Buda my pest!

Trip Start Feb 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Budapest was awesome. It was never on my Top Places To See list and I was really surprised how beautiful the city is & friendly the people are. Although, after being in Prague I think even East St. Louis would seem friendly...anyway, Budapest has a castle district where people still live but it's somewhat closed to the rest of the city. Only certain people can drive through there and it's on top of a hill on the west side of the river overlooking the city. We had a blast walking through the district and taking photos of the restored castle walls and towers while sipping our $2 Hungarian wine. 

We stayed at the Danubius Grand Hotel on Margitsziget Island, just a bit north of the centrum. The island is basically a huge park with open spaces, jogging paths, old ruins of the convent St.Margaret lived in, sporting fields, and our hotel and its sister property, Danubius Thermal Spa. The place was awesome & we had unlimited use of the gym, steam rooms, indoor pool & thermal baths while there. One of the bridges to access the island was under construction making it a bit inconvenient for normal travelers, but we're so used to walking & figuring out transit, we were just happy the hotel was priced low enough that we could afford it!

Lots of cool bridges in Budapest. The Parliament building is maybe the most impressive & recognized landmark of the city, although surprisingly just built in 1896 which is crazy when you realize the castle was built in I believe the 1300's. We didn't bother with the tour inside the Parliament, but they had them in English daily. Budapest has a huge City Park with two art museums (we went to one & it was lame...the exhibits didn't come close to anything in the States), a zoo, amusement park (again, small by our standards), Szechenyi Baths (huge thermal baths), and Heroes' Square (my favorite in Budapest as you all may know!). Lots of shopping, kickass goulash, and much more food/drink selection than in Prague. I fell in love with the ceramics we saw...amazingly beautiful & uniquely painted dishes priced so well I could have bought an entire set from these local artists. I would have also loved to get Katelyn & Leah little Hungarian dresses! They were too cute and I missed the girls so much seeing the dresses everywhere.

Visiting Budapest reminded me yet again just how much is out there...more travels to come!
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