The journey so far...
15.06.2011 - 18.06.2011 27 °C
Hello from Pest!
We have now been here for 3 days and have done all manner of things.
We arrived at the airport about 11, and it was BOILING! Two people on our transfer told us that it was 32 degrees, and there was us fully clothed. Very uncomfortable.
Dropped off near to the Danube, Daisy managed to navigate us to Aboriginal Apartments-unfortunately we were staying at Aboriginal Hostel. So in total it was about an hours walk with our bags in scorchio heat!!
When we arrived to the hostel, we met our host Dave. He is a really nice guy and gave us a map with all the info on where to go and what to do. We have this MASSIVE apartment. We thought it might be nice to actually spend the first nights together so we booked a private room, just expecting a hotel looking room but we have our own apartment in a seperate block of flats. It is on the 5th floor which we mostly use the dodgy sounding lift! On top of this we also still have full use of the hostel communal spaces such as TV, kitchen and computers.
Our first sightseeing was to the Buda side to see the citadel, where you can climb up and have a view over Pest.
On the first night, we went on a pub crawl with people from the hostel - and met Swedes, Aussies who were crazy drunk, Kiwis, Americans and French Canadians. Typically also, you can never get away from home, as Daisy met two girls from Suffolk, one of whom is from Brundish!
The crawl was really good, and we went to this unique open air bar in the Jewish district called Szimpla. It's so quirky that we can't really begin to explain, apart from suspended bicycles, cars that you can sit in and fussball! Oh how the Hungarians love fussball, so far Daisy is the only one that has beaten them. Steve is fairly rubbish, in a nice way.
Day two began with our free breakfast courtesy of the hostel. Hot waffles!! We had a slight hangover, but mainly just sleep deprived. It was so hot throughout the night that we had to have the fan on full blast.
We went on a free walking tour that was recommended by the Hostel, and it was totally worth it. There were two tour guides who were young and lots of fun. They taught our group all sorts about Hungary and the history, most of which Steve already knew about.
They took us to various statues around the city and on each one the students have over time made certain areas shiny as they see it as good luck to touch them. Such as a horse representing a national hero, if you touch the horses testicles, it will make you better in bed! With a statue of a fat policeman, if you rub his belly it will get you good food.
We ended up at the castle district and after the tour you decide how much you want to tip them, if at all. We gave 3000 forint, which although sounds alot, is only 10pounds. The tour guides then said that they were going for food and we could all join. It was this amazing canteen place which served REAL hungarian food. Daisy had a pork leg with potato in a tomatoey sauce, and Steve had veal and dumplings. Both were good and well deserved after the walking.
Being in the castle district, there are 10km of labyrinths and caves under the city. We went around one and it is rather spooky! Daisy got a bit freaked out. There are some carved sculptures that are amazing, we tried to capture them but it doesn't do them justice at all. It is rather expensive to get in to, and we aren't entirely sure it was worth it as there was also some very strange art installations.
Afterwards, we thought it might be a good idea to get our tickets for the train to Belgrade. We had a slight worry at first as the lady said that the train may not be running that route! But we went back 30 minutes later and all was good. So, for 30euros each we are off to Belgrade on our first night train!
On this day, Daisy had two different calls phoning about jobs!! One saying that they do want to interview her-but due to the current situation-special measures-they cannot get people in yet. And the other was from a previous interview that she didn't get in Norwich, saying that there was now a full time position opened up and that she should apply.
But we went back to the apartment, with a watermelon and we were put itno darkness as we experienced a blackout! Not just our apartment but the whole block had switched off. It was just getting dark outside so it was hard to see much. We went out for a beer and on return, the lights were back on.
We slept forever on this night, and awoke around 11 to find that we had missed breakfast-but luckily we had supplies in the fridge.
We walked to the Terror House, which is a museum that documents the Double Occupation of Hungary, the Soviets and the Nazis. It is an incredible museum that has videos of people that experienced this time. The building itself was both times the headquarters and so it is set up exactly as it was then, such as the interrogation room, the deportation room and the council room. The cells in the basement has been kept as they were and there all manner of rooms to break the prisoners physically and mentally. Such as 50 by 60cm rooms where they couldn't stand, the water room, were they had to sit or stand in the water for a amount of time.
After this we walked up Andrassy Avenue to the city park which houses a zoo, Hero Square and baths! We went to the latter and it was really good. Loads of different temperatures, Steve liked the 18degrees. Bloody freezing! Daisy's highlight was an old man in very loose swimming trunks and you could see EVERYTHING, made us laugh. Pools inside and outside, so being a nice day we chilled out by the ones outside.
Took the Metro home, which was an experience! A rattley old cart, that seems to go very, very fast and then they slam the breaks on. Quite amusing.
For the evening, we went to a Blues concert again with the hostel and met some more people. Learnt lots about America and the school system-which was quite interesting! An american girl managed to really annoy Steve by being rude-she wasn't very friendly at all.
But unfortunately, we have woken up with a hangover and so writing this is proving to be quite difficult
Today is our last day, we are checking out in just over an hour. We are going to Margaret Island, which is in the middle of the Danube.
We hope that everyone is well!
Will write about Belgrade soon, only got the one night there so maybe won't be as long,
Daisy and Steve xxx