Monday, April 23, 2012

New trip, new city, new river - Budapest

Shame on me - I think I never ever traveled somewhere so unprepared like I traveled to Budapest. Usually I buy a travel guide, do some internet research and learn at least how to say "please" and "thank you" and stuff like that.

Especially when I travel for work and have only very limited time, I prepare to get the maximum out of it. That is what I did for example in Barcelona.
But Budapest ... nothing. I came back from the US emotionally still tied to Pittsburgh and had not much more time than I needed to fix my broken computer, do some laundry, repack and head for the airport.

And about an hour later I was for the first time in Hungary and tried to get some basic overview. When I was looking out of my hotel room, I saw a river and ... a yellow steel bridge!

And a couple of minutes walk along the river ... another bridge and an incline!

Hmmm ... I felt a bit desoriented. Didn't we just have this river-bridges-incline-thing on the other side of mother earth?

But then there was this .... looking pretty unreal (it's the parliament building and all the white marmor is from the island of Brač, Croatia):


But enough with joking.
I can REALLY not say much about Budapest except that is very, very, very pretty and looks like a wild mixture of Prague, Zagreb and Vienna.
The prices for a taxi trip are surprisingly different between day and night and different pick up points although it ended all up being something like 10 minutes drive from the hotel. I hate when I do not know the language and cannot talk the driver down to please bill a realistic price. The people I met were mostly not Hungarian and if they were they were neither very nice nor very rude. They were just ... at work in a hotel, restaurant, taxi. I had no chance to really talk to somebody. The food was definitely no highlight,  but I am 100% certain that there are excellent restaurants in town - we just did not go there and were a tiny bit unlucky or too depending on the travel agency that had arranged all of our non work acivities for us.

Summary:  When I have a spare long weekend I need to go back and figure out the secrets of this very old and very beautiful city. For now, I have just some nice pictures

What I can definitely recommend is a sunset river boat cruise to watch the city turning golden step by step. 

And about an hour later on the way back from the inside of the boat (the reason for the strange light effects) ...

During that river boat tour we passed a lot more historical buildings, landmarks and beautiful bridges ...

And a few shots from the next day with a little bit of sunshine:

A tunnel right in the city center ...

I developed such a crush on bridges

The Cathedral

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