Archive for February, 2008

No more depressed and sleepless in Budapest!

| February 27, 2008 10:00 am

We’ve meant to update this for a while, because we want to announce to the world that we are NO LONGER Sleepless and Depressed in Budapest! Since we came back from our sunny trip to Turkey, we’ve have little to complain about the Budapes weather, especially compared to the recent snow storms in China and even the unusually rainy and crappy California winter this year.

Except for maybe 5 or 6 days (three of which happened to be when Ognen’s dad visited), we’ve enjoyed overwhelmingly  sunny days, blue skies,  minimal rain, zero snow,  and no fog.  And because our new flat faces south, we get splashing sun even in bed. The temperatures have been in the 60s and our heating bills have plummeted.

And it seems that as the weather gets better, people’s faces also start to melt. The city park right next to our house is becoming really really popular, as everybody is out for some sunshine: reading, playing cards, chatting with friends, biking, roller blading, skateboarding … or just simply sitting around with nothing in particular to do.

In addition, now that we have moved to the center of the center of town (and therefore the country), everything is only a few steps away. Afew examples:

  1. Ognen’s work: 6 minutes (5 if you hit the green light just right on the one street you must cross)
  2. City park: 2 minutes (1 of which is to climb down the stairs from our 6-th floor flat)
  3. Clubs/Bars: 2 – 10 minutes (over 50 within a 15 minute walking distance)
  4. Szent István bazilika: 5 minutes
  5. Nice restaurants: 5 minutes
  6. Vaci Utca, the city’s pedestrian shopping street: 3 minutes
  7. Opera House: 8 minutes
  8. Art Galleries: 3-10 minutes
  9. Rudas Baths: 18 minutes
  10. Deak Ter (the city’s only meeting spot of all three metro lines and major bus routes): 43 seconds …

We now find ourselves more actively appreciating the abundance of activities the city offers. It really is not nearly as sleepy and quiet as it first seems. At the same time, we have also upgraded our view towards Hungarians (if this were an investment bank analysis, we still wouldn’t “buy”, but at list the people here are no longer on our “strong sell” list).

Juan-n-Ognen’s China Trip 2007

| February 26, 2008 11:05 am

During the switch of’s beta version and the current awesome site you’re enjoying today, we didn’t move our China trip pictures that we had previously posted.

This was mainly because it’s too much trouble; in addition, we really liked our old album and comments there.

So here is the link to the old album. Just be careful, if you navigate away from it, you might get lost in an old version of our website. Consider yourself warned….

Album: Juan-n-Ognen’s China Trip 2007

Lessons we learned from our Turkey New Year’s Trip–II: Sites

| February 20, 2008 1:44 pm
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  • Istanbul’s tourist sites are mostly all worth it: the top-tier destinations in the city listed in any guide book are all pretty cool and well worth a visit. A boat-ride down the Bosphorus on a sunny day is a lot of fun too. See our gallery for pictures of the classy sites.
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Lessons we learned from our Turkey New Year’s Trip–I: Food

| February 15, 2008 5:45 pm
  • We are not good at trip journals: once again, we’ve failed to maintain an ongoing trip journal (and not for lack of time), so we have to write this list instead.

    Show me more… »

Our new pictures gallery in launched

| February 10, 2008 3:29 pm

We have fully updated our gallery to reflect the last few months:

Travel Album: see pictures of our New Years in Turkey and our Ski Trip in Austria.

“Our Visitors” Album: see when Iris and Ognen’s Dad visited us. We need more of you to come to fill out this album.

Life in Hungary Album: pictures of our day-today life here.

Budapest “Quick Peek”: for those that don’t have the patience to watch a bunch of pictures, some random ones from Hungary.