Hungary Anyone?

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Jun 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Tiger Tim's Place

Flag of Hungary  ,
Saturday, May 8, 2010

I took a train from Prague to Budapest Friday afternoon, and arrived around seven O'clock PM. It was a great train ride, with awesome scenery. There was lots of trees, hills, lakes, and even a couple significant buildings. I saw a castle and a big church, that just seemed to come out of nowhere. I took a video of part of my train ride, so if you have never been on a train, hopefully you can see what it is all about.

I got into Budapest at seven and immediately went looking for my hostel. I was able to find it fairly easily, the directions were simple enough to follow. The hostel was similar to a previous hostel I stayed at in Naples, called Giovanni's Home. Our host, Tim owned and ran the hostel with the help of a couple other guys from Australia and England. He was Irish, so there wasn't a language barrier at all. Like Giovanni, he showed us the best places to eat, where the free tour started, what was worth seeing, and what you should avoid. He also did pub crawls (he takes you out to a couple pubs), and arranged dinners. He cooked once, and took us to a restaurant a different night. Tim's hostel was very cosy, and was a nice relaxing place to stay. There were also some really cool people there, which made the stay that much better.

After I found the hostel, Tim made us some pasta, then took us out to a local pub. Some German's with us decided to go play Foosball (table soccer), so some of us went to watch. Apparently Foosball is the Hungarian national sport. I don't know if that is true, but I do know that the Hungarians playing at the Foosball tables were very very good. Tim and I tried playing them and got whooped 8-2, and they were going easy on us... The Germans had a bit more of a chance, but they still lost 80% of their games.

On Saturday, I walked around the city a bit, then went on a walking tour at three. Our tour guide was from Budapest and seemed to have a lot of knowledge about the city, but his poor English, and dry sense of humor made the tour a little boring. He did take us to some really cool places, and told some interesting stories, but I felt at the end of it, that I would have been better off going these places on my own.

On Sunday, I went to an American restaurant called TGI Fridays, with a couple Americans I met at the hostel. It was the first time on my trip that I have been able to get free refills! We were pretty excited, and all had our fare share of Coke. After the restaurant, I said goodbye to the Americans, and went to the Budapest Turkish hot Baths (called Turkish because Hungary was once occupied by the Ottoman Empire
based in Turkey) with four Australians. It was a lot like the Banff hot springs I think, but much more elaborate, with fancy tiles and cool architecture surrounding the baths. After a couple hours in the baths we went out to an awesome Hungarian Restaurant, where I had the traditional Hungarian "Goulash Soup," some Gypsy Pork (really salty pork chop with a lot of garlic), and garlic mashed potatoes. Mmm mm good...

On Monday, I hiked up a large hill called Citadel Mount, and had some great views of the city. I also saw an impressive monument that the Soviets put up to remind how they liberated the Hungarians from the Germans in WWII. Apparently half the monument was taken away with the fall of communism, but the remaining part is still very impressive. After my hike, I felt I had seen all that I wanted to, so I went back to the hostel, watched a movie, then got on my night train to Krakow at eight.
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