Budapest and the pests

Trip Start Oct 06, 2005
Trip End Oct 25, 2005

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What would traveling be without the travel bug.  Is this the Magyar's revenge?  I've got a touch of food poisoning. Must have been the goulash at the market.  It did taste good though.  I sprang for a ticket to the Opera tonight.  That's a first.  The Opera house was so cool looking from the outside I couldn't pass it up.  A tour during the day cost $6 and I got a good balcony seat to Verdi's Don Carlos for $30.  Hmmmm that's about 4 movies where I come from.  Phenomenal sets, costumes, architecture, acting etc.  Unfortunately nature was calling several times during the show.  I guess me and culture don't mix.  Who am I trying to kid?   But I had a good time regardless.

I went to a couple more museums today.  One art museum had a Mexican art exhibit and I went to the home of Franz List, a famous (so they say) composer.  You learn something new everyday.  Then there was more sightseeing from the street, tram riding, etc.  I'll spend about 5 days here and I think I'll just scratch the surface.

On a dour note, I visited the "Terror House" museum.  It was a building/prison used for spying and torturing.  Started by the Hungarian Nazis, then several Hungarian parties post WW2, and then continued to be used by the Russians, it was a completely fascinating and depressing place.  It reminded me of the Tuol Sleng torture museum I saw in Phnom Pen from the Khmer Rouge.  Makes you appreciate how lucky we have it. It was yet another time when neighbors and family could have you killed by narking on you for not being a member of the party, or not being "patriotic" enough.

Tomorrow, think I'll "take the waters" at the Gellert Baths.  God, I'm getting old.

October 13, 2005

The Gellert Baths are part of the Gellert Hotel, a snooty hotel on the banks of the Danube. The baths are the most expensive in town ($13?) and have beautifully adorned walls and greek columns. See the photo attached.  But the place is full of cranky old people and employees who can't be bothered with you. While the baths were OK, the public baths at Szecheny were much better.  
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