Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Budapest - Beers, Baths and Slight madness

21 - 24 October

We arrived in Budapest on a Wednesday night, expecting a quiet night in at the hostel, after a quick walk down to the river, and out for dinner. Rach retired early, while Kerry went out for a few 'quiet' beers with a few people from the hostel (Bubble Hostel, best hostel in ages due to the great people! More on that later), only for them to turn up around 2AM, giggling and not able to look each other in the eye... turns out one of the hostel mates divulged a LOT more information about her personal habits than anyone was expecting. Much hilarity ensued, and everyone kept giggling about it for the next few days...

Anyway, the next day we went for a walk up Gelert hill on the 'Buda' side, to get a great panaromic view of Budapest, and for Rach to cough her lungs out. Got an asian tourist to take a pic of us - she looked terrified to hold the SLR, and I thought she was going to drop it, hence the slight grimace on the pic below!

Gelert Hill - worth the hike

DON'T DROP THE CAMERA! (note my pained smile...!)

We then headed back into Pest, and up to the Terror Museum. For a very depressing subject (it housed both Nazi and Communist interrogation and terror squads), it was a well done museum, with lots of loud rock music and information in English. Back to the hostel again for a few more beers, then headed out about 9.30ish for drinks at a 'Ruin bar' in the Jewish quarter called Mamoush (sp?). Great place - basically an abandoned apartment building from the Communist days, which they've opened up a few apartments and the central courtyard, and grabbed furniture from skips/side of the street. We ended up sitting in someone's old lounge room, right by the bar which was in the kitchen.

Next day was October 23rd, which is Republic day in Hungary, celebrating the various uprisings against the Communist government. Sam from the hostel was doing some reading on the 1956 uprising, and found out it started just a few doors down the street from the hostel, and there were tanks firing on protesters on the next street. As a lot of stuff was closed, we headed up to Szechenyi Thermal Baths for a couple of hours of soaking in various temperature mineral baths - the outdoor ones were pretty nice, it was cold out, and boiling hot in the pool (38 deg C), so very refreshing while dashing about to the next pool.

Hummus Bar, Budapest
Hummus Bar. Sexy.

The afternoon was spent holed up at the hostel watching movies, internet, cups of tea and beers etc. Funnily, Sam from the hostel was on the shared hostel PC reading some news sites, when a trojan/virus thing decided to activate and kept popping up adult web sites and taking over the antivirus systems. K and I spent a few hours messing about cleaning it off, but we were all kept giggling over some of the sites that came up. Again, beers in the hostel, then out to a club later on with Brownyn (the other girl from the Hostel) to check out some Hungarian music.

Budapest is a huge city, and we only saw a small part, but what we saw was fun. Nightlife is great there - a lot of hostel mates were out all night.

More photos on flickr here.

Next stop, Prague (Czech Republic).

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