Railway Hols

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The Imperial Explorer

Great Railway Journeys - Koln, Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Eger

We met up with the rest of the party and started the adventure on the Eurostar from Waterloo.


We stayed at the Four Points Hotel Central Koln. 

Koln Cathedral

Couple of nuns?

Wooden art

Childrens' playground

Snow White bas relief

Voluptuous lady

Railway bridge


Possibly more art

Intense if not beautiful sunset

Metal art over the Rhine

Koln station 

Koln to Berlin ICE

Peter bought baguettes for lunch on the train which arrived late at Berlin Ostbahnhof due to storm damage.   Our new hotel was the Albrechsthof, a refurbished Bauhof - a tenement round a courtyard.   The shower room was miniscule so no use for most visitors.



Albrechshof Courtyard

Reichstag reflected

New offices


The Pope's revenge named in communist times for the cross on the sphere

Interesting lights

The Reichstag

(Chancellor) Kohl (Coal) Scuttle

More art

Pleasing patterns


The Parliament of Trees (also Parliament of Trees against war and violence) was started on 9 November 1990 by performance artist Ben Wagin as a memorial for the victims of the Berlin Wall.

Boat on the Spree

Berlin bear supporting the world!   Angela Merkel might find this an appropriately current symbol!

Berlin Botanic Garden



Fern with flash


An Owl and penguin cross?




Pitcher plant

Nelumbo leaves

Heerstrasse 113 - Our home from 1977 - 1979 and right Heerstrasse 113a


The interior of the Neue Wache, (The New Watch House which used to be the Old Watch House.) showing the Kathe Kollwitz sculpture 'Mother with her Dead Son'.   This sculpture is directly under the oculus, and so is exposed to the rain, snow and cold of the Berlin climate, symbolising the suffering of civilians during World War II.

Our tour leader admiring the sculpture 


We visited Sanssouci at Potsdam, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.   Designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747.   Some of the decoration was simply painted onto wood and more suited to Baron Ochs than a king.

Gods supporting the roof

Grapes and figs on the terraces


The Blue church - The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, but mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche) and (Broken Tooth) is located in Berlin on the Kurfurstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz.  The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall.   from Wikipedia

We took the train for Prague




Bleach bypass treatment

Reflections in the wet at Prague Castle

Roofs - I was looking for images of roofs in every sort of state of repair

Bit of dilapidation

Golden window on St. Vitus Cathedral

Beautiful vaulting at Vladislav Hall

Roofs of Prague

This could be an altar or a grave

Wonderful gargoyles

Medieval weapon of war (balista) at Prague Castle

Medieval knight

Doubly barred

Roofs and Domes

River Vltava

Prague Cathedral

Astronomical clock

River Vltava and Prague Castle

River Vltava

Door handle of the National Marionette Theatre where we saw Don Giovanni

Charles IV

On the Charles Bridge

Some parts of the bas relief were touched for luck - hence the shine

Decorated roof

Eagles round the door at the Hungarian Embassy



Original parking meters

Prague Canal

Spit-roast cow on a restaurant roof

Psychedelic cow

Puppet theatre

Prague Castle

Taurus cow

Vulture restaurant


Waspish cow







Art nouveau owl above the gate on the right

Art nouveau lady

Fred's head

Fred & Ginger

The 'improved' version



The Old – New Synagogue in Prague is one of the most valuable Jewish historical buildings in Europe. It is the oldest European synagogue still serving its purpose and one of the oldest ones in the world. It was built in the 13 th century and there are various legends about it, including the legend of Prague monster Golem.


Gold and mirror cows

Vintage car for hire

Jungle cows

There were decorated cows all over the city mainly painted by artists

Chess cow



Buda on the left:  Pest on the right


Bridge over the Danube

Citadel (Peace memorial)

Chain bridge over the Danube

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle

Copy of Romanesque Church of Jak

Mezogazdasagi Museum

Famous poet 'Anonymus'

Rather fine cat - lion?

the same

Arpad and the leaders of the Magyar tribes

Heroes' Square

Seven leaders of the Magyars


Angel on the Arpad memorial

Gothic Parliament

St Matthias's Pottery Roof


Fisherman's Bastion

Reflection of the Fisherman's Bastion



For pictures of the Children's Railway and the Hungarian Railway Museum see:  http://fands.org.uk/1.FANDSEngines.htm 

Chain Bridge

Possibly mahonia

Elaborate tunnel ceiling

Boarded up


Chain bridge across the Danube



Old style


Unusual balcony

To the courtyard

Very European


Fish doorhandle



Royal Hungarian Express waiting for us to board more pictures on:  http://fands.org.uk/1.FANDSEngines.htm 


According to legend, Opusztaszer is the place where Arpad and the chieftains of the Hungarian (Magyar) tribes gathered in 896 AD “to decide upon the laws and order of their new homeland” (Szabo).   The 136-acre (55-hectare) Opusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park situated on the Pusztasker Protected Landscape is a museum and exhibition area that commemorates this, the Hungarian Conquest and settlement of the Magyar tribes in the Carpathian Basin, and it allows visitors to explore the history of Hungary as well as the culture and life-style of people living on the Southern Great Plain of Hungary.


Wooden windmill

Brushwood hut

More pelargoniums

Is this a loo?

Bactrian Camel

Thatched huts


Festetics Castle -was started by Kristof Festetics in 1745.   It gained its final - neo-baroque - form in the 1880s.   It miraculously avoided destruction during the second World War.

Lake Balaton home of the Pike Perch

Wooden Church

Roast beef

Our train was stopped by some bandits firing into the air.   They loaded us on to carts drawn by heavy horses and took us to a ranch for ethnic dancing and an exciting display of horsemanship

Horses and cart


Horses galloping


Hungarian dancing

We visited the Aggtelek caves and in particular the Baradla Cave which was enormous and well lit.   The caves are in Slovakia though entered from Hungary.

The Slovakian Border or Railway Police stamped our passports when the train passed through Slovakia.   We did not need a visa.  

Some nationals that needed a visa and who had not got one, were put off the train.



 Scans were very difficult to do with extremely noisy fast negative film

Overall view of the largest cave.


Szeged         We went to an exceptional production of Die Zauberflöte by a touring company from Szeged at Hackney in October 2016

Heroes Gate Memorial Arch 1848ecskemet

Notables in the cloisters

Szeged Cathedral

Beast with 7 heads

Lion with 4 dinners


carvings on Szeged Cathedral

Man or monkey?




Lizards climbing up the column

Town Hall




The facade has coloured majolica decorations of folk art motifs on the first and second stories above a decorative wavy line.   Glazed tiles made in the Zsolnay porcelain factory are also a feature.

Detail of the Protestant Church (left)

Mosque style church



Modern flats

Street in Eger in early morning



Kis Laslo

Radio, television, muszevesz


Garden in the square

Killing the Turks

Boarded up window


Whole house


Don Quixote?

Art of some sort


Killing the Turks

Still killing the Turks

Pouring boiling oil on the Turks

Seats at the castle

Wooden wheeled canon at the Castle


Wonderful curves

Fully saturated

Mullein in the castle wall

Three crosses

Chickory growing in the stone

Children's playground

The Defence of Eger 1552 a bronze by Gyorgy Zala 


Thin canon

Barbed wire protection from cat burglars or maybe it is Christmas lighting.

Old and new

More old and new


We went through Wien Westbahnhof and took the sleeper to Koln then Brussels and home.