Sunflower walk


I’ve always dreamed of walking Charlie along a sunflower field where many of them dot the Hungarian landscape this summer.  That dream was realized yesterday not far from home. Oh they are so adorable, looking like little yellow faces following the sun,  imitating the gestures of humans!

Watching a movie


Looks like they are starting a protest

Ouch! You are biting me!

They’re all curious of Charlie

Proud taking a Groupie!

Watching an opera

Can’t wait to open

The dainty one

Budapest: To Ecseri Flea Market


Previous:  Breakfast at Zsivago’s


So the idea of going to Ecseri market is to check on second hand treasures and vintage objects that could make our Zala house metamorphose into the Café Zsivago effect.   But we made the daft mistake of travelling by taxi, the exorbitant fare of 9,000 forints (30euros)  would have bought us  a dozen  crochet table covers!  H was not happy shelling out so much money just to get to a flea market.   We see buses to and  from the city load and unload passengers infront of the market.  Oh well.


We went exploring the one square kilometer ground (figure according to the taxi driver)  but alas,  only few stalls were open, probably because it is  a slow Tuesday and it’s past lunchtime where everyone seems to be sleepy like this shopowner.

Now, we ‘ve been talking about hanging a nice chandelier in our high-ceilinged sitting room.  Excuse me, mister…

The doll that could take one back to her childhood


My jaw dropped open upon seeing this painting!  I’ve never seen similar images displayed anywhere I’ve been in Europe, but this is Budapest and it’s probably okay.


They could be growling by the entrance to our house, why not?


These grandmothers’ sewing machine bases could be transformed into console tables.  Love them!

Ecseri Market (Ecseri Bolhapiac)
Nagyk?rösi út 156
1194 Budapest
Openinghours: weekdays: 08:00-16:00, Saturday: 08:00-15:00, Sunday: 08:00-13:00

Breakfast at Zsivago’s


Our meticulously presented breakfast


“We’ve been here before and we love the ambience so much that’s why we’re back,” I told the waiter as he was serving our breakfast in dainty plates and cups. He smiled and that started our conversation about life in Budapest, his attachment to his work and the interior decoration of the Café that attracted us in the first place. “I did the decoration myself,” he exclaimed.
We just adore everything about Café Zsivago, its soft interiors, the great-grandmotherly crocheted table covers…
“You can find them at the flea market in Ecseri. That’s where most of the furnishings you see here come from. Enjoy your breakfast while it’s warm.”
I see images of Omar Sharif and Julie Christie settling into the sofas. I’m impatient to go home. I must start this Russian oldschool style makeover quickly, right in our sitting room!

Whether this is the style in Boris Pasternak’s novel, Dr Zsivago, I like it, so I just photographed everything lest I forget.

Even the restrooms have a way of indicating if it’s for the Ladies or for the Gentlemen

An enclosed room in the corner for customers in need of privacy

I just adore those grandma style crochet table covers.  Next time I see them in flea markets, I shall grab them all!

Cafe Zsivágó
Paulay Ede utca 55, Budapest

Next:  To Ecseri Flea Market

Budapest: What the tourists don’t see

“I will show you the  most romantic part of the Danube that the tourists don’t see,” remarked the lady manager of the hotel  when I asked how to get to the river described in as 500 meters from the property.  We don’t see any signs of bridges that would direct us to the Duna (“Danube” in Hungarian) and the  farms and industrial zone bordering the hotel don’t give any indication that a body of water is nearby.  She promised to take us after dinner.  It’s 7pm but the sun is still up so we were looking forward to seeing the surrounding area of Csepel, the 21st district of Budapest, where our hotel is located.

Yes, we are back in Budapest for our 2nd dental session (the first one took place in January), but this time with  Charlie  so we made sure our accommodation, at least for the first night as we are dropping him at the Kennel tomorrow, is pet-friendly and has some green grounds to walk around.


Early on, as we couldn’t find the Duna, we settled for a farm nearby, which  was a good choice because it was like going on a nature walk.

Walking Charlie is like going on an educational tour, like guessing every fruit hanging from a tree.  A walnut or an almond?

It’s only by poking inside that you find out what it is – a walnut!

And this is where zucchini comes from!

 The green fields that resemble the tulip fields of Keukenhoef in The Netherlands

Wheatbales which is a favorite photo subject

 Barley.  I find the symmetry so photogenic.

Finally, we saw her favorite spot, what she says “guaranteed to be a romantic place” – this part of the Danube that seems to be untouched by civilization, still a marshland where swimming is prohibited but so popular among lovers .  But we must have driven 5 kilometers of road instead of 500 meters.  She got lost, too, as we saw her asking a number of people on the highway for directions.  It was very kind of her to drive all the way here despite the strenuous job of running the hotel and restaurant.  Our impression of the Hungarians as a helpful people is proven correct by this lady.   I forgot to ask her name but I highly recommend the Micofogado Hotel in Csepel.  At 30euros a night, she did not charge extra for Charlie and parking is free, which is non-existent in the middle of the city.

Charlie’s walk in Slovenia



We needed to withdraw euros and the closest Eurozone to us is Slovenia just 15-minute drive across the border.  Since Charlie already holds a dog passport, he can now travel outside of Hungary  hence we thought we could incorporate two things together – take him for his morning walk  and find a hole in the wall to get the euros – in Lendava, Slovenia.

Lendava, the nearest town, is not only picturesque, it also has interesting architecture and  home to a handful of  ATM machines so it’s the perfect first out-of-the country trip for Charlie, really.

Now let’s go exploring –

Welcome to Slovenia (or Slovenija in their language).

The area around Lendava is covered in vineyards and declared as a wine route.

Just like other Catholic countries in Europe, you see shrines or image of the Cross at village entraces.

We found the perfect walking path – this route to the vineyards.

Just like in the Zala where we live, there are also wine houses for the Slovenian vineyard owners to rest while working in the fields, except that they are bigger…

.. and most of them restored to “vacation home” comfort..

Cherry trees along the route make the landscape look like paradise

The vineyards – we will definitely come back to see them heavy with grapes!

After that lovely walk with Charlie, it was time to hit Lendava – almost a postcard beauty

Found an ATM machine just next to this outdoor cafè.  Pallet furniture is a growing trend anywhere we went.

  For a lovely walk of the day, we  had to thank Charlie for making it possible so it’s only fitting to reward him with a chew stick.  We do these daily morning walks for him and it doesn’t only give us a chance to explore beautiful places, it also gets us moving and keeps our fitness level on high.
Köszönöm, Charlie! (Thanks in Hungarian)