Come for the food!!!
11.05.2006 25 °C
The next day we said goodbye to our little dog and to italy and headed of to the airport to catch our flight to Budapest, Hungary. THis was on April 27 and today the date is May 11th I think, I really have no idea what day it is. Anyways I am extremly behind in my blog as since we have travelled through Hungary, Croatia, and are now in Slovenia but I am trying to catch up as fast as possible! So we arrived in Budapest a short while later and took a bus into the city The first impression i had was that it was a bit bleak and dreary. There were tons of huge apartment complexes that were complety the same dirty old grey. It reminded me of what communist Russia would have once looked like. But this was my first impression as Budapest is supposed to be the jewel of the danube river. So of course we had no place planned to stay so we were dropped of at an internet cafe. The reason for our stop in Hungary is that we were coming to enjoy the dirt cheapness and the spas. Needless to say this was the country I was really looking forward to coming to! So the listing of the hostels and budget hotels were the cheapest i have ever heard of. The prices for nice places ranged from $30 to $9, nine dollars is that not crazy! So we went for one around 14 dollars which we could just not get over. For our entire trip we had be spending anywhere from $24 to $50 a night so this was a welcome thing. We headed to our hostel which was an old apartment building not to far away. What I love about Europe is just how absolutly old and falling apart everything is, but it has so much charm and I could not picture it being any different. The buildings are so close toghether which leaves absolutly no privacy, but here more people are willing to share space as everyone knows each other and they all get along, for the most part. So this was the first room we had stayed in in a while that was with other people. So we dropped our stuff off and went to eat right around the corner. We subconciously picked the prefect location as our street was lined with dozens of cafes and resturants. As we ate we were to find out what we would with every meal in Hungary, that they have the best food you will have ever eaten in your life!! And so cheap as well. So far we had a good start in Budapest. So with our cheap umbrellas in tow we began to explore the area. We walked down some streets with really expensive stores that I definitly did not belong in and just enjoyed the sun. The rest of the day was the same, laziness, eating, and then we went for some drinks in Buda. Our hostel was in Pest. So as you can tell the city is divided into two sections and used to be called PestBuda but luckily they decided that it sounded stupid so they changed the name to Budapest. The next day we started off on the same foot, very relaxed. I mean if you are in a country full of spas you have to be relaxed yourself, right? We ate some of the best food ever again and went on our journey to find some spas. The big thing here in Hungary is the mineral baths that they have everywhere. First thing we ran into was a huge indoor market full of everything you could possibly want. We thought it was very odd that there were many posters of Alberta and Canada around the place so we asked and every Friday they feature a certain country and today was Canada Day! On our journey I found a spa that had excellent prices so I HAD to book a hour massage and a pedicure and Josh booked a massage, I thought I could talk him into a pedicure later. So another of nothing but window shopping and we were exhausted. Next morning we were up early to head the Gellert Baths until we got there and found out they were seperated by sex, that was boring so we left. Right beside the baths is a church inside a cave so we went and visited that. Inside instead of one church there was probably about little churches crammed together. Then it was time for our appointments. So first I got my rigorous massage and then Josh went for his so I went and got a manicure and then finished with a pedicre, yes it was a rough day. Afterwards we went up to some other mineral baths that were much better with a few pools and not sex seperated. Later we walked back down to our part of town and stopped in for something to eat. Another thing I have noticed in Hungary is that they have the most beautiful interiors more so than any other place I have ever seen. Each little cafe and store has so much detail in it. The next morning we had to move to another hostel nearby and got to business, it was our last full day in Budapest. Today we went up to the zoo, yes we really like zoos and then through a maze of parks until we got to a muesum with a great exihibition called "Cool Hunters". The exibition was all about young adults and the hunt to be and buy everything cool, something I know a thing or two about. Not Josh he is too old. Afterwards we walked to the infamous "Terror Museum". This museum holds memrobilia of the communist times in Hungary. This mueseum was the best designed and beautiful museum I have ever seen. At one point youn enter a dark but very modern elevator shaft where the elevator is slowed down to a three minute ride,where you watch a very sad three minute documentary and then the doors open to the dark tunnels where the head quarters actually were held for the terror police of Hungary. It was very sad and moving but extremly beautiful. That night we went out to a place for supper that we had been looking forward to. This specific Arabic resturant is always the loudest and liveliest place in Pest. This night as most there were at least five bellydancers. So we ordered our water pipes, strawberry to be precise and smoked the night away. I still dont know what we smoked, it does nothing to you and that is all I know. The next day it was cold and miserable, but I dressed for the beach for some reason and we headed of for Statue Park. Statue Parks holds just a few of the many statues that remain from the Communist Reign in Hungary. It was very rainy and miserable and we missed our bus so we took an expensive and deathdefying ride out into the country. At one point our taxi driver swerved into the other lane while polietly turning around and asking if we would like one of his cigarettes. So we made it fast enough to the park to catch our tour, however today it was so miserable that the tour was cancelled. While we were waiting for the rain to clear up some journalists/reporters came up to us and then left quickly once they realized that we did not speak hungarian. One of them came up a few minutes later and let us know that this day May 1st was a very important day in Hungarian history. I do not quite remember what it was but something to do with the end of the communist reign. So we sucked it up and went on a self directed tour. Some of the statues here were amazingly large and of course very untrue to what Lenin and others looked liked. About a quarter through the park we had to turn around because I was absolutly freezing, my sandals just were not cutting it. So what else to do than buy some lovely bright red Lenin Communist socks. So the reporters saw this and jumped on the chance to get this picture, so I did a little bit of sock modelling and hoped that my picture would be in the paper. Afterwards we went back into town and ate at our favorite Micky Dees and left to the train station for Heviz. Heviz is a resort town in Hungary that has a natural lake with the mineral bath properties. This is the place to go when you visit Hungary. So we found our pension which was perfect, definitly the best place that we have stayed yet. By this time it was quite late so we went out to eat and then went to sleep. the next moring we got up and went to the shops downtown, it is an extremly small city and we started to notice the change in age demorcraphic. Suddenly the shops werent selling belly shirts and "cheerlearder" pants, now it was full piece colorful suits with lots of orthopedic shoes. Yes this was going to be a very quiet and relaxed place. We made our way to the lake. There is a building over part of the lake that is kept warmer than outside and there are flaps to where the outside connects. So we spent a few hours here in our blow up rings and than left. Afterwards we did some more shopping for souvineers, Josh doesnt agree but purses definitly count as souvinners right?? I very excitedly went and bought the paper Blikk, the hungarian nationial paper because I thought by just some tiny chance my socks would have been the best piece of news, but no luck with my picture in the paper. And by the was they were extremly warm and helped out a lot. The next moring we were up early because we had a lot to do before ten o´clock, check out time. With a few bags each we headed down to one of our favorite places the post office, yes it was time again to send home another load and leave with light backpacks once again. One thing about Hungary is NOBODY speaks any english at all. So some how we sent off our packages, this time priority because we had no idea what she was saying and we do not have a return hungarian address. I thought this time would be better because I was sending of two packages that equaled around five kilos, but not a chance. Josh and I had no idea the cost would be so high so we had to run off to a bank machine. While I was waiting for Josh to do his thing someone tapped my shoulder and I turned around to see .................................................................
MY PICTURE!!! A lady was standing there holding a newpaper with my picture in it. Of course I couldnt understand what she was saying but she gave me the page. So think about this coincidence she had to be sitting there reading the page with me on it at the exact same time I just happenend to be running by. Of course I was pretty much wearing the same thing ( I am backpacking!!) minus the Lenin socks. So that made my day, we went back to the post office and paid around $200 each, sob sob.... Today, mothers day May 14th Joshs mom has recieved one box... two were sent, lets just hope. So we ran to the train station and found out no trains were to go to Croatia until 6:30 that night which was a long time away. So we figured we would got to a different station and see if there were any earlier ones which meant taking a very long bus ride there. So again on the bus we saw the Hungarian friendliness. Many people would stand next to the driver and carry on lenghly conversations. Have you ever been on a bus in Canada, try talking to those guys and you would get thrown off! We caught a train and began the journey to Zagreb the capital of Croatia.
§§§I apoligize for my terrible spelling and grammer, however most of the time I am in a cramped, hot internet cafe in the middle of the day we I should be exploring, so I type fast and dont look back.§§§