I couldn't be in Vienna and not make a couple of trips to the neighbouring countries, there are a lot to choose from but we decided on Slovakia and Hungary.
Bratislava's only an hour away by train from Vienna, as you can tell I was quite excited by the trip!
Once we arrived at the station and stored our bags there we headed into the city to eat at City Restaurant. I'm not sure exactly what we ended up eating as none of us could read the menu but thanks to the English speaking lady in front of us is the queue and my trusty vegan passport we managed to find something to eat!
This bean, pea and seitan stew with rice was pretty good and it was great to have a healthy side salad as I'd been eating loads of fake meats and junk food.
We also got the fruit salad for dessert, it was nothing to write home about as most of the fruit was from a can but again it was good to be eating something remotely healthy.
After a day of sightseeing we stopped off at this health food store to load up on goodies for the train journey to Budapest. L-R Melanie, Luciana, Bazu, Rachel & Carmen
Unfortunately Melanie and Rachel had to head back to Vienna but the rest of us bought A LOT of food for our awesome train picnic...
...there were fake meat spreads, pate's, crackers, bread, fruit, flapjacks, chocolate covered rice cakes and the tasteless but incredibly moreish wheat crisps. It was a 4 hour journey to Budapest and I think we ate pretty much the whole way there!
On our first day in Budapest we headed out to explore the city on foot, we saw Parliament and walked around the old town. We had to climb a lot of steps to get to the top of buda castle but the view was totally worth it.
We were starving after all that and went all the way back down the hill to Eden Vegetarianus, a buffet style cafe with an all vegan menu.
I filled my plate up with a bit of everything...that's everything that had carbs in it apparently!
As always what with us not being able to translate the menu I'm not exactly sure what I was eating, there was a nutty pasta dish, roasted potatoes and a creamy potato casserole. It was all delicious and I especially enjoyed the nutty pasta.
That night we went for dinner at Napfenyes Etterem, quite a fancy restaurant specialising in traditional Hungarian foods, seitan dishes and amazing regional desserts. With menus both in Hungarian and English we were able to know what we were ordering for the first time on the trip!
Obviously this is not traditionally Hungarian but you can't get vegan cheese pizza in the UK so I went for the 3 cheese pizza with seitan and olives...
...this was not only as huge as it looks but even more delicious. The seitan was amazing and the combination of that with the 3 cheeses & olives couldn't have worked better.
The desserts certainly lived up to expectations too...
...not only were they beautiful to look at but they were delicious! The cake in the foreground with the pink icing was a chocolate and black cherry gateaux, it had a strong cherry flavour and a beautiful gooey texture, behind that was a piece of chocolate cake, also lightly flavoured with cherry which is a Hungarian speciality. There was a chestnut cake too which was rich and moist but I unfortunately didn't get a decent photo of it.
On our last day we visited some Hungarian baths, there are no pictures of this a somewhere wet and steamy isn't the best place for a camera but given that this was October we were amazed to find ourselves swimming in a gorgeous outdoor pool.
After a long morning of sun and feeling faint due to the heat I was starving and borderline grumpy so I was very happy to end up at Le-Bar a tiny vegan & organic juice bar in the centre of the city with very few seats but pretty decent and filling food, as always I went for a big plate of everything...
The falafel wasn't great and the potatoes were a little on the spicy side for me but I really enjoyed the Israeli couscous salad.
Right next to Le-Bar is a great little health food store called Bio ABC where we got some truly awesome ice creams that were a lot like a Magnum and a little like the Swedish Glace ice creams you can get in the UK.
For the 3 1/2 hour train journey back to Vienna we picked up yet more snacks, awesome cracker style crisps, yummy juice and a not so awesome fruit salad.
On our arrival back in Vienna Carmen's awesome husband had cooked us dinner and they'd both stocked up the freezer with some of Vienna's best vegan Ice Cream because they knew the store would be closed for winter by the time we arrived.
This was my absolute favourite, I used to love pistachio ice cream as a child and hadn't ever found a vegan version but this was exactly as I remembered. It came paired with an almond ice cream which was equally delicious. There were also little pots of chocolate / hazelnut and raspberry and something that I cannot remember but that I'm sure was also awesome! What a great end to our trip.
I had an awesome time in both these cities and I can't wait to go back to Bratislava to eat some more of the amazing cherry cakes and to do some more exploring.