Budapest, Hungary
47° 30' N 19° 5' E
Jan 08, 2007 07:50
Distance 0km

Text written in: English

New Year in Pest (part II.)

I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. 

                                     ~Mark Twain

Out with the Old, In with the New- New Year's in Budapest was great. The square was filled with leftover Chistmas markets selling sausages, pastries, and odd goods. That evening we joined the crowds in the square where people of all ages were ringing in the new year with varying versions of fog horns. We got our own for Andrae to take back home and ruin someone's hearing. There was a great vibe to the place and one of the few years that the holiday has actually lived up to my expectation. On our way back we met some Australians who had been all over the world in a month. And I thought we were tired!

Communist Scars-On our 2nd day we headed to the House of Terror. This was a building initially used by the Nazis and then Communists to interrogate/execute victims. Because of where Hungary is located geographically, it suffered especially hard during WWII and then brutally oppressed by Stalin's Communism. I've never been big on musuems, but I highly recommend this one. Every room had different colors/sounds and was very chilling. The tour of the basement was especially hard, where we walked through the cells where prisoners were routinely torturted and beaten . Maybe not a happy place, but was good to get a sense of Hungary's past.

Art Redifined- We were just wandering when we saw some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen. And I don't go crazy for art.  An artist's paintings were being displayed on buildings with light. The colors were so bright at first glance I thought they were painted on the buildings. The pictures illuminated the ground and walking through them felt a little bit like being in a scene right out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. This area was probably the 'highlight' of our trip as we kept coming back and back to it.

David Hasselhof -Get Out of My Car!- Running out of money gave us the chance to explore some great Hungarian TV.  They must love American television, b/c there were tons of our shows..all dubbed into Hungarian. There is nothing like watching your favorite actors with weird fake voices not matching the movements. We also got to watch CNN in english, why do they just repeat the same stories over and over?, and music television. Their version of MTV hit a whole new level when we saw possibly the worst music video of all time featuring Hasselhof, looking very old and doing some scary dance moves...really,  I can't explain this..

Murphy's Law- there were a few snags along the way, I was so relaxed about taking our trip that I skipped my pre-trip obsessive planning & made a few rookie mistakes. No cell phone charger, meant my phone died and we had no alarm to make our morning flight. I skipped changing my Turkish Lira into euros and got screwed when all of Hungary refused to exchange most of my money. Andrae learned that it's worth splitting  $ into 2 accounts, as his bank so kindly froze his funds halfway into our vacation. Probably the best snafu happened while we were running out of town to the airport and I convinced Andrae we'd be ok without buying a metro ticket (not once during the 5 days did anyone check our ticket), so OF COURSE, as we exited the metro enroute to the airport we came face to face with some tough ticket checkers who wouldn't let us pass with our expired tourist pass and fined us on the spot...yeah...I know what your thinking...

Travel Companion-Budapest was one of the few trips I haven't taken alone, & only the second time to fly with someone else. Traveling with someone means sharing stress and boredom which can be both good and bad. While I was upset about the $ situation and Andrae about running late to the airport and getting fined (I know you're rolling your eyes Mom,) it was still a great chance to explore a new place with someone else. Having Andrae with me eased my usual pre-trip nerves, passed the time on the plane, and meant when things went awry there was someone to tell me it would be all right. I agree with the wise Mr. Twain. Andrae was great to be with, as his biggest concern was my happiness and spending our time together. So I learned a lot from this trip, probably the most important is not to have rigid expectations, being a super tourist (seeing, doing, and tasting it all) equals being exhausted and broke. So its best to do what you can and enjoy life along the way.




Photos / videos of "New Year in Pest (part II.)":

the light and art show me playing in the color wonderland Andrae being part of the art part of the light and art show A huge pretzel i got from the Christmas market I think Dad would have been in heaven, all the sausages and pastries me trying to keep warm Andrae & one big piece of lasagna, Finally Italian food! the elevator to the metro the one pic Andrae was able to take in the House of Terror, a wall of victims I was trying to mimic the statue, but there was no way I was taking off my coat Andrae and the Danube Part of the Parliment the square lit up at night a boy and his father lighting fireworks off the bridge on New Years the arty buildings from the bridge crazy lady spraying people with silly string, she covered me after i took her pic the square durin new years me finally in the spotlight the light and art show souvenirs piggy toes anyone? funny in Istanbul you can't even find pork, but in Budapest you can eat the whole pig! cool, creepy statue me and a castle we walked around this park at dusk and it was foggy and hazy with castles, kinda cool/creepy Heros Square, Hungarians seem to be very nationalistic Andrae looking happy that we made the plane home