15.4.14

Buda + Pest (Part I)

Budapest Keleti Station
Heroes Square
Just last night I met up with a couple of friends who spent the summer abroad with me. We picked a local beergarden, or biergarten, themed restaurant to pay homage to the foreign adventures that made us closer friends. Of course I was feeling all nostalgic and just a teensy bit tipsy, so as soon as I got home I started to flip through all of my photos from the summer. At that point, I realized I had forgotten to even write about most of my trips.

On our last weekend in Prague, a friend and myself took a train to Budapest, Hungary for the weekend. The city was beautiful and I refused to let the oppressive heat or the uncomfortable night train ride ruin the joy of exploring a new city. I don't remember where I heard this, but apparently Keleti Station is modeled after Gare du Nord in Paris, and it's the site of quite a few movie scenes as a stand-in for the Parisian location.

Budapest reminded me so much of Prague, in the architecture, the food and even the language. I spoke no Hungarian and neither did my friend, but we recognized that most people were using the word "prosim," a commonly used Czech work that meant pardon and you're welcome among other things.

The courtyard of the building where our hostel was located
Our train arrived at about 8 in the morning, so once we checked into our adorable hostel, we were off on our first day of exploratory adventures! We walked all the way to Heroes Square, but by the time we reached the monuments we were ready for a break from the heat. We coerced a clerk at the national art museum to give us the European Union student discount, and we took a respite from the heat inside the museum's collections.













City Park was home to scenic lake full of swans a boaters, a beautiful castle, and most importantly, ample shade. Did I mention it was hot? Because it was really hot.















That night we went to a couple of strange little bars on an island in the middle of the Danube. One, a beergarden called Wnderlnd, hosted resident artists who took turns redesigning its interior. When we arrived, the entryway was made out of bicycle frames and the central lamp post was surrounded by a fan of crash-test dummy limbs.













From the island in the center of the river, we could see both sides of the city, Buda and Pest, illuminated against the night sky.

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