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Monday, May 09, 2005

First stop: Budapest

Well my 3 country tour is over and I had a blast. I enjoyed each city and so to give them all the justice they deserve this will be a three part blog entry on my trip going in order of my trip.

So Wednesday afternoon Danielle and I hopped on a Pink and Purple Wizz Air plane and headed off for Budapest. We arrived that evening and made out way to our Hostel which was actually pretty nice as it was really just a large apartment with the rooms filled with bunk beds. Great location and very clean (Caterina Hostel if anyone is planning a visit). We walked around just a little that evening and then met up with a Pepperdine MIB alumni who has been living in Budapest for a while now and had dinner with him. He gave us some ideas of what to do in the city and so the next morning we set out to see Budapest in 24 hours. We started our day at the Spa (as we were told it’s a must do in Budapest), what better way to start a day. Don’t be deceived by the word Spa though, it’s actually a medicinal spa and was filled with old people just sitting on bubbles and being whirled around in a lazy river type thing. We enjoyed out time in the pools and then went for our massage. Seeing how no one we were talking with spoke English, just getting a time for a massage was quite a hassle. We wanted to try the mud care but weren’t sure what it was and no one could seem to understand what we were asking about. So we just settled on the massage. And much to my surprise I got stuck with a very large and hairy Hungarian man as my masseuse. But the massage was great and the whole spa experience was a really fun cultural experience. After finishing up there we headed out on the town and did all the sightseeing we could fit into the day. We stopped for lunch up on the hill and tried a typical Hungarian meal of meat filled pancakes. We were told they were filled with chicken by our waiter but it was far from chicken and I’m still worried about what it may have been, but they were quite good. After walking all over the town seeing everything we could we headed back to the Hostel, rested a bit then freshened up and headed out for dinner and drinks. We went down to this restaurant/lounge on a boat on the river and had a few drinks after dinner. After which we tried to find some nightclubs we had found on the internet but were unsuccessful as they no longer existed and that part of the city seemed dead so we just went ahead and went home. Probably for the best as we had to get up super early the next morning to catch our 6 a.m. train to Vienna.

Upon leaving my impression was very favorable of Budapest. The city was lovely, especially at night since they light up all the monuments along the river and it’s just gorgeous. Prices are pretty cheap, at least compared to Paris, since they aren’t on the Euro yet. It was also fun carrying around a 10,000 forint bill (about 40 euros) and paying hundreds for a meal. I was very impressed with how nice the city was, they had tons of cute cafes/restaurants (much cuter than the ones found in Paris) and it felt like such a clean and crisp city. The language was difficult as it was near impossible to even make a guess as to what something said but thankfully they’re very accommodating to tourists and most people spoke English and menus were all in English. Would definitely recommend visiting the city if you ever have the chance and definitely go to the spas, just be prepared for a whole new spa experience.

Below is the pic of me with my masseuse.

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