Finally, A Decent Goulash..

Trip Start May 02, 2006
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Goodbye Croatia and hello Hungary!

Sadly we had to endure another hellish bus trip from Korçula to Zagreb and then hang around in Zagreb for 8 hours due to missing our 7.20am train to Budapest by 10 minutes. Bummer. We used the time in Zagreb to try and get our Romanian visa which was to no avail unfortunately as ıt would've saved us two days in Budapest.

Anyway this is about Budapest not Zagreb so I'll kick on.

We arrived into Budapest Central Station after 10pm which is not a great time to arrive I can assure you. Nothing is open and there doesn't seem to be anyone around except dodgy villainous types offering you everything under the sun. Such a shame Kat and I aren't crystal meth junkies into the latest golden shower and faecal love pornography. If you want it, you can get it at Budapest Central late at night from a bunch of guys with bad teeth wearing long grey coats.

We weren't blessed with great weather in Budapest so we unfortunately couldn't get to as much as we would have liked but we did see a few highlights as well as get our Romanian visa so all wasn't lost.

The first site off the block was Statue Park on the outskirts of town. Like the rest of the former communist Eastern European countries we've visited, Hungary has pulled down any monuments loosely related to the communist occupation of their state. Fortunately for the tourists they have managed to save a couple and put them into a wonderfully tacky park. It's certainly not worth the visit for most of you but I had a bug about it and Kat graciouslly agreed to accompany me out there. It was pants to be honest but we got a kick out of it and it took care of half a day.

With the shitty weather persisting we went in search of some indoor activities and the best one to come up was the Gellert Hotel Baths. Not sure if anyone has been to these baths but they are something to behold. They're centuries old and a wonderfully relaxing way to blow half a day (and $50). They consist of a few outdoor pools and a few indoor baths split between a single unisex pool and seperated male and female sections based on the Turkish hammams. The male baths still retain their original grandure including crusty old hungarian dudes walking around in tiny loin clothes, that'd be me. Kat told me that the women's has been modernised for one reason or another only known to the Gellert I imagine. If you're ever in Budapest (no matter the season) you should definitely check the Gellert Baths out. We walked out like rubber people we were that floppy and relaxed.

The next couple of days we simply walked the streets whenever the rain stopped long enough for us to get out of our apartment. Budapest really is an amazing city. Everywhere you turn there is something to look at and again, similarly to the poles, your average hungarian loves to just have a chat about anything and everything. We popped up to the Buda Castle district for a sticky beak then walked along and across the (not so) Blue Danube into various districts of Budapest. We ate exceptionally tasty hungarian goulashes and other hearty peasant foodstuffs. Essentially we just walked and ate and walked and ate until the Romanian visa came through.

Budapest is another one of those promising cities that Kat and I had heard so much about and had it delivered to us in spades. It's a city with plenty to see and do even when the weather isn't fantastic. Raining like cats and dogs ? Then take in the numerous indoor activities such as the museums, galleries, indoor baths or simply chill in a cafe in any number of cool parts of Pest. When the sun shines your options are only enhanced, check out the historic centre of Buda, take in the outdoor baths which are a sight to behold or just walk the streets.

We loved the place and give the city and the locals a 9 out of 10 for overall excellence. Budapest, like Warsaw, we salute you.

Well our visa came through so it's time to stop wandering about and move onwards.

Next pod, Brasov - Romania.


Nath and Kat.
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