Budapest is Big

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
Trip End May 15, 2009

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Howdy Hey, and welcome to my next blog entry!
Fiona and I got up around 8am, and enjoyed our respective breakfasts of toast with Nutella or Vegemite at the hostel before venturing forth into Budapest. The Budapest Card allowed us free access to the public transport, so we rode a tram across the river and then we walked along the river from the XX bridge up to the YY bridge, where there was a lovely little waterfall.
There was also a large number of stairs. Now being that I am not the most able-bodied person, I thought that perhaps we should find this rumoured cable-car to get up the gigantic hill, or maybe just walk another way around that is less severe. By the time I finished having these thoughts, Fiona was up the first flight and calling for me to hurry up - so I thought, if a sick person can do it then I can give it a go.
The view from the top at the Citadell was really stunning, and I'm glad I went up there, but boy did it tucker me out. Worked some core muscles I didn't even know I had until they were caning, later.
Anyway after exploring the top of this hill for a while, we decided it was lunch time and found some streets down another area of the hill. After eventually finding a tram, we travelled back into Pest and into the touristy area to find a meal - we stopped at a modern-looking cafe and bought some average cappuccinos and some tasty foods before moving on. We took a bus up to the City Park, where we enjoyed the Castle (lacking a lake, of course), some interesting looking buildings (which turned out to be bathhouses), and the 'Heroes Square'. Following this was a long walk down a big street ("you can't see the city from a bus", says Fiona) and a stop-in at a post office (where a neighbouring customer had to interpret for us, thanks stranger!) and some more random street wanderings. A need for the toilet and some free wi-fi led us into KFC, where we succumbed to the delicious smell and had an early dinner of disgustingly bad deliciousness... And used the internet for about an hour until it stopped working XD
Then we headed back to the hostel and sat back to relax. That evening was spent talking to a young American and two Brits and, highly entertaining though it was, very little was achieved.
The next day we slept in a little bit more, but didn't stay in too late as we knew there was a plane waiting later in the day. So we took the tram in the other direction past the island in the river and across to Buda again. We started out walking down the river again, but Fiona's cough was getting pretty bad so we had to stop for coffee along the way. We finally reached the Chain Bridge, and took the funicular up to the top of the hill (...ahhhhhh, so glad) where we enjoyed the view and inspected the buildings. I would have liked to spend some time at the Fisherman's Bastion (a defensive lookout over Budapest whose towers are reminiscent of elvish fantasies) but we had to head to the palace to watch the changing of the guards. It was highly amusing; one of the guards was trying very hard not to crack up laughing due to the silliness of the ceremony! Real scary, guys XD
After some more meanderings, we stopped for lunch at a highly touristic cafe on the hilltop where we enjoyed some Goulash soup, chips and strudel. I also followed up with some tasty cinnamon and vanilla ice cream, yum yum!
We needed wi-fi again, so we walked across the beautiful Chain Bridge and took a tram back to that same KFC as the day prior and indulged in some pepsi drinks. Then we packed up at the hostel, said our farewells, and hopped on a tram / train / bus combo to get to terminal one and wait a looong time for our plane, didn't enjoy the airport food, and got front row seats on our budget airline.
Of course, I got moved from the front row before takeoff due to my need for an extended seatbelt (something to do with reduced mobility, wtf??!) and ended up in an aisle seat halfway back next to a stranger. It was impossible to sleep properly without losing my head position, the attendants kept knocking me when they went past, and there was a screaming newborn. Oh well it was a cheap flight...
At the other end, I exchanged my HUF for EUR (except they wouldn't take my coins! Damn I am stuck with them) and we took the aircoach to the city centre and went to the hotel.
Poor Fiona was tired and dried out (it was nearly midnight by now) and the chilly wind was making her cough really painfully bad so it was a really strong relief to find our hotel (well, we missed it on the first try but we didn't get too far away before realising) and settle in for a very comfortable night's sleep in Dublin.
Well that's May the 5th described, so good night until May the 6th! :)
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