Budapest, It’s Hot…

Yesterday was hot. I was out the door earlier today to get my drawing done before today got even hotter. I sketched the city from atop the Citadel on the only shady bench with a view. I had to wait a few minutes to get the occupied bench, but most tourists are in a rush and I didn’t have to wait long.

From the Citadel I went back down to the river and caught the tram towards the park. It was close to noon and I had to work to find shade to paint.

Parliament and Shadows from the Trees

I was done around 2 and it was hot. Time to seek refuge in some a/c and wait for sundown. Even a/c inside is little help in a place that rarely sees temperatures above 28-30 degrees because it can’t compete with the extreme hot weather.

Budapest in the Morning


There are too many world heritage sites in Budapest to count. Budapest is the city Prague wants to be. I got up early to avoid the heat and had coffee while painting in the shade of the ferry ticket office. I painted quickly because the sun was rising fast, and once I couldn’t squeeze into the remaining shade I quit.

Budapest Market

After a great lunch at a local cafe I decided to stay out of the sun and went into the market hall. I paid my dues of a cappuccino to sit along the balcony rail, put on my headphones to drown out the crowd noise, and sketched this picture in about an hour.

Kastola Kaucinov

Kastola Kapucinov

For the last day and a half I haven’t been able to look inside any of the local churches. The doors have been locked accept when Mass is going on. But I was out walking by 7am and came across this church with unlocked doors. I took a few minutes to sketch the interior, paid my respects to God, and went off to get coffee.

Hrad Devon



Hrad Devon

This afternoon I caught a public bus out of town traveling 10k up the Danube to the Hrad Devon, the remains of an old castle. It has been incredibly hot these few days with temperatures reaching 37-38 degrees Celsius. Best I could do was to find shade and hide from the sub while I painted this picture.

After getting back to town in the evening I drew a quick sketch of the crowds while waiting for my dinner to be served.

Bratislava and the UFO Bridge

St. Michael’s Gate

I was eating the hotel breakfast before 7am, but already there was a crowd of people and I had to wait to get a self serve cappuccino. I ate quickly and hit the streets.that was all for the good. I was finishing my sketch of St. Michael’s Gate just as the first tour groups began to gather in front of me. So I went to the river and sat by the Danube and drew this bridge.

UFO Bridge

In Bratislava is a strange blue church. Very beautiful and rich in mosaic detail. It also has an Illuminati eye at the top. Well worth the trip to this side of town.

  • Church of St. Elizabeth

Breakfast in Prague, Lunch in Batislava

I woke up and sought coffee in the early morning quiet. I found a nice cafe and ordered a cappuccino and a slice of honey cake. After debating on a second round of both I chose to seek another cafe and see if I could expand my cake variety. But after a brief walk I ended up drawing this picture instead. I can always get cake, but I may never be back this way again.

Next stop is Bratislava. The train was packed and I didn’t have a reservation. I was able to secure a fold down seat in the baggage area at the end of the car, riding with stowed bicycles and backpackers. I played a game for the four hour journey: shut my eyes and then look quickly out the window and draw whatever I happen to see. This sketch is the result.

See you in Bratislava.

Biking to Karlstejn

Karlstejn Castle

I got up early, mainly because off jet lag, and got a cup of coffee and wandered round Prague. It was good to see what the city looked like. Yesterday I could barely see anything around me for the throngs off people. But today I going for a 40k bike ride to Karlstejn Castle. I’ve enjoyed biking all over Europe and this seemed like just to way to get a feel for the Czech country side. The bike path followed the Berounka River. The water was cool and felt great after a few kilometers of pedaling.

Passing through weddings, stone carvers and other bikers along the way was a wonderful way to explore the country and get exposed to local flavor. Lunch of roast duck and dumplings was tasty, but very filling and was my greatest obstacle to finishing the ride. Around 4 in the afternoon I made it to the base of the castle, found a good seat to eat ice cream and draw.

I took a bike tour to get out to the castle and I want to say hello to everyone else on the tour. Hi all! Safe journies home!

Prague, Finally…..

Charles Bridge
Too Crowded to see the Architecture

I finally arrived in Prague after being delayed by the Chinese. They held my flight so long I couldn’t make my connection in Vienna. So instead of making it to my hotel in Prague I spent the night in Vienna at a hotel provide by Austria Airlines.  It’s common enough for the Chinese to delay flights and it’s the second time this month it’s happened to me. Oh well. I finally made it and that’s good enough.

My first day in Prague was filled with great smells of cooking sausages and these wonderful pastries that are fire roasted and filled with ice cream and fruit. I was not prepared the crowds though. Even Hong Kong doesn’t can’t compete with the huge amounts of people out and about. It was amazing. I don’t think I saw the ground floor of any building until late at night. When I tried to draw,  I never saw anything but roof tops above people’s heads. Very impressive. But, even though my room was in the heart of  Centrum, I was down at the end of a long ally and hat a peaceful night and left my windows open for a cool breeze.

Tomorrow I’m going on a 40k bike ride into the countryside. Looking forward to it.

Good night.

The Last Night in the Animal Kingdom and a Big Buffet

Animal Kingdom Lodge, lobby

This is my last night in Disney World and the States. I’ll be getting up at 5am to take an early flight home to Hong Kong. First leg of the flight is 4 hours to Dallas, then another 16! hours to HKG. Ouch. To make up for it I’m finally treating myself to the buffet I smell every night. Getting a reservation requires getting your name in the hat early. I’ve always been out playing in the park and never had a chance.

I drew this picture of the view out the main lobby’s window. I liked the natural overlaid with man made overlaid with natural again.