Goodbye Budapest!

My prior hotels had free Internet, but alas, this one does not. I have been waiting to find an Internet Cafe.

When I woke up yesterday morning, it was snowing! Then it turned to rain mixed with snow. Very cold and losing my gloves that much more irksome.

I have officially been invited to visit Addy and David in Belize up to two weeks plus one! Who wants to go with me?!

This will be short. We started off at the Parliament. The entire time we were flanked by two men who escorted us the whole time. I’m not sure if it’s to employ people or to listen to the words said by the guide. They were two big dudes. Our guide also pointed out some of the politicians who were in the building.

We then went to see St. Stephen’s and were even able to see the relic of his hand. It was kind of gross. When I first heard of St. Stephen’s Basilica, I thought it was the apostle, but it’s actually after the king who converted he and his pagan nation to become Christians.

Then we went to the Great Market. I was actually walking in that area the day before. Pretty cool market with fruit, veggies, meats, wines, and tons of people. This guy was squeezing fresh orange juice, and it smelled so good.

I also discovered that this interesting building I saw the day before was called Cave Church.

Then we were off to Vienna!

Advertisements

Budapest – Day Two

As many of you know, Hawaii was almost my destination this year. I saw a post from my cousin’s sister (my cousin of course) that I was going to visit asking for prayers for her sister because she was in a tsunami warning! So my vacation could have been a lot different.

Today finds me very, very tired. I was very close to taking a nap, but I don’t want to waste any time here. I could easily use two days for Budapest, which just means I need to come back.

I would like to visit some museums, which I have not been to any this trip. Most of my efforts have been to visit certain areas of interest so that has been my focus.

We started the morning visiting Hero’s Square, which I went to yesterday. I am glad I had been there for a couple of reason. The main is that it was pouring down rain, and it’s been the coldest today that it has been all vacation. I also would not have discovered the palace behind the square as we were only there for fifteen minutes.

There are some good sides to organized traveled (not having to worry about booking hotel, not having to worry about inter-country travel being the biggest). Then depending on the travel company and their key demographics there could be some major annoyances. Key words being viewing vs. visiting. I think I talked about this a few year’s back. I can say that I have been able to visit the places I really wanted to see.

The other thing is that I need to get back to July / August vacations. It is cold and the days are shorter. My camera sucks at night pictures. Did I mention we fell back last night? The extra hour of sleep did me good, but it also means an hour less daylight. I get to do it all over again when I get home.

We then went to Castle Hill on the Buda side where we saw really great views of Pest. We went to Mount Geller and Matthias Coronation Church. We couldn’t go inside because today is Sunday and there was a service going on.

I got dropped off at the Jewish Quarter so I could see the Great Synagogue, which is is the second biggest in the world. I then just walked around focusing on the Danube River edge. I walked across one of the bridges back to the Buda side then walked back over to the Pest side. By then it had stopped raining but was cold.

I got back to the hotel and chilled for a minute. Now I am hungry and trying to figure out if I should have an early dinner or wait it out for a few hours.

Tomorrow I spend the morning in Budapest going to the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Great Market. Then we drive to Vienna. I will attend a Mozart concert tomorrow night.

I am very glad I came on this trip. So far I certainly want to return to all of the locations and spend more time.

Budapest

Today has been a crazy day. I started in Poland, went through Slovakia, and now I am in Hungary. Another way to say it: Breakfast in Poland, Lunch in Slovakia, and dinner in Hungary. I will actually return to Slovakia on Wednesday (Halloween) to spend time in their capital.

To journey to Hungary we went through the Carpathian Mountains. This was very funny to me because Alice introduced me to a series by Christine Feehan where the male lead characters are from the Carpathian Mountains. The premise of the books is they are a race of immortals. The men must find their life mates or they risk becoming the undead (vampires) who must then be hunted and killed. The women in the race are few but there are a few human women who are true psychics who can be converted. They are my smut fiction easy reading choices. Today was the perfect day to picture a scene in the book as it was foggy and raining. It sprinkled a little yesterday, but today was full on rain in the morning. By the time we got to Budapest, it was quite nice. So nice in fact that I had to take my coat off while walking.

Before leaving Poland, we stopped by this city called Orawka to visit St. John the Baptist church. It was built in 1650 and looks quite rustic. The paintings are all old. The church is quite beautiful. The woman who showed us around was quite proud of their church.

Based on the crazy Hungarian Forint, I am a millionaire.

As we crossed the border of Slovakia and then Hungary, I thought how arbitrary these invisible borders that separate countries are. You cross a line and all of a sudden you are a foreigner. How totally crazy!

The hotel we are staying at is on the Pest side of the city. Another great location.

Once we hit the hotel, and I got settled, I walked to Heroes’ Square. Around there is a great City Park. There are also two museums that flank the square. It was filled with people. My favorite spot was the Vajdahunyad Castle. It is so magical!  It looks like the type of castle I can imagine Prince Charming taking me to one of these days. It has four parts: a Romanesque Chapel, Gothic Gate, Renaissance castle and Baroque palace. The grounds were amazing. I also went to see the Szechenly Baths. It was quite a lovely building, but I didn’t go in. I just kept picturing Mrs. Bennett talking about her nerves and Lizzie and Jane rolling their eyes. I don’t think it will ever come down to that. LOL!

If you go to this main street and turn left you hit all of the above. So I went back and overshot my street because if you turn right, you hit the opera house. It was very nice. There was a group outside their Moulin Rouge who were singing some opera. The sopranos were amazing. I am not planning on attending an opera here, but I will go to a Mozart concert in Vienna.

I really like the buildings here. They are so big that you have to be across the street to fit the entire building in the picture, but then there are all of these trees ruining the picture. It’s strange but I already feel like I know my way around here. I feel very at home here!