I spent the night in Budva, Montenegro and explored the old town before heading to Zagreb which I had visited in April. I made a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park which were lovely, but a few too many tourists for my liking, however I did manage to find a couple of quiet spots. I indulged in some retail therapy and went to one of my favourite vegetarian restaurants – …Nishta.
I took the train to Budapest which was a bit of an experience. A soviet era train that seemed to make quite a few strange stops then we all had to get off a take a bus for 30mins where there was track work going on. When we got back to the train to get on again there was no station or platform, just a train in the middle of nowhere. With no platform, this meant the first step was almost as high as my hip off ground, needless to say, mind the gap between the train and the platform.
I was in Budapest to start my first official government work in a year, I was off to a UN conference. I had to present two papers from New Zealand that were written by a colleague. It was quite exciting sitting behind the little New Zealand sign.
The last time I was in Budapest I didn’t get a chance to see everything and I had a friend come to visit while I was there so it was a great chance to explore the city some more. Highlights included climbing up to the Citadel and seeing the excellent view of the city, witnessing an engagement, going out to some bars, having a relaxing afternoon at the Gellert Baths after the conference, eating far too much delicious food and attending the conference dinner with Hungarian food, music and wine. It’s pretty great when the dinner organiser tells you “drink as much as you can”.
I also had my birthday while I was there and despite having to spend a long day listening to talks, and then presenting early the next morning, I had a great day, dinner and drinks out with friends.
I am now at Schiphol airport about to start the long journey home. I came from Hungary via Hamburg yesterday.
I have a short stopover in Singapore, so I might write another post once I am home.