It was yet another hot day in Central Europe. I had had a fairly good sleep on the train from Brasov despite the horrors that unfolded on the journey i.e. the utter wanker of a ticket inspector who defaced my interrail pass. I’m not sure I have ever been so angry in all my life. I had filled in the travel calendar entirely correctly, yet the inspector clearly did not understand the rules of interrailing so he decided to fill in another day with yesterdays’ date. I thereafter had disturbing visions as to what I wanted to do with his pen. This proved to put a dampener on my whole stay in Budapest for the following reason: if the inspector on the next journey decided to take issue with the fact I had to write over the date the retard inspector wrote, thus making it look forged, the worst that could have happened was having my £215 pass confiscated, rendering the rest of my journey redundant due to the fast the whole point of this trip was INTERRAILING round Europe on a BUDGET. I had to consider my options if my pass were to be confiscated, and could only see the
one – an early flight home. I would have loved Budapest if it weren’t for this constant worry.
Anyway onwards and upwards! My first sight was the Parliament building which had me awe-inspired – such a grand, amazing building. It was not too far from my hostel. I walked with 2 Brazilian guys who had stayed at my Brasov hostel and were staying at the same hostel as me here too. Really funny guys but there was that annoying language barrier. There were a few sights I had my heart set on seeing – i.e. the shoes on the Danube, world's most elegant McDonalds. After checking in I went with the Brazilians to a café for breakfast. We went to this fab place with chairs and tables on the ceiling among other quirky shizz, great croissants, cappuccinos and toasties. We then set off on a mission to find the shoes on the Danube, which we eventually found past the Parliament building. We then crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge from Pest over to Buda and made our way up to the main Buda square from where we walked to St Mathias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
I then joined
the Free Jewish Walking Tour back in Pest at Vorosmarty Square where we were taken through the Jewish Quarter via the second largest Synagogue in the world, the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial, the orthodox synagogue and the ruined synagogue and an amazing ruin pub (see pics). Although the tour was excellent, informative and interesting, I was disappointed at the end when the tour guide kind of backed us into a corner by saying how much we should tip. Surely as a free tour we can tip what we want?
I had worked up quite an appetite by the end of the excellent tour, so I made my way to Andrassy Road where market stalls were up temporarily to have my meal. On my way back to the hostel I checked out the worlds’ most elegant MacDonald’s at Nyugati train station.
The following day I joined the general free walking tour starting at St Stephen’s Square outside the Basilica going across to Buda. I discovered that Hungarian is the 5th hardest language in the world to learn and that Hungarians are generally extremely intelligent, with lots of Nobel prize winners and lots of important inventors e.g. the inventor of
the ball-point pen.
I need to go back to Budapest in order to actually experience the famed Turkish bath houses (shame on me for not making the time while I was there), actually drinking in one of the ruin pubs, going to the Hospital in the rock, labyrinth and House of Terror museums, which unfortunately I missed out on due to them being closed on Mondays.
On my final night there was really heavy rain which was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it had held off for the majority of my time in Budapest leaving me with mainly glorious sunny warm weather, and a curse in that I had to walk to the train station in horrible rain early the next morning. In hindsight I should have got the metro but I had run out of Hungarian currency. The walk took about an hour and it was horrendous. The route on the map didn’t look like it would take that long!
It wasn’t long before I was in Bratislava – a city which simply made up the ‘countries visited’ numbers. It also wasn’t long before I was en route from Bratislava to
Vienna. The weather was appauling so I couldn’t enjoy it. I took shelter in a restaurant, however, which served a beautiful dish of duck in honey. Cheap too.
The ticket inspector on todays’ trains (to Bratislava and then to Vienna) were nicer and didn’t seem to take any notice of my defaced interrail pass! Phew!
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