Thursday, January 8, 2009

And then there were two...days that is.

Day two in Budapest was a whirlwind of sights to be sure. We started out a bit earlier so that we'd have a bit more daylight today as well. Our first stop was in the castle district. There is a whole section of the city dedicated to old palatial like structures. The actual palace was destroyed during World War II (American bombing to be exact) but there are some really nice churches, beautiful walls, and amazing views to be seen.

We wandered around above the main city, looking down at the view below. It was all quite spectacular. As you can tell, I have way too much fun taking pictures, even of myself :)

Up near the old castle wall there are some really amazing fountains to be seen as well. The hunting fountain is a favorite of my friend Joanna, and I agreed that it was quite spectacular.

Being a rather huge fan of the work of Tim Burton, when I saw this gate I just couldn't resist the photo op. It definitely looks like something that would be well suited for one of his films. I pull off the despondent look quite nicely if I do say so myself :)

After kicking it in the castle district we headed down to the amazing Budapest Baths. These natural hot springs have been enjoyed by Hungarians and countless others for centuries. Between the crazy travel experiences and the general strain of the working life, we felt we'd definitely earned a little luxury. After an amazing massage, my first real one in YEARS! I was happy to soak in the bubbly warm water. It was amusing to see all the fat old men hanging out there. They have a chess set of tables in one corner where old men sit around and contemplate life. I didn't have my camera while I was in the baths, but I did take a few photos after we hurriedly got dressed in order to reclaim part of our fee. If you're out in less than 2 hours you get a nice chunk back, and we're always ones to save where possible :)

Our worries behind us, we headed off to do a little more shopping. Joanna had a friend to meet up with, so she left us at the indoor market. We were in awe of the beautiful displays of fruits, veggies, and meat. Upstairs they also had more classical souvenir type stalls, so we spent a long time perusing the merchandise before wandering through some of the other shopping streets nearby. Budapest certainly has a lot of good shopping options.
This is me in front of the market.

We met up with Joanna when we were done and had a traditional Hungarian Goulash dinner. I didn't add any of the extra pepper sauce to it, as the flavor was super good to begin with and I didn't want to ruin it by making it too spicy. If I were to try it again I'd probably put some in, but not knowing when or if I'd have another chance I just wanted to enjoy it straight up as it was.

After dinner we headed back to the house for a relaxing evening. It was glorious to feel my muscles all unwinding after the massage and spa treatment. It's the sort of thing I could definitely manage to get used to.
We watched a Hungarian movie Kontroll It was really interesting. I enjoyed it a lot, and thought it was great to see a real Hungarian movie whilst in Hungary. Very trippy and a lot of fun.
So that sums up day two. Now it's getting late and I'm super tired after my extra long day of teaching. It's really hard to get back into the swing of things after a nice long holiday. Today I had a ten hour work day. It was a bit of a stretch, but somehow I managed. Once again, there's plenty more to come. Stay tuned!

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