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Published: January 20th 2006
Finally, for the first time in seven years I was able to make it back to my second passport country! Wow, much has changed since ’98. Not least of which was the airport. Ferihegy has made amazing changes. I have not so fond memories of landing to semi-organized chaos in a stinky dingy baggage claim area. Not so today! Nicer than many a North American airport I have been to, and more non-smoking areas than Frankfurt. Ok, so the airport has been covered.
The timing of my trip coincided with the 49th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution. Nationalistic décor abounded in Pest, and it helped to make my trip all that much more eventful. I had heard nothing but good things about the Terror Museum, and was able to fit in a several hour visit into my two day trip. A must see for those who have any Hungarian ties or have any interest in WWII and the communist era. It gives an excellent rundown of the Hungarian experience from WW I to the present time. Give it lots of time; there is much to see and much to read about. Each room has a sheet of paper (English or
Hungarian) that explains the exhibit and gives historical background. I would rate this the best museum in the country, and should be at the top of anybodies list! It is located at Andrassy ut 60, in the former HQ of both the Arrow Cross movement (German occupation) and the AVO (Communist Secret Police). I was also able to spend a little time up on castle hill on the Buda side. It has Great view of the city and of the newly renovated parliament building. I was left with a renewed love of the city that I have spent so much time in.
Not so long ago, one would have a hard time not finding a beater old trubant vibrating its way down the street. During my visit, I think I saw a grand total of three of these ancient Russian cars. Along with property value appreciation of around 14% a year, the Hungarian appreciation for cars that are not made of cardboard has effectivly replaced most of them. While not the bargain basement it used to be, Budapest now offers the balance of westernized comfort to offset the increased cost.
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