Budapest - Sziget 2005.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

We over nighted in Vienna, Austria on our way to the twin towns of Buda and Pest, Hungary by our Busabout bus. We found out on the bus from a fellow traveller that there was a huge international music festival on called Sziget 2005 and Natalie Imbruglia for Australia was playing! On our first day in Budapest we did a walking tour of the city which strangely included catching the underground to some of the places. It lasted about 5 hours and was amazingly informative but also tiring. A bit of trivia we learnt was that Hungarians are great inventors and are responsible for biros, rubiks cube, holograms and vitamin C, just to name a few. The following day we caught the underground (we are getting good at the public transport nightmare of foreign cities now) and went to the baths. Budapest is famous for its Hungarian and Turkish baths. The water comes out of the ground at about 60 degrees centigrade and has to be cooled before pumping into the huge ornate baths, both outdoor and indoor. This is quite the Hungarian thing to spend a day 'taking the waters' and it was enjoyable for the fact that it was packed with locals, rather than tourists.

Then it was on to the adventure of going to the music festival. We had to catch an underground train, then a tram, then another train and lastly walk about 1 kilometre to get there and all this without English signs or English speakers to ask. Such a mission but we got there just as Natalie came on the stage and we thoroughly enjoyed her performance. The week long festival is on an island in the River Danube and has many stages and performers of world standard. On each day about 70,000 people attend. After Natalie performed we were pretty much jammed in for he rest of the night unable to move in the ever increasing size of the crowd. The last band on the main stage was a UK band called UNDERWORLD which was extremely popular. Finally we could leave and try to reverse our journey home. We went OK with the first train then found ourselves stranded as it was after midnight and the trams and underground had finished. Nothing for it but to begin the long walk home. Lucky we love walking!

Footnote: Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrassy Avenue are UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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