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Last updated : Nov 2009
Budapest, Hungary
Rating: (5.0) (1 vote)

Budapest, Hungary
July 24, 2001


Pros: Cheap
Cons: None

Stumbling around Famished

Well i have been in Hungary for six days now having a blast. Spent the first night at Debrecen, only 50km from the Romanian border, but it was unbelieveable the change from the last couple of weeks, felt like i was back in Sydney. Large Supermarkets like the Big Fresh back home, European cars, tourists a plenty, what happened to Eastern Europe!!!!

Over to Northern Hungary, spent a couple of days in the wine region of Eger which was a welcome change from the amount of time spent on trains in Romania, found myself a student dormitory to crash in for US3 dollars which was a real bargain. Wandered over to the wine region for a day's outing, but was far from impressed with having to pay for their famous "bull's blood" dispensed in a plastic bottle. Well after two or so hours of tasting, Nigel and myself found ourselves in a 242 year old cellar trying to avoid a sudden downpour. Purchased a 8 year old vintage in a used 1.5 litre water bottle which should go down quite well over the next couple of nights.

Been in Budapest for the last three days and there has been so much to see, although after 3 1/2 months of bliss with hardly any tourists around, i have certainly had a rude awakening with the amount of Americans in town, but suppose it had to happen sooner or later. The Danube river divides the centre of town, Buda on one side and Pest on the other. Consequently, i have been walking miles each day and what little of arse i had left after my adventures in the Middle East has mysteriously disappeared.

I left the hostel around 8,45am this morning, walked down to the markets to buy the backpackers high energy breakfest, chocolate milk, snickers bar and a couple of banana's. Also picked up some lunch to have later in the day (salami, hungarian cheese, tomatoes and a couple of rolls) before i ventured across the river to the Royal Palace to learn more about the country at the Budapest History Museum which wasn't a bad way to pass an hour or so.

Up the road to the Matthias Church, a quick poke around before over to the Military Museum which was a blokes thing to do. Really cool exhibit, plenty of old weaponry to be had, and the Black and White pictures that retold the destruction of Budapest during WWII was definately the highlight.

About to head back across the Danube to Pest when i came across the Hungarian Wine Tasting Centre. Sounded good to me, so spoke to the gentleman at the counter and was told in pigeon english that for US10 dollars they had 70 wines for tasting, you help yourself and it should take about 2 hours to complete. The Australian translation was "come downstairs my son and get pissed on some good blonk for next to nic's", so it wasn't before long that i was partaking in the activite's. Not to be impartial to the selection on hand, i made sure that i tried each offering a couple of times before i could make any wise judgement that separated the good from the bad. Well the whites were fantastic, very acidic but just how i like them, but by the time i finally came around to tasting the reds, they appeared to be unbalanced, but for that matter so was I. Still i persisted and had a copious amount before i finally crawled upstairs to the exit. With a wide grin on my face, the gentleman noticed what a great time i had had and said that i should come back tommorrow, maybe not a bad idea.

Finally stumbled across the Chain Bridge to the Jewish Museum, but the security around the place was a real turn off so i didn't stay long, although the pictures of the Hungarian Jewish community being sent over to Poland to the concentration camps were fascinating.

Up to the Danube Bend tommorow for a couple of days, before i make my way down to Southern Hungary.

Cheers