Monday, September 13, 2010

End of week 1 - Budapest

It doesn’t seem like just 7 days – After spending so much time with a group of strangers we are now, mostly good mates. It feels like we have known each other a lot longer than a week, but we still have 12 weeks left –

If week one is anything to go by, it going to be a great trip!!

Sunday -

After a good nights kip, I was up at 8.30 to take a run around Budapest. It was a lovely sunny morning and I took my phone with me as I ran towards Heroes Square – It only took 15 minutes to reach it and it was worth the effort – Its really spectacular and I should really find out what it is all about, but for now I took some photos and headed back towards the Hostel for breakfast and then a day touring the city.

Breakfast was a bit poo to be honest – The rolls and jam were OK, but the orange juice was watered down as was the coffee and the milk was a bit off too. It wasn’t a good start to the day, but everything was OK later on when myself, Becky, Frankie and Matt and Allen (From now on to be called by their nicknames - Awal and Hicky) all met up and had a walk up to the citadel – This is a monument overlooking the city, left over from the communist days. It was possible to get bus but we wanted to experience the walk up the hill, which was quite cheeky to say the least! There was also a lot of rubbish and mud to walk past too as well as stops at viewpoints to take pics. It took us a while but was worth it when we saw the monument and statues. We took a few piccies and rested for a while, generally vegging out, chatting, watching flying ants have a fight and throwing sprite bottles at people – Becky!

Next it was back down the hill and up the next one to see the 'Castle'. This had lovely walls,gardens, and a few photo opportunities so we spent a while wandering around before another rest and a chat about tomorrow and our next destination – Belgrade.

It was then into town across the famous chain bridge, where the Budapest Triathlon was taking place, so we watched at the Olympic champion and world champion crossed the finish line to win the women’s event, before heading off to look at the parliament building. This was absolutely massive and because of the triathlon we had to walk halfway around the square to get across the road to see it up close.It was very impressive though and I even managed to take some pictures of the statues and monuments reflected in puddles – who says I can't take a good picture!

It was getting late so we headed off back towards the hostel for a rest before dinner, stopping on the way to take photos of lampposts and buy a Hungary fridge magnet...eventually!! :-) The girls stopped for a bit of shopping in Tesco and we all had a look around to find some Hungarian 'Tesco Value', food, which ended up being 'Tej', which is Hungarian for milk. All in all its been a pretty good day and once again we haven’t even seen half of what looks like a great city. It has its dark bits, like the homeless people and dank dirty streets, but its also quite a cool happening city and somewhere to visit again.

It was then back for a shower before an evening out later on.

We met up again about half six and also met with Barry, who came along with us for an evening out. It was a short walk and then an underground ride to Heroes Square. The underground here in Budapest is great – Its really old, but seems fast and the rickety doors and funny tunes that play every time it stops and starts adds to the charm of travelling on it. Its almost like going back in time.

We reached Heroes square and noticed big black clouds looming overhead and so we expected rain any minute, so we quickly had a look around and had a little climb onto the monument – Everyone else was doing the same, so we presumed it to be the norm. Then when we climbed down, we realised the floodlights had been switched on and it was now all lit up. It looked brilliant with the dark skies and floodlights, so Barry took a few quick photos of us all and we got loads of good shots. I then tried an experiment – I have a panoramic setting on my camera and so Becky and Frankie, started on the left of the monument and quickly ran across the middle and to the right, pulling poses when I shouted – I took a panorama and hey ho, it worked!! There are 4 Becky's and 4 Frankie s in the photo!! That’s more than enough for anyone!! ;-) The photo will be posted in the next blog, in a few minutes, you may already have seen it!!

We decided to leave before the rain started, so risked death crossing another Budapest road and took the underground back to town and some dinner. We found a great little street café in a lovely square, put all our Hungarian money together and had a pizza each – followed by some blooming lovely Ice cream – After 8 , Belgian Chocolate, Orange and other tasty flavours made a great end to another nice evening out. It was then a slow wander back to the Hostel, with a pit stop at the Internet café on the way to catch up on a few emails and facebook messages. We had a good laugh looking at all the other Ozbussers posts and photos, before leaving and having an early night. Tomorrow we head for Serbia and The City of Belgrade.

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