Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I heard that our group would be traveling to Budapest, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I have never been to Hungary before...but I was pleasantly surprised! The city was very different from Salzburg and Prague, but beautiful nonetheless.

On Friday night when we arrived, we immediately met our tour guide Elizabeth and took a night tour of Buda (the old half of the city). We then went to one of the highest lookout points in Buda, and were able to take pictures of the night view. It was beautiful!

The next morning, we had another tour. Incase you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not a huge fan of the city tours. We've had so many of them already, and they are honestly very tiring. It's hard to be in a huge group, too--I sort of feel like they're herding a group of sheep around. But anyway, after the tour, we had seven hours of free time (too much...). A couple of us decided to look around the festival that was going on, rather than spending our afternoon and the Buda spa. I was starting to feel stressed out at this point--a lot of the girls had gone to get massages (which sounded nice), but I thought they were too expensive. I was nervous about being separated from them, even though I was hungry and needed lunch. *Side note: new word for being angry while hungry: hangry.* Needless to say, we soon found Doc and Dr. Gibbs, who were sitting at a table in the middle of the festival eating amazingly appealing food. My stress was lifted, and I went over to the stand to get a huge heaping pile of roasted vegetables and potatoes. It was by far the best meal I've had on this trip!

View of the city during the day.

Heroes Square

Our group eating lunch with Doc and Gibbs!

After lunch, we weren't sure what to do with our remaining six hours. Doc and Dr. Gibbs had left us, and so we were on our own. After wandering around the festival for awhile, we ran into Gibbs and Doc again, this time holding wine! They explained to us that you could buy a wine glass and a row of tickets for 5 Euro, and then go to all of the stands at the festival to taste-test their wine. We took their advice, and spent the next couple of hours walking around with our glasses. It was a lot of fun!

With our wine glasses at the festival.

For dinner on Saturday, we went on a boat cruise on the Danube. The view of Budapest was really cool, and the food was wonderful! We had goulash soup--very good. Later in the night it started raining, so after dinner we stuck around for ice cream and then went back to our hotel in Pest. On Sunday, we left the city and headed for a small town called Szendendre. It reminded me a lot of Saugatuck--small, with a lot of cute art shops. The weather was great, so we really enjoyed ourselves. We made it home just in time for dinner downtown Vienna, and then headed home for some needed sleep. 

All in all, Budapest was great! I would recommend it for any traveler...but beware, you won't be able to understand a thing! :) 

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