Sunday, April 6, 2008

Budapest Trip on 18-200308

We spent three days in Budapest during the Easter holiday. Not a long trip nevertheless a memorable one. I have been to Budapest once some years ago and since then I always wanted to revisit this magnificant capital. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Budapest is considered an important Central European hub for business, culture and tourism.
We planned our trip this time differently hoping that we won´t miss anything. We travelled with Ryanair from Bremen to Budapest and arrived at budapest in the morning.
The weather in the morning as we arrived was perfect with lots of sunshine as wished. After settled down in our apartment, we headed on directly to the castle hill for breakfast. We decided for the Cafe Auguszt. One of the most famous and oldest cafe in the town. It was not so easy to find as the building where it is located is not that eye catching. Even the cafe entrance is a bit too moderate to our liking. We know we should not concentraste too much on these details but rather on the coffee and pastries we have been hungrying for. The cafe was not very crowded at that time maybe it was too late for breakfast already and too early for a coffee break. We sat down and being handed a menu, of course in Hungarian. There is no way we could order anything from this menu hence we walked to the counter and just pointed on those nice looking little pastries based on our stomach instincts. The coffee varieties is not that wide but we ordered the classical cappuccino and latte. They were just magnficant. Of course the pastries too. We like the one with the spinach filling the most althought we thought it is pistachious filling.

It was time to walk down the castle hill district inhibiting Budapest’s most important medieval monument and museums and a Unesco World Heritage site. We took this opportunity to visit the Royal Palace, the Vienna Gate, the statue of the Holy Trinity, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the Budapest History Museum. The Castle Hill’s is dominated by two most famous sights: Matthias Church, a neo-Gothic creation with a colourful tiled roof and remarkable stained-glass windows. Just east of the church is Fishermen’s Bastion, it built as a viewing platform. We could enjoy the best views in Budapest. After that, we walked across the Chain Bridge which is a landmarks and delightful vantage points over the Danube River. The view of the chain bridge is just inforgetable.
We planned to visit one of the thermal bath in Budapest in the evening hence we headed back to our appartment to change and pack. We have not done this before and hence we decided to go to the most famous one, the Szechenyi bath, favourite among the tourist. We knew that we won´t go wrong with that. The interior of the building is also a marvel. We paid the entrance fees, around 12 Euros per person and without wasting anymore time went to look for the cabins. There are a few thermal pool in the complex all with different temperatures. We jumped in one of the hottest (38 degree) one. It smelled actually not that comfortable and the water was kind of yellowish. I think this is the real thermal hot spring. As it is a medicine pool, I think it is just normal and did not pay to much attention to that, but sitting in a small pool with so many other hairy men was quite scary. My dear was different as he was quite delighted when some nice girls sat next to him. After some 30 minutes, we wanted to try the open air pool though it is a bit cool outside. There are two lage swimming pools outside. The water is warm but the chlorine smells is a bit disturbing. There are just like big swimming pools with warm water. However, I enjoyed this much better as it is much more spacious and most of those in the pool were young teenagers and not those old men inside. There are also water jets from below and the side of the pools so it actually feels like kind of jacuzzi. Nice nice... After the bath, we just bought some pizzas and salat for dinner. It was a long day and we decided to go to bed early.

On day two, we went to the central market to hunt for souvenirs. We read that they are cheapest here. We bought some hungarian hand made table clothes and the famous paprika powder and the Tokaji sweet wine. We also took our brunch there at one of the local store, nice and cheap.
After that, we hopped on to a tram which operates along the Danube river. It was just one of the best decision as we could admire the magnificant achitectures along the river side including the Gellert hill minus all the walkings. We stopped at the parliament. This is the oldest parliamant in Europe and I think also the most beautiful one. After a round of hoto session, we decided to also visit the famous Nyugati railway station. My dear had a hard time reading the map but we managed at last. We spent some time in a shopping complex next to the station and had our lunch there. Don´t be suprised, but I had KFC for lunch. You know, I am a KFC fan and there is no KFC in my town. Pei Wei got the Palacsinta, the famous hungarian pancake with different kinds of fillings to choose from. We spent the rest of the afternoons visiting the remaining monuments we planned for, among others the St. Stephan Basillica and the opera.

Thinking to spent all of the remaining Forints we have changed, we decided to treat ourself a nice dinner. Before that, we took the chance to visit the Heroes´ square situated near the restaurant, I have seen this monument during day time some years ago but the night view is just totally different. The restaurant we dined in is quite of special as all the staffs are females and that´s why the locals call it a `woman restaurant`. The service was very freindly and the atmosphere was though a bit too serious as we tends to talk too loud while eating. However, we manged to behave ourself and enjoy the food to the end. My dear orderes the pork chops, I had the paprika chicken and Pei Wei the classical Goulash. After the dinner, we went back to the chain bridge for the night view. I could not descibe how beautiful it was but we spent at least some 30 minutes there just taking photos and admiring the bridge with the royal palace on the castle hill at the background.
Our flight was in the early morning the next day so we had to rest earlier to ensure that we could get up the next morning. We arrived back home in Germany in the afternoon and went straight away to bed...
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