Budapest Day 1

Continued from Berlin Day 6 Part 2.

Last night, we had asked the bartender at the “Old German” bar if there was a post office closer to our hotel so we could mail off my package this morning. Well, the reply was that the post office would stay closed for the Monday after Easter. I guess I get to sleep in for a little bit longer since I don’t have to wake up early to mail off my package. I also did manage to stuff everything into my backpack, barely, and it’s now heavy as hell.

Sidenotes about Berlin.

When SO went to visit her friend the other day while I was blogging at Starbucks, she randomly ran into one of the Danes who we met at Kreuzberg on the street. Then yesterday, on the way to Pergamon Museum, we ran into an Asian family who ate at the same Korean restaurant that we ate at the other night. Crazy to be running into people in such a big city in such a short amount of time.

German Simpsons intro is “Die Simpsons!”. I laugh every time I see that.


Today we leave Berlin and head to Budapest. Another beautiful sunny day. End it on a good note.


Cobblestones and rolling luggage hate each other. This is the reason why I have a backpack.


On the bus to the airport. I had asked the front desk for the easiest way to the airport and was told that it only took one single bus. No transfers, comes every 10 minutes, and it picks up right next to the subway station by our hotel. Super happy! Cheap and fast, only about 20 minutes!


The nice orderly clean German streets.


20 minutes! I can’t believe this! I wish we had known about this bus when we first arrived in Berlin.


Had to walk to another terminal.


One of the largest elevator I’ve ever been in. You can fit an entire full sized car in here.


Packed so full. See you in Budapest.


Breakfast at the airport. The bakery had this buttery dinner roll with chocolate chips inside. Genius! I also wrote out some postcards during breakfast.


Postcards, away you go to the other side of the world.


Through security. They allow one lighter per person. They are also a lot more thorough with the security over here than anywhere else I’ve been. If you make the metal detector ring, the security will spend a good minute with you with a hand held metal detector going over every inch of you. Now thinking back, India had such lax security control. It was such a joke.


I don’t know what that is, all I know is that I am going to eat it.


Look at all the sour cream that they put on my baked potato. The Germans really love their sour cream! I don’t remember ordering sour cream with a side of potato.


Berlin Tegel airport is pretty crappy. I feel like I am in a warehouse.


On the bus to the plane. Look! A lady with an accordion!!! I never did visit an accordion shop in Berlin. I was really excited at first, then Berlin got me down, and then I realized that I didn’t want to ship an accordion across the ocean and risk it getting damaged. Oh well, maybe next time.


Isn’t it funny to think about how an airplane is a long metal tube with wings?


Ugh! Berlin being Berlin, and gets the last laugh. I get the only seat on my AirBerlin plane with no windows.


Airplane food. Some sort of corndog looking thing. I didn’t eat it though. I was so tired on the flight that I slept most of the time.


It was a quick flight, reaching Budapest in under two hours. I had to contort my body and take a photo from the window behind my seat.


Touchdown. Just missed the puff of smoke.


A visit to the ATM and now I am rich, bitches! Hungarian forints. It’s about 225 HUF to 1 USD.


Airport shared van to take me to hotel.


Saw this posting in the bathroom. Taxi cowboys, eh.


Came out, tried to find a van, but was turned away. What’s going on?


Asked the shared van desk again, and apparently I am supposed to wait for a van to be assigned to my ticket number on this monitor. Got it.


Only had to wait 5 minutes, and I was in a van heading into Budapest.


It’s clean here. Really clean. I feel good about this place already. Though, the airport personnel are not as nice as the Germans.


Budapest suburbia.


I like the green and yellow color combo.


In the city center now. Still spotlessly clean. Dare I say that Budapest is cleaner than Berlin? Yes, I believe it is. It feels so Western European here. I didn’t know what to expect of Budapest, but this feels very similar to Vienna.


Reached hotel! We were the first stop out of everyone in the van.


This is what $110 a night gets you in Budapest.


A large room with a walk in closet even!! The best part, working wifi and it’s fast!!


Church right outside of our hotel. It’s still pretty early, only mid afternoon. Time to go out and have a quick look around Budapest. The weather here is pretty nice, it’s warmer than Berlin. The temperature is around the high 40s and low 50s. Can’t complain one bit.


Clean! Before arriving, spotlessly clean city did not fit the description of a city in Hungary.


It’s Monday after Easter, so most shops are still closed today and there are not many people out and about.


Ohhhh yeah! I know where I am going tonight, and tomorrow night, and the night after that, and the night after that, and the night after that, ad infinitum.


Love the mustard colored trams.


Goulash!!! I must go in and have a look!


This place looks like it’s been influenced by the Germans.


Very much a bier garten feel to it.


I will not be ordering that.


We asked our waiter for a Hungarian beer, and this is what he brought out. It was pretty light. I’d imagine this is the Bud Light of Hungary. We started drinking and realized that it may be too early to eat. It’s only 4:30PM. We are loving Budapest already. I am riding the high from the last few days of Berlin and continuing it over here in Budapest.


The Danube river is just ahead. This is about a 15 minutes walk from our hotel.


Danube River.


This is a beautiful city!


That’s one of the longest river cruise boats I’ve ever seen.


Ghats! Reminds me of Varanasi, minus all the Varanasi.


Another long river cruise boat.


All that weight of the bridge rests on 4 small points. Ah, this reminds me of the days in college when I took Statics.


There are so many statues and sculptures here in Budapest. I can’t walk 3 minutes without seeing one.


Reminds me of my mutt.


This lady was out singing and playing this strange electric instrument.


She had a beautiful soft voice and I don’t think she was busking either. I think she was just out singing for the hell of it. She was playing this bizarre instrument that I’ve never seen before. On one side there are buttons that she pushes and it creates synthesized notes, and on the other side, she held a small cloth(I think to reduce friction) with her hand and moved it up and down this rectangular touch pad. As she moved the cloth up and down on the touch pad, the instrument would create harp runs at the same rate that she moves across the touch pad. It was so strange and cool!


See, more statues.


Cafe Gerbeaud. This is a famous cafe, opened in 1858!!


This is so Vienna! It’s understandable as both cities used to be part of the Austro Hungarian Empire.


Yes, let’s eat and drink! Love coffee! Hmmmm, so good!


I can say that I love Budapest already.


Castle Hill. That other side of Danube River is Buda, and the side that I am on is Pest. Now, say Buda and Pest together really fast.


Sakura all over Europe. Who knew I didn’t have to go to Japan to look at sakura blossoms.


More sculptures.


Seriously? Milking the NBA lockout, but wasn’t that almost a year ago?


I heard sing and saw a group of guys wearing reflective vests. They were all singing the same folk song in unison.


Then, as I got closer, I saw buckets of water flying out and girls screaming!


They had surrounded a group of girls, and had poured water all over them.  It was all in good fun and not malicious. What’s going on here?

We were standing on the street next to a restaurant hostess, and we asked her about it. She said that it was Hungarian tradition for guys to sing and then pour water on girls on the Monday after Easter Sunday. Cool! I love how they have these old traditions where people sing these traditional folk songs. I heard the Turks sing folk songs, and now I’ve heard the Hungarians sing folk songs. The only singing in unison that I’ve heard in Austin is to Sweet Caroline or Don’t Stop Believing in a drunken bar. How sad of us…


Well, we are hungry, so why not eat at the restaurant of the nice informative hostess.


Quaint.


Hungarian food! Yes! They are meat happy over here. Love it.


Of course, coffee.


Time to buy some water. The water in Budapest is supposedly safe, but might as well buy some water here. Better safe than sorry.


Looks even better at night.


One of the very rare graffiti that I see here in Budapest.

Back to the hotel to catch up on blogging big time. Loving Budapest so far. Calm and beautiful.

To be continued at Budapest Day 2 Part 1.

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