Being so jetlagged yesterday I didn’t see the second football match between Uruguay and Portugal. I made it about 6 minutes into the match and was out cold.
Good news was I was awake really early and decided to catch a train to Antwerp. Glad I got there early. What a beautiful city and I had the streets to myself. I wandered around for about 4 hours in a cool breezy morning drinking coffee and eating pastries.
Now it’s 2pm and I’m going back to Brussels to see the Comics Museum. It’s housed in a gorgeous art deco warehouse. I can’t read the French comics, but I love to sit in the lobby and stare at the ironwork.
I arrived in Brussels after a long 12 hour red-eye flight full and kept awake by hour after hour of tubulance. The plane bounced around enough that my tea kept trying to slide of the dinner tray. It was all I could do to get the tea cup to my mouth and take a sip.
I arrived in Brussels too early to check in to my hotel so I left my luggage with the front desk and went for a walk. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, cool breeze blowing and no clouds in a perfect blue sky. I sat in the park drinking coffee and painted this young woman who sat nearby texting.
Last day in Budapest. I’m wiped out. It’s been 37-39C since I’ve been here. At lunch I get on the train to Vienna and tomorrow I’m flying home. It’s been a great trip, but I need to rest and get back to the cooler weather of Hong Kong. Never thought I would say that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!