It's hot here!
Trip Start Jul 28, 2007
9Trip End Aug 13, 2007
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Well we have been truckin' around Budapest. It is hot here! Only in the 80s technically but friggin' hot when you are in the sun.
The first night was pretty low key. We walked down to the Chain Bridge which they close to traffic on the weekends in the summer. Booths set up selling all kinds of stuff. They are very big into wood. They have these giant pencils everywhere.... I wanted to buy one for Steve #2 but Steve #1 wouldn't let me. We ate at Menza (I think it means cafeteria). All decked out in 70s decor. Quite cool. The food was ok, we sat outside which was nice. They give you bright orange blankets if you get cold. Check out www.menza.co.hu for more info.
Yesterday we went to St. Stephen's Cathedral (you can imagine all of the lines I kept hearing: this is my place, they built this for me, etc.). Very beautiful. The chapel with St. Stephen's hand was closed... we may try again... Steve has a fascination with old, dried appendages. Then we went to the Buda side and took the funicular up to Castle Hill. We strolled around up there for a bit. No real castle... a palace. Some ruins. Matthias Church which unfortunately was covered in scaffolding on the exterior. Pretty cool inside though. After sweating in the sun we decided to "take the waters". Budapest sits on a thin crust (no wonder it's so hot!) and they have thermal baths everywhere. Two were recommended in our book so we went to the Széchenyi Baths in the City Park. So after finding our way to the changing cabin (couple can share but I needed to purchase a locker ticket) we found the water. Three pools. One was very warm with jets along the sides and a fountain to work the knots out of your shoulders. The second was slightly cooler with more jets, fountains and this one had a whirl pool. Fun but loaded with kiddies. There was also these bubblers from the floor that turned on when they turned the whirl pool off. These were great too. The third pool I think may have been even cooler and was for doing laps. This place was GREAT!!! A must if you come to Budapest. After the baths we were noodles but felt much better. For dinner we went to a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet... Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő. The place was like sitting on the surface of the sun! It must have been 90 in there. The food was ok, nothing amazing, as described. I had the goulash... very fatty. Eeh. After dinner we went to Mosselen, a Belgian beer bar on the way home. Cool place, friendly service, nice menu. They had the one and only Westvleteren "available" for 5200 forint (that's about $25!). That's why I put available in quotes.... do they really have it? Doubt it!
Today we went to Statue Park. Rather than smash all of the communist statues from the city they moved them to a park that you can visit. The pictures should be good. I just can't imagine living under such a regime. To get to Statue Park you have to take a bus or a cab... it's a bit outside the city. You can take public transport... but it is VERY confusing. We took the bus that is much cheaper than a cab. Buy tickets at the tourist info on Déak tér, catch the bus, it's about 2 hours total. After the park we went down to the Great Market Hall. Fruits and Veges, meats, crafts. This place was cool. There are a few places to grab prepared food. I had a stuffed cabbage and Steve had goulash and sausage. All very good. Better than some of the other food we had. It was so hot we decided to go to Gellért Baths. The other recommended place.... we didn't like it as much. The really hot pools were segregated. There were two pools outside, one of them was a wave pool... kinda fun. Then two pools inside, one luke warm and one for laps. None of these pools had the jets and fountains that Széchenyi has. This place also felt more like a hotel pool and meat market. More tourists than locals... definitely not as nice. For dinner we went to Pizza Marzano (I know, I know.. it was to hot to look for Hungarian). This place was great. The pizzas were really good! We also had dough balls with 5 different sauces for dipping.... yummy. One thing we have noticed is that they have a thing for orange in the city. Lots of orange restaurants.
Well, that is all for now. Love to everyone,
Steve and Kim