Not just Hungary...Starving!
11.01.2010 - 11.04.2010 65 °F
We arrived early in Budapest, before anything was open and hunted for an ATM and the underground ticket office…we were now using the fourth currency of the trip, forint, and had to divide everything by 200 for the conversion. We had to wait a while till it opened and headed for the hostel…we couldn’t check in but needed to drop our bags off. After buzzing the bell a while we finally woke our host and headed for the city. We wanted to try and see all of Buda which included Gellert Hill with their Liberty Statue, and the old citadel and palace grounds.
Good morning Buda!
It was a nice walk up the hill which revealed and amazing panorama of the city and the best view of the Danube River.
The blue Danube.
We next headed to the citadel and had our first taste of Goulash.
It was a lovely lunch and headed to the Fisherman’s Bastion next.
After a while up there our overnight on the train began to catch up to us and we headed back to the hostel to check in and for a quick nap.
The Chain Bridge
That night we headed to a hip new-age restaurant in the city, Menza, and had an amazing meal. The restaurant was decorated in a funky seventies modern style with interesting wall coverings and great food.
Transported back in time.
The next day was spent lounging, Jen was beginning to catch a headcold and we laid low most of the day. Later we got some lunch at a nice, asian-inspired, restaurant. We were informed since Budapest was a well developed city that most the locals didn’t eat traditional food, much like you would find in any other big city. Later we went to the famous Gerbeaud for coffee and desserts. It was a fun experience and we began to feel like high society, then we saw how much it was and how cheap we were and were instantly grounded.
We went back to the hostel, stopping to pick up some groceries to cook dinner that night.
Our beautiful hostel.
Another home-made meal of simple spaghetti. Later that night I ended up heading to a bar with the Canadians I had met while at the hostel, while Jen rested. It seemed that Canadians were taking over the hostel, much like the Asians while in Cappadocia. There were a fun group, none of them knew each other but all just happened be staying at the hostel.
The next day since Jen was getting over her cold thanks to Sinuprett, an herbal remedy that is the most prescribed medication in Europe, and I was nursing a mild hangover from the night before we headed to the Thermal baths for lunch and a soak. The baths were simply amazing. There were three halls, one public pool that was chillingly cold and two private baths, one for men and one for women. The experience was amazing, instant satisfaction and so much we spent a few hours there. We made dinner again including a mixed salad with grilled vegetable and a poached egg on top, pretty fancy for a hostel…and of course extremely cheap.
Lady Liberty at night.
That night the hostel was hosting a wine tasting and we sat for a few hours trying traditional Hungarian “Bulls Blood” wine. The story goes that while the Turks were invading Hungary they tried to breach the walls of the city but while that watched the Hungarians fight back they looked like they had blood running down their faces, because they were so crazy to even be drinking bull’s blood for strength. It was actually wine but the Hungarians prevailed anyways. The wine was rather good, a little stronger than normal but they often cut it with soda water to make some sort of spritzer. Our host was Tomas, one of the employees of the hostel, and was very knowledgeable of his country’s history. We hung out for a few hours, meeting people from all over including: Portugal, Mexico, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, and Argentina. The night was awesome and a great way to end our stay in Budapest.
The next day we went around Pest and visited Heroes square and walked back one of the main streets, seeing most of that side of the city.
I'm a hero...no, I'm a hero.
Later we set off for a short trip to Vienna. This was our first experience with Rail-Jet, one of the lines for Austria, quite fancy. The seats were all leather with lots of room and included complimentary drinks and snacks.
Oh Happy Day!
We were glad about booking the Eurail passes and excited for our future trips. That afternoon we arrived to meet our hosts, an Austrian/Australian couple with their 2 year old child, but that will have to wait till next time. We are trying to catch up on our countries and depending on internet will hopefully be posting more frequently. Thanks for the great comments.