Budapest – Day 1

Location | Suite Hostel – Budapest

Arrival in Budapest was at 8:30am this morning. The big open air train station is pretty amazing and packed with travelers. Budapest is really run down in that area in town, but I think I was expecting something grand after coming from Prague.

Budapest Keleti Train Station

Budapest Keleti Train Station

We took the local bus to our hostel which is on the 4th floor (no elevator) of an old fashioned building near the famous Vaci Utca (a shopping street). We climbed up and were introduced to a 4-person mixed dorm room… where two half naked guys were sleeping. I was a little horrified and had us upgraded (ugh for US$30/person/night more) to a 2 person private room. I think that was the best decision I’ve made so far on this trip.

Do you see the legs of the half naked guy?

Do you see the legs of the half naked guy?

Well, since the room wasn’t ready, we went to the flea market in this big park in the northeast part of Pest. There were a ton of booths and a lot of old soviet memorabilia. It was getting really hot (today was about 91* or more) but we walked around the park and looked at the castle which had a small church and an agricultural museum and we also walked to Heroes Square which is a big memorial.

Who are these Hungarian Heroes?

Who are these Hungarian Heroes?

After that, we took the metro and stopped at nearly every stop to look at the buildings and all the sights.

We ate in Oktogon. There’s a street filled with cafes. We finally got to try some Hungarian goulash – with lamb, potatoes and some tiny noodles. It was faintly spicy and very flavourful. Very much like beef stew (except with lamb) and very very red.

Ngoc enjoying Hungarian Goulash

Ngoc enjoying Hungarian Goulash

After eating we went to St. Stephen’s Basilica. It was HUGE inside and very nice and cool. We left and went across the plaza to “California Coffee Company” and had some iced tea and watermelon. After enjoying the view from the 2nd floor window (and the AC) we decided that we wanted to walk the Chain Bridge to Buda. It was a short walk and the Buda side has the best views.

It’s very eerie in Buda because there were basically NO people. Every once in awhile we’d run into another set of tourists or a local here or there, but really it was just us on empty streets.

We climbed up a “mountain” (aka a hill) to Matthia’s Church. There were great sweeping views of Pest and an awesome view of the Hungarian Parliament Building.

We sat on the steps eating some gelato when this tourist (I believe he was Eastern European, but he didn’t talk much so I couldn’t tell where he was from) sat down next to me.. and had his wife take a picture of us… Has he never met a real live Asian before? Was I just so awesome looking sitting on the steps that he just had to get a picture?? I have no idea.

After finishing up, we went down the meeting, back to the empty streets of Buda and got to the metro station. We got back to where our hostel is, and did some grocery shopping. We’re eating on the cheap to save money for Rome. (Plus food in Budapest is not that great).

Anyway, tomorrow we have a big day ahead of us – the Castle w/ underground labyrinth and maybe Margaret Island – where they have some thermal hot springs (about 100* water…). We’ll see. More updates to come – check Flickr!

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08 2009

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  1. 1

    great photos! have you bought anything yet (in terms of souvenirs)? i wonder what kind of souvenirs come from Budapest. blog on!

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