Gulliver’s Travails

It’s not often that you get a member of railway staff these days who actually stands on the platform and salutes the train. But it still happens in Budapest, even if the employee isn’t old enough to drive the train. It would appear that Budapest has taken The Railway Children too literally, and sprinkled it…

The Loin King

So after the hangover from hell, Monday afternoon is spent recharging the batteries. First, coffee and an exquisite cake at cafe next to the hotel. Travelling anywhere by foot today seems like a chore, but one of the plus sides to my hotel deal is a free trip to the Gellert Baths. If you’re from…

Destination Danube

I didn’t set out on this trip to reinforce any particular stereotypes, but I’m pleased to say that the German transport ethic – in the form of Lufthansa – is considerably better than the Italian one. My journey to Budapest is in two legs, via Berlin Tegel airport. As I check in at Rome, I’m…

Rail Rage

Getting out of Rome proves considerably harder than getting into it, thanks to the quirks of Trenitalia, the state rail company. The previously efficient looking Termini station again looks simple enough to navigate. Buying a ticket is a painless process, and the platform for the Leonardo Express is clearly marked. But our impending departure is…

Pappa Don’t Preach

It’s wedding day and, of course, the bride and groom are the stars. Although judging by the… ahem… (choose your words carefully, you’re dealing with the a large Italian family here) enthusiasm of the photographers, you’d think the guests were all A List celebs. Even during the church service, each and every person is individually…

Up On The Roof… and under the table

If Rome is impressive by day, by night it’s positively sexy. But in a laid back Italian kind of way. The groom to be, Tim, is hosting a drinks party on the roof garden of the Hotel Diana. At sunset, the view is stunning. This is a chance to meet some of the other wedding…

Pope On A Rope

“And you know what to do if he comes out onto that balcony? We all say ‘Happy Birthday’!” When queuing, it’s not uncommon to overhear an amusing conversation. When bunched up so close to others, it’s virtually impossible not to be able to hear another English voice among the general melee of expectation. Or to…

No Place Like Rome

I love September, especially when the kids are back at school. Not that I have any kids of my own, it just means I can go on holiday without encountering other people’s. So holiday time it is, and this time I’ve opted for that classic two centre combo of Rome and Budapest. Actually, the first…