Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Taking the overnight train from Prague doesn't necessarily mean you'll get some sleep. All the lurching and stopping doesn't make for a very restful night in your bunk that is basically as wide and as tall as you are.

I found that it's nothing an early morning coffee and good Hungarian pastries couldn't overcome. Never underestimate the power of pastry.

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived was the hive activity of the local knitters.


Lots of yarn-bombing and cozied-up public spaces. Nice.


Budapest was completely razed by battles against the occupying Ottomans in the late 17th century, so it doesn't have the medieval architecture Prague has, or the high gothic architecture Paris has. It's a big, modern sprawling city along the Danube. It's much less pedestrian friendly than Prague as it is more of an actual working city and people live there, and the people generally zip along at a very New York pace.

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It's loud and a little dirty, but not without its charms. It was a little more difficult to get by here as there was very little English spoken, and Hungarian isn't a very easy language to pick up for your tourist needs.

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We took a walk up to Budapest Castle.

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The gorgeously restored Matthias Church, with the fun roof tiles added as a modern touch.

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The Fisherman's Bastion is a play on the old city walls.

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High above the city, we spotted a cloud that looked like a dragon!




The stunning Parliament building:

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The Chain Bridge, the oldest connection from the Buda to the Pest side of town.

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One thing Hungary had an advantage over the Czech Republic is that the wines here were good, drinkable, and fairly cheap for a good bottle. They also had much more interesting dining options as well and I didn't feel the need to run off to get curries for my daily vegetable.


I totally took advantage and tasted as many Tokajis as I possibly could. Hungarian desert wines have always held a special place in my heart. They were pricey and hard to find in New York, and absolutely impossible in the land of Sauternes. I ended up buying several bottles to pad up in my checked bag. They all made it home safely and are now my intoxicating souvenirs of travel.

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