Jeanine and I are now in Budapest, Hungary. Tomorrow we leave via Air Malev for Athens Greece to watch Lisa and Shawn race. We have been staying in a tiny (<20 people) but fun hostel right in the downtown (on the Pest side of the river).
Budapest is another city of churches (like all of Europe?). On our first full day here we visited the "Great Synagogue" which is Europe's largest synagogue and the 2nd largest in the world. It is also the site of a Jewish ghetto from world war 2. Along side the synagogue there is a common grave containing 2500 Jewish people who died in the ghetto during the war.
OUR SECOND DAY HERE WE TOOK OFF AFTER BREAKFAST FOR A WALK TO SEE SOME OF THE OTHER CITY SIGHTS. WE BEGAN BY CROSSING THE DANUBE AND HEADING UP HILL TO A CITADEL/MONUMENT WHERE WE COULD GET A WONDERFUL VIEW OF THE CITY...THEN WE WALKED OVER TO THE CASTLE HILL, WHICH IS ONE OF THE MAIN TOURIST STOPS HERE (AND LET'S JUST SAY IT WAS TOUR BUS CENTRAL!)...THEN OUR WALK TOOK US DOWNHILL TOWARDS THE OPERA HOUSE AND PARLIAMENT WHICH ARE SOME FANTASTIC BUILDINGS TO SEE.
Hostel life has been an interesting change for Jeanine and I. For the entire week in the Ukraine we stayed in hotels (no hostels to speak of in the country) and we met only a handful of other travellers. Even the travellers we met were typically over there for work. Budapest is completely different. It is jammed with backpackers. We had a good night out at the bar down the street with the hostel crowd (couple of germans, couple of americans, aussie and a kiwi). The only downside is all the beer we have been forced to drink and the slight lack of sleep...
DRINKING COFFEE AND SITTING IN OUTDOOR CAFES HAS ALSO BEEN A LARGE PART OF HANGING OUT IN BUDAPEST..AND I GUESS EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE TRIP AS WELL..BUT ESPECIALLY HERE. We have also discovered the most kick-ass sandwich place ever. Tuna fish, bacon and camembert on a baguette. Worth the trip just for that.
IT'S BEEN FUN TO MEET SOME OTHER TRAVELLER'S THOUGH, AND I MUST ADMIT I'M GLAD TO BE ABLE TO ORDER FROM AN ENGLISH MENU AGAIN! TODAY WE HAD TIME FOR ONE LAST MUSEUM, AND CHECKED OUT THE LOCAL TOURIST MARKET (MAJOR TOURIST TRAP) AND NOW WE'RE OFF TO DINNER, AND FLY TO ATHENS TOMORROW AFTERNOON.
It is too bad that we have only been able to visit Budapest in Hungary. From our experience, the capital is not a good indication of what the country is really like. Budapest is far more western than Kiev or Warsaw. In the national museum today we saw an exhibit on what communist life was like here. Today, looking around it is very hard to see any of that past left over. In Poland and in the Ukraine it was everywhere.
Posted by Alistair Howard at September 22, 2004 09:12 AM
Have a good flight on to Athens. I am enjoying the images and commentary as you go...I REALLY like that bicycle!
Posted by: Anita at September 22, 2004 04:52 AM
Agreed. Wood is a superior material for a bike.
Posted by: Jeff Werner at September 22, 2004 10:14 AM
Melissa says: Budapest is in Hungary??
Hector says: Don't worry it's supposed to be guacamole.
Sandra says: I am Hungary. (It is 11 p.m. and we haven't had dinner yet... but wine... oh yes, we've had wine)
CONGRATS LISA AND SHAWN!
Posted by: Melissa at September 25, 2004 10:45 AM