Is this the City Hall? Or that one? Or THAT one?

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Goat Hostel

Flag of Hungary  ,
Monday, August 25, 2008

In most cities I can spot the important buildings by knowing their general locations.  This eyeballing method does not work in Budapest because just about every building in the city appears colossal and important.  I would imagine one building to be the City Hall, until I see a "For Sale" sign on one of the windows.  I think I see a Fodor's Choice church around the corner and realize that it's a pizza restaurant.  There are a ton of people trying to sell you the city sightseeing tour, and they are the perfect candidates for asking directions.  They work for the tourism business, which means they speak English, are service-oriented, and know the hot spots. 

Alice, a girl I met in the hostel, and I set out to explore the Pest side.  Not pesticide, the Pest side of the city.  Budapest is divided into two parts by Danube River, or rather, two cities Obuda and Pest joined to form the glorious Budapest, a city that slapped left and right through the ages.  We walked up along the river and visited St. Stephen's Church- the most impressive church I have visited on this trip!  The place is just spectacular!  Even better is that the admission is FREE and you can take photos to your heart's content!  We went up to the copula (400 HUF) to see a breathtaking view of the city.  You could walk around the copula and see the two hills, the parliament, and countless architectures that I could not name.  Adrossy Ut stretched right behind the church, so we went for a walk down the famous and glamorous street.  It was a mixture of top-end stores, restaurants of all kinds and prices, and several museums (and beautiful buildings, of course).  We decided to go to Central Market Hall for lunch.  What a great idea, seriously.  It took us about 40 minutes to figure out how to get there, mainly because I got the numbers on the map wrong.  It actually turned out to be at the end of the street where our hostel is situated.  I guess I just did not realize it because, just as I mistaken unimportant buildings as important ones, I overlook the important ones since it is embedded in so many impressive buildings.  The hall is magnificent!  It looks like a huge train station, except every space is occupied by stores.  It's like the Granz Bazaar of Budapest.  There are Hungarian fast-food restaurants and the best and the most entertaining souvenir shops I have seen.  The souvenirs are so gorgeous and cheap and unique!  The fast-food version of goulash looked unappetizing, but I tried it anyway and it tasted like the beef stew I had everyday in the university cafeteria in Istanbul.  Yum? 

We came back to take a nap, so we can go out tonight.  There are some crazy clubs here, like one at a thermal spa...
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