling in Aqaba
If you want to snorkel in the Red Sea, take a taxi to South beach. There is fantastic snorkel water directly from the beach. I recommend that you wear snorkeling wet shoes before entering the water. There are corals directly in the water. It is like a large aquarium and the water is crystal clear.
Are you going to Petra? We can try to get a good price on a taxi that we can share. We decided to visit one of the new seven wonders, Petra, with a young Swedish couple. In Jordan, it’s easy to connect with others who want to share a taxi to any attraction or activity. The taxi drivers act as guides or wait outside until you are ready for the return.
You have to walk a bit before entering the area. If you think it seems hard to walk, there is transport to get. You start walking on open ground. Then you go further and further down while the cliffs rise beside the road. It gets darker and darker until it suddenly opens up and you see the famous gateway to Petra.
Petra is a gigantic area with an old town cut in the rock. There are openings everywhere in the huge rocks and there is an amphitheater in the area. The mountains change in color depending on how the sun rays. Sometimes it looks almost pink and the town is also called the Rose City. Many blocks have a fantastic patterns.
In the area there is a monastery. We took a quick walk up the stairs for about 30 minutes to visit the monastery. It was a man who stood on the tower and tied his shawl. It looked crazy.
Exploring the area takes a long time because the area is so large. We were there one day and did see a bit. There are others who choose to stay for several days. We had a great day and felt very pleased.
This is the finest accommodation we have had. We rented a whole house in Makarska. The house had balconies on three sides of the house and also a patio under roof. A separate fresh pool was located on the back. It was perfect for us, 6 adults one small 3 year old boy.
Klis is located with great views of Split. Some scenes in the Games of Thrones were recorded in the fine ruins. Since we had plenty of time, we stopped at Klis on the way from Slits Airport to Makarska. We filled our energy levels before we went to the fort. With a small 3-year-old little boy, it is important to keep the blood sugar on a good level.
The weather was windy and a little cold but we were lucky to have jackets. It was exciting to walk around and it worked very well with our little 3 year old boy.
Makarska is beautifully situated between rocks and sea. There is a nice little square. It is easy to stroll along the promenade. We also went down to a small beach where we could snorkel by the cliffs. We saw little fish and even took a little ride with a yellow submarine. You could see the fishes under the water through the glass panes.
Two of us walked in the mountains. They had clear weather and got very nice views of Makarska. We thought it was good to stroll along the nice promenade and visit a large playground. We did some shopping on a small market as well.