Burning up in Budapest

Once we were finished planning the rest of our trip, we packed our effects and headed south to Budapest, Hungary, land of 1,000 degrees. Well, not quite, but close. Europe has been going through a heat wave as of late, and it was consistently above 35 degrees Celsius all throughout our stay in Budapest. It took us a while to see the city in these conditions, since we had to drag ourselves from fountain to fountain to keep ourselves from dying of thirst. Fortunately, fountains with free, drinkable water is something Budapest is known for!

But enough about that; here are some pictures.

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Budapest is a twin city, formed through the joining of two separate cities called (three guesses) Buda and Pest, on each side of the river Danube. That’s the river you can see in the pictures above, with Buda on the left and Pest on the right. Pest is where most of the fun is, and is where we spent our first couple days.

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A long street lined with restaurants on both sides. As with the Czech Republic before it, Hungary is known for its hearty food— in this case, goulash, meat stew, cabbage rolls, and anything to which paprika can be added.

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The Central Market hall, a huge food and souvenir market found in Pest, featuring stores selling everything from paprika to purses. As we were boiling at the time of our visit (surprise), we bought a quarter of a watermelon and ate the entire thing before resuming our tour.

Once we were finished with downtown Pest, we turned our attention to the Buda side of the river, and the number of interesting buildings found on the riverbank. Among them was the STONE CHURCH, unrelated to the BONE CHURCHES of previous posts.

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Unfortunately, the stone church was much more interesting on the outside than it was on the inside. The concept of a church placed inside a mountainside cave is a great one, and it probably would have been very engaging had the cave looked even one percent natural. As it was, the church was a little on the tacky side— or should we say stucco-y. Oh well.

We didn’t accomplish much the next day, due to an overindulgence in palinka the previous night— palinka being a local Hungarian fruit brandy that, by law, must be at least 100 proof and taste like vodka’s bad-tempered cousin. We moped around feeling sorry for ourselves, then got some cheap Vietnamese food from the restaurant below our lodgings and planned our trip to Buda’s crowning glory, Buda Castle.

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Buda Castle is a large, rambling structure that sits atop a hill on the bank of the Danube. The area around the castle is known as (oh my gosh) the castle district, and is known for its ritzy nature. However, neither Buda Castle nor the castle district are known for an abundance of shade, which is why we decided to visit at night-time.

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That last one is Matthias Church, situated in the castle district. From the castle, we also had a great view of Budapest’s parliament building, which faces the castle from across the water:

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While it may have taken us a painfully long time to crawl our way around Budapest in the blazing heat, it was still a highly enjoyable visit. Next on our list is Krakow, Poland!

Until then!

The Eh Team

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