I Left Hungary For More: Budapest part 1

29 Nov

I know it’s been another long absence, nearly two weeks if I’m to believe the very sparse-looking calendar thing somewhere on the right side of this page. But I also know that you know to expect any kind of regularity is more futile than telling me how Back to the Future part III is fundamentally flawed. I won’t hear it.

Anyway, the main reason I’m back is because I actually have something to write about. That’s right, as promised over the past week and a bit I have returned from the West island of New Zealand (still funny), done a jet lagged 4 1/2 days of work, and spent the weekend in Budapest. By my standards I need around two months paid leave to recover now.

So I’m sure at least five of you seven loyal readers are thinking along the same lines: “you only went to Budapest for the many obvious Hungary puns.” Well you’re sort of right, but I had also heard it was an amazing place from everyone who’d been, therefore it was on my list of must-see places for this trip.

It began with what is widely accepted as the most shambolic airline in the world. Ryanair. I know you’re not paying for the service, but you do pay for pretty much everything else. That being said, it got us there on time and without too much fuss. We then set about getting to Wombats Hostel, and given how much trouble it can be to get from some airports in the world, the fixed-price taxi service was extremely welcome.

The following morning we were determined to make the most of our flying weekend visit, and so embarked upon a free walking tour. Rather than being ‘free’, these tours are actually based on tips (which they make very clear at the start) and are a very cheap way of seeing a city and getting heaps of information. After winding our way through various landmarks, we arrived at the Palace overlooking the river and were greeted with:

I know what you’re thinking. And despite the fact that it is neither on a shit angle, nor blurry, I did in fact take this photo. This is taken from the Buda side and overlooks the Pest side of Budapest. There’s a story about the names but you’ll have to visit if you want to hear it, since to explain it would take this dangerously in to the territory of an actual travel blog.

Along the way we also stopped by St. Stephens Basilica, a very impressive cathedral located on the Pest side. It looks like this:

You’ll be pleased to see a return to my “arty” photography style

I think you’ll agree on it’s impressive-ness. However I really only point this out to show you the ingenious way previous town planners have employed to make it seem even more impressive:

No doubt they erected the most boring building they could so as not to detract from the cathedral’s majesty. Or perhaps communist Lego blocks were not as colourful as ours. Either way I think it makes a nice juxtaposition.

After our walking tour we resolved to find some authentic Hungarian cuisine, which we were informed consisted of meat, lard, paprika, and occasionally potatoes. Seems limited but after two days I’m convinced they are the only 3-4 things you could ever need to cook. In any case we found we were looking for in the form of a nice hearty goulash soup.

Probably wouldn’t work as a Master Chef taste challenge

That was tasty, but what I really need to talk about is that we saw this:

If you’re not sure because you can’t see him that well, YES. That is a man playing the wine glasses! It’s one of those things I’ve seen on TV but never did I dream I would see one in real life. Clearly this is not just your average guy who happened to have some free time and a fully stocked armoire. Such is the organisation of his packing cases (not to mention his skillz) I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a roadie in a Jamie Turner T-shirt skulking out to replace cracked vessels.

That will have to do for now, as I’m trying to string this out ’til Christmas. Speaking of which, I have some exciting news (exciting for me anyway). Stay tuned for that, plus the epic conclusion to the Budapest adventure. Now THAT is dangling some impressive carrots!


Safe travels, thanks for reading. J

One Response to “I Left Hungary For More: Budapest part 1”

  1. The Mind of RD Revilo December 2, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Reblogged this on RD Revilo.

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