Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Budapest, part 3
Sunday morning, as I said, Ryan realized his miscalculation and that we could splurge a bit. We started off at the haunting "House of Terror" museum, a building that actually housed the headquarters of the Arrow-Cross (Hungarian Nazis) and later the Communists, including a basement prison. Creepy, but very informative.
We had some so-so falafel for lunch in the Jewish district, then headed out to the Szechenyi Baths. Hungary is famous for its thermal spas, and Szechenyi is located in a beautiful park at the north end of Andrassy Ut, Pest's main drag. We made the mistake of walking there (we walk nearly everywhere) and it is a really really long street. But the baths were great. Different baths have different ingredients and temperatures and you're supposed to go from luke-warm to hot and then take a cold plunge. Ryan actually convinced me to do it, and it was really invigorating. Nice way to spend a sunny afternoon.
There were fliers everywhere for the Prague Symphony Orchestra playing at St. Stephen's Basilica, so we picked up tickets (the prices were even a bit negotiable) and had a nice dinner on Franz Liszt square. It was all very beautiful, though the wine and the classical music did make me a bit sleepy. I must not be very cultured! But a lovely evening none the less.
Before we left on Monday we wanted to climb to the top of the Basilica and eat Langos (famous Hungarian fry bread). The Basilica tower was nice, the langos was the greasiest thing I've eaten in years. Another tip, don't show up at the train station an hour early, it has no chairs. But it does have beer, so you can at least take advantage of that.
Overall, a great mini-break in Budapest, and I think it came out to around 300 euros minus the train. Not bad at all.