Monday, September 8, 2008

A Tale of Two Cities

I got back yesterday from a weekend trip to Budapest with Stephen.  In reference to the title of this post, Budapest is actually two cities named, you guessed it, Buda and Pest.  We stayed in Pest in a cute little hostel that was also very dirty.  We did not shower for the whole weekend.  Gross.

The exchange rate and buying power of the local currency was incredible.  There are 239 FT to every Euro.  To get into a museum it was 100 FT.  Crazy!  A meal was around 2 Euros and the metro was less than a Euro.  It was very refreshing to be in such a cheap place finally!

We managed to see so much in such a short weekend!  We got there via a 3 hour train ride on Friday night.  On Saturday, we went up Castle Hill where saw Matthias Church and an incredible view.  We also went to St. Stephen's Basilica, the largest church in Hungary.  It is also the location of St. Stephen's mummified right hand.  It was gross.  We also saw a cool Fransiscan Church.  At the end of the day, we went to the thermal baths in the main park of the city.  There were 4 thermal baths at various temperatures and a sauna inside and a huge pool outside. There were a bunch of old men playing chess on cork chessboards. Such an incredible experience.  Needless to say, I have seen enough old, fat Hungarians in speedos to last me a lifetime!  Stephen and I also got ticketed by the metro police because we only had a normal ticket, not a transfer ticket.  It was very irritating, but fortunately not very expensive.

The next morning we went to the Citadella, which is a 13th century castle at the top of a very huge hill.  It was really hard to climb up it!  But it was quite possibly the most incredible view I've ever seen.  However, like the Grand Canyon, I feel like pictures can never really capture the view.

All in all, Budapest is definitely a city I recommend everyone see!

To see pictures of Budapest click here.

I also put up pictures of my first couple of weeks in Vienna.  Click here.

P.S.- My address is Bethany Owens c/0 IES,  Johanessgasse 7 Vienna, Austria A-1010.  I like mail!  (No private carriers.  Just USPS or other national postal services.)


Tiffany said...

WOW....that seems like you had a wonderful trip....i thought the pics were beautiful!

Gary said...

The pictures are great, especially the gigantic glass and bottle of beer that appear to be 10 feet tall! Whee! :-) Truly, the St. Stephen's Platz looks spectacular.

I had no idea that Budapest was a compound name. It almost sounds like part of a bad joke ("I'm gonna Buda you good, you Pest!")

The "no private carriers" thing is a bit peculiar. What, they think that the US Postal Service is more trustworthy than FedEx? I know! It's the "brotherhood of postal workers" in action. The Austrians - being the rule-bound socialists that they are - respect the rule-bound socialists that Postal Service employees are, so they've created a closed shop. Am I right?

Were you at all tempted to try to high-five St. Stephen's mummified hand?

I love the "metro police" ticket. I have always wanted to get ticketed for something trivial like that - some day, some day, I'm going to get myself ticketed for speeding on my bicycle. That ticket will get framed, oh yes.

Tschuess, kleine Baer!

Darkchocolateisbetterthanpenis aka Justin said...

I will mail you money if you mail me chocolate... you first