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Hungary/ Slovakia itinerary (RTW trip): seeking help!! :)
Posted January 3rd, 2012 - 9:25 am by from Taipei, Taiwan (Permalink)
Hello everyone,

I'm from Taiwan, planning on a 2012-13 round-the-world trip that lasts 10 months.
I'll arrive in Slovakia and Hungary after visiting Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania and Poland.
(I plan to commence the trip in May 2012 and [u]will arrive in Slovakia in July.)

Travel preferences:
I'm more cultural minded rather than pub-hopping inclined;
Tend to get up very very early and go to bed at around 11.30pm;
walk as much as possible, take pics of buildings,
immerse myself in museums, try out local snacks,
and hopefully attend music/theater performances, especially operas;
Tend to avoid resorts/beaches/spas unless the sights (natural or architectural) are uniquely beautiful.

I've come up with an itinerary draft, and some questions remain:
* I'm torn about Bardejov. Pics seem to show considerable charm, but traveling in and out of both Bardejov and Orava Castle is really very tricky: transportation involve multiple changes and very long hours. Should I give either or both of them up?
* Is the schedule still too tight? are there "redundant" places I should
give up? (namely, places that have characters similar to their more
attractive cousins. Maybe Székesfehérvár when placed along side Veszprém?)
(With enough research, I can always cut something during the trip. Still, if some parts seem redundant, I'd like to give them up from the beginning.)

So here it goes:

Day 1 Zakopane (Poland) bus to Poprad: High Tatras (live in Stary Smokovec)
Day 2 High Tatras [hiking] (live in Stary Smokovec)
Day 3 bus to Levoca
Day 4 Levoca - daytrip to Spiš Castle (in Spišský hrad)
Day 5 bus direction "Betlanovce/Hrabusice", get off at Podlesok or rázc. Podlesok:
Slovensky Raj National Park

Day 6 Slovensky Raj National Park
Day 7 Slov. Raj to Bardejov
[schedule: Hrabušice, rázc.Podlesok (7:20) via Spišský Štvrtok, Benzinol (7:45/8:50) via Prešov, AS MHD (10:18/10:20) to Bardejov, AS MHD (11:25)]

Day 8 Bardejov,,AS MHD (6:20) to Oravský Podzámok,,nám. (Orava Castle) (5~7hr, multiple changes)

Day 9 Orava Castle to Banska Stiavnica
[schedule: Oravský Podzámok,,nám. (6:38) via Banská Bystrica,,AS MHD, Zvolen,,AS MHD to Banská Štiavnica,,križ. (3hr+)]

Day 10 Banská Štiavnica to Trenčín;
+ daytrip to Čičmany
[Schedule: Banská Štiavnica,,križ. (5:55/8:55/10:31) via Žiar n.Hronom,,aut.st. MHD to Trenčín,,aut.st. MHD (3~3.5hr);
Trenčín (9:28/12:15) via Žilina to Čičmany,,rázc. (2.5hr)]

Day 11 Trencin + daytrip to Bojnice Castle (1.5hr awau)
Day 12 Bratislava
Day 13 Bratislava + Devin Castle
Day 14 Bratislava train via Parndorf/Gyor (2.5~3hr) to Sopron (Hungary)

Day 15 Sopron +
daytrip to Fertőd (train combo<=1.5hr)

Day 16 via Szombathely to Kőszeg (half a day); 2hr train, hourly
- sleep in Szombathely, Gyor or Koszeg? Skip Szombathely?

Day 17 Kőszeg via Szombathely to Győr (train <=2hr);
+ daytrip to Pannonhalma (awesome abbey on UnescoList) (26min away)

Day 18 2~3hr to Veszprém, the ‘city of queens’;
+ daytrip: bus (direct or via Balatonfured) to Tihany

Day 19 4hr train via Székesfehérvár, the 'city of kings' to Pécs (Euro 2010 cultural capital)

Day 20 Pécs
Day 21 3hr train to Budapest-Deli pu
Day 22 to Budapest
Day 23 Budapest
Day 24 Budapest + daytrip to Szebtendre and Visegrad
Day 25 Budapest + daytrip to Hollóko (Hollókő) (bus departs at 8am; returns at 4pm)
Day 26 to Esztergom, Hungary’s holiest city
Day 27 2hr train to Vác
Day 28 Backtrack to Budapest to go to Eger??
Day 29 Eger
+ daytrip (40min bus) to Recsk (forced-labour camp)
Day 30 100min train to Debrecen, the "Calvinist Rome"
Day 31 Debrecen
Day 32 To Romania or Serbia

Oh, two tiny things:
* What's the gay scene like? can someone recommend some venues for drinks and leisure time?
* Is there some place (at a diner in Budapest, or a tasting room in another city) where I can sample Tokaji?

Posted January 3rd, 2012 - 11:55 am by from Budapest, Hungary (Permalink)

I will review your schedule in the evening and trying to give you useful hints. But I you like to know me or if you have any more questions etc, please write me a message or you can find me on facebook chat :)

Btw: I have a bottle of Tokaji :)))

Have a nice day!


Posted January 13th, 2012 - 1:19 am by from Taipei, Taiwan (Permalink)
Got a nubmer of nice messages for feedback. May have to revise the last part, since I may need to skip Romania :P