Just back from Eastern Europe (and maternity leave), assistant editor Amy Alipio shares the highlights from her trip in get-to-the-point fashion:
Best Hotel Amenity—The locally produced bath products made from lavender, rosemary, and other Adriatic plants at the harbor-front Hotel Kastil in Bol, on the island of Brac, Croatia. They made me feel like I was showering outdoors in a summer meadow.
Spookiest Moments—Driving through Bosnia and passing whole villages of abandoned houses—brick and concrete skeletons bearing witness to the 1992-1995 war. We found good roads in Bosnia, with modern and clean gas stations, and discovered that Sarajevo is a lively city with stylish young folk. But those silent houses were unforgettably eerie.
Favorite Romanian City—Oradea. Okay, it’s the only Romanian city I know well—it being my husband’s hometown. Regardless, this northwestern city is a former belle of the Austro-Hungarian empire (it’s now near the border between Romania and Hungary) and its city center shows off now-faded baroque buildings scattered beside the silvery Crisul Repede River. Best of all, it’s a gateway to the bucolic time warp that is Transylvania.
Best Baby-Changing Room—At Nancsi Neni restaurant in Budapest. Since we were traveling with a baby for the first time, finding a good changing room was a big deal, and the one at Nancsi Neni was the presidential suite of baby-changing rooms: It had a fun printed curtain and a thickly padded changing table with a mobile over it—and a handy roll of plastic trash bags alongside, all testament to Nancsi Neni’s popularity with families coming to sample home-style Hungarian fare, like roast duck and red cabbage.