Arriving in Budapest after a long, sleepless night on a train from Romania was quite an experience. Budapest is much more like Western Europe than other parts of the former communist bloc that we’ve visited. It’s a city of only 2 million people, but seems to have the foot traffic of a city 5 times its size. Arriving at rush hour, and being very tired, we had a tough time following the directions to our hostel. We ran into trouble because trams here don’t actually indicate what direction they’re going, so if you’re not sure about the orientation of the city relative to where you are, you don’t know which direction to get on. Also, we couldn’t figure out where to buy ticket. This problem ended up being solved by taking a taxi.
That was the end of our trouble with Budapest though, because we quickly discovered that is is an API Call Erroramazing city with a lot to do. Having already booked a flight out, we were restricted on time and it resulted in 4 very busy and tiring days.
While Budapest is a generally API Call Errorbeautiful city, there are a few things that really stand out in our experience here. One was our visit to the Buda Castle API Call ErrorLabyrinth. It’s only semi-historical, being a collection of cellars, natural caves, and tunnels beneath the Citadel on the Buda (west) side of the Danube. Some of it was specifically dug as a tourist attraction, but it was still a lot of fun. It something that’s obviously been put together by some kooky artsy types, and has replicas of cave paintings, and an exhibit of “fossils” of modern society, with text saying they’re 42 million years old, and come from a society that has loads of consumer goods, but no apparent cultural or political thought. It was rather amusing.
We also had a fun day when we went down to a suburban mall that hosts the “Tropicarium,” a very well done aquarium and reptile house. We saw alligators and API Call Errormarmosets (miniature monkeys), iguanas, and loads and loads of fish, including a huge API Call Errorshark tank, that also had sting rays and a variety of colourful fish. Perhaps not what you think of when planning a trip to Budapest, but definitely worth the trip to the suburbs. It also had the benefit that I finally found some new shoes that I’m happy with; I’ve been in need of them for several months.
Those were the highlights, and aside from those, we’ve also done a API Call Errorwalking tour of Budapest, visited the underground railway museum (Budapest is home to the continents oldest – and the world’s third oldest – subway system), the transport museum – which housed lots of trains and old streetcars, though unfortunately had very little English labelling – and a local flea market. We’ve been caught in the rain twice, the second time being today when we’d taken our umbrellas out of our day bags and packed them in our large bags, worrying that airport security might otherwise confiscate them.
All in all, it’s been a great time, and I’m sure if we stayed longer, we’d find a lot more to do. But for now, we have to head to the airport tonight, since there’s no way (short of waking up at 3:30 am and paying a taxi for the whole trip) that we can get there in time to check in 2 hours prior to our 7am flight. We’ll be in Paris for the next week, and then 5 days in London before heading home.