Paprika, anyone?

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Friday, June 2, 2006

Hello from Budapest, where it is once again - surprise, surprise - cold and rainy. This is becoming a theme on this trip. Aside from that, Budapest has been an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. I had no idea what it would be like, as I'd heard mixed things, but Budapest is really a beautiful city (even in the grey, rainy weather).

We arrived yesterday and toured around with a local guide, visiting Hero's Square in Pest, Castle Hill in Buda, and then had a dinner boat cruise along the Danube, which was good fun and had loads of delicious food to boot. They cook everything here with tons of Paprika. Yum. The views from the boat of Parliament and the Castle and all the buildings lit up along the river were amazing. After dinner we all went out to a nightclub and had a great night out (drinks are really cheap here).

Today, we've been walking around all day. First, the House of Terror in the morning, which is a museum all about the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Hungary. Very gruesome, very powerful exhibits, housed in the former headquarters of the Soviet Secret Police. Then, onto St Stephen's Cathedral, where legend has it that the mummified right hand of St Stephen can be found in a glass case. Next, to the impressive Great Synagogue of Budapest, which was unfortunately closed today so we couldn't go inside. It's stunning just from the outside, though. Then to the central market and shopping area of Pest, to buy lunch and souvenirs. We tried traditional Hungarian pancakes, which basically consist of deep fried dough and tons of grease. Really healthy, as you can tell.

Tomorrow, onto Poland. As you can see, the pace is moving really quick now. I'll update again soon.
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