After my week in Dubrovnik, I headed north to Budapest for a week. The Hungarian capital, with its cheap drinks and intricately tiled buildings, has been on my bucket list ever since I ate my first chicken paprikash as a young girl. I took the overnight train from Belgrade which was a bit of a traumatizing experience but was happy that I had a friend with me so we could look out for each other. But also, never again! Budapest is divided into two parts by the Danube River, hilly Buda on one side, and the flat Pest on the other. We booked an adorable Airbnb in the Jewish Quarter, which was my favorite area in the city. Although it is now full of ruin bars, design shops, and trendy cafés, this area is filled with painful memories from WWII.
During month 8 of Remote Year, I divided my time between Dubrovnik and Budapest instead of opting into Belgrade, Serbia on the original RY itinerary. I had to head back to LA for onsite meetings so I wanted to make the most of my remaining time in Eastern Europe and visit bucket list locations. Dubrovnik has been a well-known destination for a while, but due to its fame as the Kings Landing location for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, it is attracting so many tourists each year. And for good reason, because besides the GOT hype, it is a beautiful walled, orange-roofed old city perched above the Adriatic’s turquoise sea water, and filled with ancient architecture.
While I was living in Prague, I decided to take a short train ride to Germany and spend a weekend in Berlin with my friend on Remote Year, Marion, who lives there. I had never been before and always wanted to visit because of all the creativity I see coming from its tumultuous past. I didn’t have an itinerary besides exploring the city through a local’s eyes so I didn’t do most of the traditional touristy activities, but instead got a local’s perspective.
While I was living in Prague, I took a long weekend getaway to the South of France. I divided my time between Provence to see the lavender blooms and Grasse for perfumes and Cannes for the coastline views. Everyplace I went looked like it was out of a storybook. It really was like living a dream amongst the rolling green hills, luscious lavender fields, and villa after villa climbing with vines.