Into Hungary

Trip Start May 12, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2009

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Flag of Hungary  , Budapest,
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our second overnight trip (A train from Brasov to Budapest) was a few hours late arriving, and proved to be extremely uncomfortable lying across the 2nd class cabin seats (but at least we had the cabin to ourselves!)

We arrived into Budapest's Keleti train station to be picked up by Sandor, the friendly owner of the guesthouse where we would be staying for 7 nights. As in Brasov, it was a double in an apartment with only a couple rooms, no internet, but a full kitchen that we put to good use throughout the week with some creative home-cooked dishes and hot breakfasts!

Even throughout some of the rainy days, Budapest (pronounced Budapesht) remains one of our favourites. With an awesome transit system to whisk us around (it also had one of the world's first metros - using horse-pulled carriages), and loads of great architecture, this city had much to keep us busy.

On our first day, we walked around the Pest side of the city, checking out the parliament, opera house, and St. Nicholas Church, and also took a dip into the fancy Gellert baths. We also checked out a wonderful covered food market with lots of fruits, vegetables, sausages and other deli meats, and best of all some fresh warm strudel, bursting with fruit. We indulged in apple and cherry flavours!

On other days we checked out the Buda side (Castle hill side), Memento Park (with all kinds of old Soviet statues - as well as an instructional video teaching us old spy techniques), and another wonderful bath in city park, Szechenyi. These baths were amazing! You can take your time doing a circuit through 27 different baths, plus steam rooms and saunas (including a weird coloured-light sauna). We were so relaxed by the end!

On Monday, everything was closed for yet another religious holiday. But fortunately the annual Gallop festival was also held that weekend, and we stumbled upon the festivities in the city park. We watched some of the horse riding and traditional outfitted men, and enjoyed a traditional pizza of sorts of bacon and sour cream.

One last tidbit worth mentioning from Budapest was the fozelik (translated as 'to eat with big gulps') that we tasted, which we really went out of our way to try. Basically you choose a gooey soup base, made from vegetables and other hearty things. You then choose some deep-fried toppings to add, though we couldn't quite tell what was the end Fiona end up with cheese, and Sebastian with chicken. Yum!
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