Crossing over into Hungary, one gets the distinct scent of..whats that? Socialism. Or thankfully, the remnants of it. Hungary isn’t as well kept as the other European countries we’ve visited, not by a long shot. It does however have it’s charm. The city has some beautiful buildings and the thermal baths were quite hilarious. (of particular note; Abby, myself and 100 Hungarians being swept around in circles when the jets came on in one of their football field size jacuzzi swimming pools) The thermal baths were definitely a favorite.

Also of note, the metro system is like stepping into an early 80s time warp where you’re inside a Mario Brothers game. I kid you not, I believe they even stole the sound track!

The best part was the Hungarian wine tasting under the castle in their cellars. Hungarian wine is fantastic! (Abby may be the better reference if you know my wine tastes, but we both agree)

Another fine example of Hungarian culture was visiting their market as you can see a picture of me about to lose my hand reaching for an orange.

Robbie & Abby

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Anyone ever heard of the Habsburg family? They ruled greater Europe for over 600
years and chose to call Vienna their home. The result is one city filled with opulent palaces, cathedrals, theaters, opera houses and gardens. In fact, this family started World War I with the intent of owning Europe and having Vienna as the new capital. They lost the War and with that, all of their power.

Vienna though remains beautiful. The Austrians are very proud and full of life. We walked the historic palace district and stumbled upon the 2011 Vienna Film Festival. This festival is a gift to the city each year, free of charge, to promote culture. So much fun!

Perhaps our favorite part though, was staying near the Schonbrunn Gardens and being able to run in the afternoons. This immense park is home to some of the most famous outdoor classical concerts in Europe.

To sum up Vienna; this is the first big city we could both see ourselves living in. The city transportation makes traveling so easy with no need for a car. Just own a bike and a metro pass. You have the option for endless cultural events in a big city, but have the freedom of the parks to escape. Great stop on our trip! Perhaps we’ll return one day.

Robbie & Abby

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We trained into Salzburg on Tuesday and spent the day hiking around the city center and castle grounds. This city has the Austrian Alps as a background, and you never forget that. We ended our hike at the Augustinerbrau, a monks cloister where they raise money for the church by brewing beer! Great beer. The best part was making friends with some Austrians from Vienna who took it upon themselves to show us the best parts of Salzburg. They were very generous with their time and it makes me wonder if I should be doing more of this is Charleston.

Quick note about the Austrians; they love life and are quite proud of their history. They take so much pride in their country and it shows in everything they do. Austria may as well be spotless. I for one never knew Vienna was at one time to be e capital of Europe and perhaps the world had the Habsburg family had their way. One more thing; our American dollar won’t get you too far in Salzburg. Yikes!

Day 2 in Salzburg was cold and rainy. This was a terrible shame, for there was a music festival all over the city that was rained out. We daydreamed of the Mediterranean coast be honest and began researching apartments to rent. Then we settled in and watched the Sound of Music, of course. (Abby’s first time!)

Thursday morning it was on to glorious Vienna!

Robbie & Abbster

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We awoke this fine monday morning and just couldn’t leave this place. Even though we’ve seen most everything in this tiny town, there always seems to be something new right around the corner. We discovered an incredible sunset this evening and as thanks, we had to show off some major uppage so these Czechs know full well what America is capable of.

The Czech Republic has been magnificent. Now its on to Salzburg and Austria tomorrow.

Jedno Pivo Prosim!

Robbie & Abby

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Ahh… Cesky Krumlov. A small town on the Vltava river in the Czech Republic filled with weekend European day trippers. The city itself is beautiful and the mead is outstanding. (hot honey wine) most visitors in the summertime take canoeing trips down the river through a string of medieval towns. We’re on our way to hike the Klet mountain and see the observatory before heading upriver for a canoeing trip. This place is entirely too easy to get used to and we may be here longer than first thought. Highly recommended.

Robbie and Abby

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Well, we hopped a train and ventured over to Prague yesterday evening to find this place even more incredible than they say. We even lucked out big time with a Casa 100 yards from the Old Town Square and NcState studio.

We must always remember to ask the locals at the front desk where to eat dinner – away from tourist central. She sent us to this great place off the tourist path where Abby proceeded to order one of the best dishes we’ve ever had. And it was only $10! Can’t beat it and we had to share. The other image is of the castle at night. This place is incredible, especially after the sun sets.

Much love from Eastern Europe!

Robbie & Abby

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So there we were in Berlin, at the bike rental shop, when Lo and behold Red Lightning appeared. At first, one would be intimidated by such sheer beauty and borderline incredulous size, but not us. Not today. You may be asking yourself the same questions we had; does it go twice as fast? Is it twice as awesome? The answers; no and absolutely. You are an instant celebrity on a tandem bicycle, German or not. Being an American in Berlin on one of these says It all. Still not sure what that is, but man o man, it was fun!

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View from the pool after our wedding ceremony at Casa Maravilla.

The NEW Mr.+ Mrs.Lesslie!

Manuel Antonio…Arenas Del Mar…beeeautiful!

Where to begin? First off, an incredible thanks to our parents and their unbelievable generosity! It has been the greatest week of both our lives. What a gift to grow and share so much joy with our family and friends in Costa Rica. We will never forget this! As we awoke yesterday morning as husband and wife to the crashing waves on a private beach, we’re completely overwhelmed at the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us – and they just keep on coming. We want to thank each and everyone of you out there, whether you made the trip or not. All of our prayers have been answered.

We’re now off to San Jose this evening to catch a one way flight to Berlin first thing in the morning. Incredible.

We love you all dearly and can’t wait to begin this next adventure!

Robbie & Abby Lesslie

 

In one short day, we will be in company of this lil fella, Mr.Sloth. Our wedding week is finally here!

Its going to begin with a week of wedding festivities like zip-lining, white water rafting, hikes down to the beach, and monkey-watching. More to come soon! ( only if we can escape from the jungle paradise that awaits….)

 

LFA-ing has been a well-used term all my life. Yes…it’s a Freeman classic, and more recently, a Robbie Lesslie favorite! The time has come to embark upon this blogging world that the rest of mankind has been tackling for years. Maybe we’ve finally reached the blogging age…the proper maturity level, or perhaps finally just had enough free time to sit down and come up with a goofy, cheesy name. Whatever the case,

LFA-ing has officially BEGUN!

Soon we will be traveling to Costa Rica to share our special day with our families in the rainforest by the sea!

From there we fly across the big blue sea over to Berlin to begin our LFA-ing venture across Europe for a few months, traveling at a sketcher’s pace from seaside villages to remote hill towns nestled high into the sky.

We hope this blog will be our connection to our families and friends back home. An avenue to share our adventures but also to hear back from you all. So go ahead…comment on our travels, or simply just say “hi”. Come July 8th, Robbie and I begin our life together.

2 backpacks + 2 one way tickets