Europe Trip: Budapest

So second day, 19 April 2012. Still in suburbian Vienna. It was breakfast time and I was anxious to approach the clients in my group. Say hi now so it would be easier to ask them about their opinions on the hotels and services later on. I caught two in my net and asked them some stuff, and then after they finished eating, they left. After that, I looked around for some other preypeople. I found another couple, the Koike(s). Truthfully, I could never understand what the husband was saying because it was slurred (I think it’s due to the fact he has no teeth left). And the wife, was just hilarious and entertaining. I liked them very much. Throughout the tour, I ended up sitting together a lot with these two for breakfast 🙂 This morning, they gabbed my ears off about the difference of toilets here (in Vienna) and in Japan for about 15 minutes. I must agree, Japanese toilets are state-of-the-art with their gazillion buttons O.o

At 08.50, everyone was already piled on the bus even though we were scheduled to depart at 09.00. The driver introduced himself and told us that he would be our driver for the next 6 days. He seemed pretty nice. We then departed for Budapest.

I was still trying hard to ask questions for the report. I was very nervous and sitting rigidly in my seat, just right behind the driver. I couldn’t fall asleep even if I wanted to. 3 1/2 hours of fidgeting nervously in my seat, we arrived at Budapest. Lunch at Szeged restaurant was scheduled at 12.30.

Szeged Restaurant

Szeged Restaurant

The restaurant was quaint and seemed homey (for me) and the food tasted pretty good. We had a three course menu featuring a Hungarian specialty, paprika. First course was some vegetable soup, the main was chicken with paprika sauce with a touch of sour cream and gnocchi, and dessert was a big slab of ice cream cake. I loved all, except the gnocchi. Bleeeh, gnocchi.

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

Chicken with Paprika and Sour Cream Sauce and Gnocchi

Chicken with Paprika and Sour Cream Sauce and Gnocchi

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake

After lunch, we met the guide in front of the restaurant. She was a local citizen, but she spoke Japanese very, very fluently. The group was amazed by her. And she was very stylish and pretty too 😀 Well, because she spoke in Japanese, my mind turned off (it does that whenever someone drones in quick Japanese) and I hung at the back of the group, like a collie herding the sheepgroup.

From what I heard when the guide was explaining at the front of the bus, in the past Budapest was actually 2 different cities (Buda and Pest) that was separated by the Danube river. Buda was the older part of the two. In the Buda part of the city, there was the Royal Castle, Gellert Hill, Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and so on. In Pest, there was the Parliament, the Central Market, Szent Istivan Basilica and so on.

We were first dropped off at the front of the stairs leading up to Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. At the top, a friend of the guide took a photo of us as a group at the front of Matthias Church. I got a copy of the photograph free of charge (thanks to my tour leader). Lucky!

However, the interior of the church was still being renovated (at that time), but we still got to see the exhibitions inside the church. The stained glass was very pretty. After that we walked around the bastion and had a great view of the Danube and Pest.

Matthias Church

Matthias Church

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion

view of the Danube and Pest

view of the Danube and Pest

Afterwards, we drove through Chain Bridge (the first permanent bridge to connect the two cities) and made straight to Szent Istivan Basilica area. We were then brought to a souvenir shop specializing in embroidery nearby. I didn’t buy anything (it was all so expensive!) but there was a table with Tokaj wine and confectionery in the back of the store so I popped some in my mouth and sipped a little wine. I didn’t think the wine would taste so sweet O.o It was a little like cough syrup.

Tokaj Wine and Candies

Tokaj Wine and Candies

After everyone had gathered outside again, we went in the basilica. The interior was awesome.

Szent Istivan Basilica

Szent Istivan Basilica

Inside

Inside

We then drove to Central Market. We had 15 minutes of free time, so I wandered alone looking at the stalls. It was quite big place and I was kinda afraid of getting lost ^^a And that ended the sightseeing session. We then headed to the hotel for dinner and a little break before later going on a night cruise on the Danube river.

For dinner, we had goulash soup (another local specialty), pork steak topped with sliced salami (I think), and cheesecake. The goulash soup was so so delicious. I still have a hankering for it time to time. It’s kinda hard to find a place that serves one here in Indonesia. I’ve only eaten a close enough copy of it at Spinelli Coffee. The main course was enormous and I couldn’t finish it. There wasn’t even enough room for dessert! But the cheesecake wasn’t really good.

Goulash Soup

Goulash Soup

Steak and Fries

Steak and Fries

Cheese Cake

Cheese Cake

We then boarded the bus again to take us to the dock for our cruise. I was excited for this cruise because I think the night view would be really good. And I was NOT disappointed. It was awesome. We had the boat all to ourselves because it was chartered. The only thing that ruined that night was myself, because I hadn’t dressed warm enough for the night. The wind was really cold T^T But the awesome view was enough to make me forget about the chill for brief 15 minutes (well, the free drink I got helped too).

Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge

Parliament

Parliament

After an hour, we headed back to the hotel to call it a day.

Next up, 20 April 2012, Bratislava.

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