Finally! Arrival in Budapest

Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

We arrived in Budapest after about 23 hours in a tour bus.  After we quickly checked into our hotel, we got back on the bus to head to dinner.  Budapest is almost like two different cities divided by the river.  There's the Buda side and the Pest side.  While most of the pretty sights are on the Buda side, all of the tourists stay on the Pest side.  There's tons of hotels and the shopping streets are all on that side.

The Buda side is more green and hilly.  Of course, we arrived once it was already dark.  Our restaurant was on one of the highest parts on the Buda side.  I think it was at a place called the citadel as it was called the Citadella Restaurant.  Having only been in Budapest for an hour, I didn't really have a good idea of the layout.  Regardless, the restaurant was near a very touristy area filled with souvenir stalls and a lookout to catch some of the best views of the city.  All the monuments in the city are very dramatically lit at night.

The restarant was cute and actually in the fortress.  Our booklet for the trip promised Hungarian music and dancing, but they stuck us in a back room for groups so we only got to half hear the music in the other room.  As would become a running theme on this trip, and from my past time in Eastern Europe, they fed us chicken and potatoes...because us Americans supposedly LOVE chicken and potatoes.  They also serve a plate of saur kraught (spelling???) for the whole table to umm...just throw on everything, I guess.  It was good and we got a sour cherry pastry for dessert.

After that, we went back to the hotel area and wandered down the streets around there.  We were going to stop in a bar, but didn't really find any.  Sure, there were some shady half-empty bars but that was about it.  Oh...and strip joints. fact, everytime we thought we had found a legitimate bar we would then find a sign saying "striptease" or "sexi girls."

We also explored a metro station just to see what it was like.  We couldn't buy metro tickets as you can only pre-purchase tickets and ticket booths were closed.  Kind of a stupid system as the metro was still running.  It was easily the dirtiest metro I've seen in Europe with lots of drunks sleeping on the ground and people begging for money.

After that we just headed back to the hotel and went to sleep.
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