Budapest, a European secret

Trip Start Jun 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 16, 2011

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Where I stayed
Centrum Hostel

Flag of Hungary  ,
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I absolutely loved Budapest, and think that I would have found even more to love about it had I spent more time there.  I actually am slightly lost where to start but here I will attempt it.  Budapest is a bit like Prague I thought.  The river, palace on the hill, bridges, historical buildings of various styles and a lovely parkland on the hill too.  And it's just as romantic.  I stayed in a hostel situated in a very convenient and 'central' position.  Alex owns and runs it and has a very peculiar sense of humour that I think Australians might know how to appreciate, well at least I did and considering Anna (Australian lady from Prague)'s recommendation I guess she did too.  The hostel is smallish, which is another reason why I liked it, and appears a bit cobbled together, but this actually gives it it's character I think.  Alex turned out to be my favourite host so far in his generosity and willingness to share both information and time.  He also was kind enough to provide us with dinner and breakfast and made sure we were all being fed and kept entertained.  This was especially nice seeing as I was travelling on my own.  I wouldn't call this hostel a party hostel but it is a social hostel and I well recommend it for solo travellers.  Also I enjoyed his stories of walking the Camino's in Spain and Portugal as he is an avid walker.
I think I got around all the major sights that are to be seen.  There too many to mention really.  The art history gallery in the Palace was really good (except the 3rd floor where all the later 20th C stuff was) and it was super cheap at only 900 FT.  It is so wonderful to go to the galleries of each region and see the local artists work and it just blows your mind how much of it there is to see!  I took heaps of photos and went in search of the Budavari Labirintus which turned out to be exceptionally hard to finds seeing as the arrows were pointing the wrong way.  This labyrinth is actually now a kind of creative journey through an underground exhibition. Where the exhibits are faked artefacts that represent a spiritual journey of some sort.  It is just pretty quirky and odd that is why I liked it.
I also trecked up to the parklands where the liberty statue is and really liked the area a lot and wished I had time to check out the cathedral in the cave but missed it's opening hours.  I loved so much about this city and it's buildings that I just can't write it all.  The next day I spent with fellow hosteller Damien and we wandered a lot, well I successfully got us lost a few times and he was gracious enough not to tease me about it.  We had lunch a at nice cafe but I ordered the wrong thing as traditional egg noodles are not very nice and are very stodgy to eat.  But it is good to try something new I tell myself.  Later we go to see a dance piece up in the castle district which turns out be rather average but as we leave and check out the view we can see the moon rising and it's an amazing red colour and changes to orange the higher is gets.  Turns out Budapest is even more beautiful at night.  We go back to hostel and meet up with the rest of the hostellers who are out at some open air bars that I quite liked.  Lots of locals and a urban or underground edge to them.  Sleep is well welcome when we get home.
I liked Budapest a lot and would love to go back again sometime as there are so many more things to do.  But ultimately it is the people you meet who make a place great.
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