Sunday, September 21, 2008

Buda + Pest = Budapest

Budapest

Here comes our final stop of Central Europe trip, Budapest.

6 hours from Prague, inside the Student Agency bus, which the bus attendant served us 3 or 4 hot chocolate drinks, as well as movies.

First impression: OMG... the subway was so scary, the carriage was lit up with dim orange light found in those old castle and the train was very old and kept shaking. It was quite a unique experience though. Too bad forgot to take pictures.

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The Nyugati Central Station

We arrived at the Nyugati, which seems to be the central train station of Budapest. No more Czech or German here, we could forget about "Dobry den" that we used recursively in Czech. Finding our way to Carpe Noctem Hostel was a piece of cake. Good comments about the hostel come later, now about the impression again. 4th floor, through an old antechamber with very Budapest-style of stairs and hallways. Basically we were quite disappointed when we first saw the hostel, because it was very small and able to accommodate not many people and we were wondering why such a HIGH rating in hostelworlds.com

What were there to see in Budapest? A lot of things! From the famous Chain Bridge, Parliament Building, Buda Castle, St Stephen's Basilica, Citadella, Central Market etc etc. We did most of our sight-seeings by feet. Couldn't tell how much we had walked in a day!

We first rushed to Chain Bridge, and on our way there, a humongous building that none will overlook stood there, and it's called St Stephen's Basilica. OUCH, photos photos...!

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The almost-perfect-but-tongueless lion and the Chain Bridge.

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St Stephen's Basilica stood so big in the center of Pest.

From the Oktogon, we walked along the well-preserved Andrassy Avenue (another UNESCO), visited House of Terror and learned some history of socialism and finally Heroes' Square!

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Group picture at the great Heroes' Square

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Parliament's Building, just beside the Danube river, the most significant building perhaps, in Budapest (at least I like it the most, more than castle).

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I think it's Rudas Bath. It's sad that we did not take a dip into the thermal bath!

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We visited the 'fake' castle too, and it was nice scenery there.

What to do in the nights of Budapest? We strolled along the beautiful Buda castle district. We found our way to Fisherman's Bastion and the Mathias Church beside it. From Fisherman's Bastion we overlook the whole of Pest county and watch the sky turn from blue to darkness, and lights start to lit up across the city, giving us one of the most magnificent night scene ever. Especially the Chain Bridge. Have to mention a bit of St. Mathias Church here, we got into the church accidentally and guess what, they were having a concert and we just feasted our ears to the free music, as opposed to the 18EUR concert in Vienna.

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Fisherman's Bastion, where we looked upon Pest county in the late evening.

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Interior of Mathias Church.

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Chain Bridge, lit up by the night lights.

Back to Carpe Noem, hmm... Suzy? Yea, and she was such a friendly boss with very interesting staffs as well! They treated us as friends instead of just customers. We were treated to a very suzy-made meal (at the cost of EUR 5), tasted the warmness, and hang around in the hostel too. At first wling was very unhappy with the hostel but this changed her into promoting the hostel. No wonder they got such high ratings in hostelworld.

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Our meal in the hostel.

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Hang around with these guys although there was a very big gap still and Silicon managed to impress everyone with his Rubik's cube.

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After everyone went to pub, we sorta took a group picture in the living room.

More pictures:
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Some little thoughts and conclusion:
We like Budapest. It was not as crowded as Prague despite we were here for the weekends, and the Magyar buildings were so different and nicer(in my opinion) as compared to other big cities we visited. So many landmarks, and their names are still fresh inside my mind while those that we went started to fade away...
Luckily we did not sacrifice Budapest to go Berlin or Krakow.

*note: Rubik's cube originate from Hungary?
*note: Paprika, is everywhere in Budapest.
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