Hi All!!!! So, I am back from an absolutely bombastic trip in Budapest with Somayeh. Three full days and four nights of awesomeness. Within the first day, Budapest had already rocketed to the top of my list of "most favorite European cities." It now definitly resides among my top three, for a handful of reasons. The architecture is stunning. The food was some of the very best I have ever eaten in my life. The city is HUGE and just FULL of so, SO many things to do. This city is also a fairly inexpensive European one. The Hungarian baths- such a neat experience. This city pulses with feelings of excitement, a slight hint of darkness and creepiness, charm and elegance, as well as lots of old history.
Budapest held echos of Paris within its walls. Especially the street Somayeh and I stayed on, which was incredibly reminiscent of Blvd Saint Germain in Paris. Many of the buildings throughout the city had a dark, slightly crumbling, haunted feeling to them. The other architecture was old, colorful, ornate, many of the buildings absolutely gigantic. It really possesed a European and slightly exotic charm to it. This city was busy, exciting and expansive. The panoramic views of Budapest were sweeping and naturally stunning.
And now, without further ado...the details of our trip!!! In chronological order :-D
Hungarian currency!! Neither of us realized euros were not used here!!
A number of the buildings throughout Budapest had looks similar to this one. Imposing, old, dark, abandoned, and slightly haunted. Somayeh and I loved this!!!
On our last day in Budapest (too late unfortunately), we decided to keep a tally of the things we say via advertisements, bars, restaurants or even just buildings that really seemed to exude "dark" references. This was a fun little activity. We found quite a few of them over the span of just a couple hours.
This is the avenue our hotel room was situated on, and is the same street that reminds me so much of Blvd Saint Germain in Paris!!!
Waiting for the subway...
Annnnnd, our first day in Budapest. We spent it at the Hungarian baths! Some of the baths in Budapest are from the 15th and 16th centuries!!! These baths are one of THE things that Budapest is known for. Here is a really interesting(and short) article about these famous Hungarian baths, and the experience of bathing in them ;-) (interesting aspect: clothing is optional).
The photo above (of me, in black and white, eating something delicious inside the Budapest baths) is something called a Turo Rudi. This is a Hungarian specialty, a small candy bar, with a chocolate shell on the outside and filled with a sweetened curd cheese on the inside. I had read about these online before our venture to Budapest and the morning of our excursion to the baths, Somayeh and I each bought two of these in a grocery store (along with breakfast).
The black and white photo of me above is my first sampling of a Turo Rudi. It was love at first bite :-D
I brought home three packages of them!!!
Dinner after our long and relaxing day spent at the Hungarian baths...we ate here, within this castle-looking restaurant.
I went with the vegetarian dish, a rice dish with mushrooms and arugula, this was quite yummy. Somayeh had a chicken and cheese dish which was ok but her chicken was cold.. :-/ this was the one dish between the two of us which was less then awesome.
The great part? ALL other items we ate during this entire trip??? OUTSTANDING. I had some of the best food I have eaten ever in Europe, on this trip to Budapest!!!!
This was an asparagus soup. Phenomenal. Totally delicious.
My dessert was a cheesecake with berries on top. Somayeh had a Hungarian sponge cake which was DELICIOUS. We liked this so much we had it on the last day as well.
This was inside of Instant, one of the incredibly famous "Ruin Pubs" in Budapest. So, a "ruin pub" is a really neat concept and one that's totally unique to Budapest. A Ruin Pub is a bar or pub that has been set up inside a formerly abandoned, old, or crumbling old building or ruins. Pretty neat!! This particular ruin pub has 26 rooms (over TWO floors), 7 bars, and a handful of dance floors.
After seeing the photos of Instant online (it looked and sounded SO cool), we decided to go. We didn't pay any entrance fee, and in fact, we both elected not to purchase drinks either. Instead, we spent a while wandering all 26 of the rooms of this mysterious, funky, and darkly inviting ruin pub. We had lots of fun with this. Hence, all the photos below... ;-)
Annnnnnd this photo (the one above) was taken on the chilly walk home, back to our room from the ruin pub. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, where I purchased three large packages of the Turo Rudi sweet cheese and chocolate Hungarian candy bars. Mmmmmmm. I brought those babies back to Frankfurt with me.
Check out this totally cute little street food burger stall!!!
Budapest architecture is AWESOME!!!! Totally gorgeous.
The photo above, along with the following 9 photos, were all taken while we walked the Vaci Utca. This is one of the most famous streets in all of Budapest. Its certainly happening, FILLED with cafes, shops, boutiques (we especially loved a little Christmas shop, just crammed full of all things Christmasy and smelling of cinnamon and apples, so lovely) and bustling with tourists and Hungarians.
The outside of the super famous Central Market...which we would go shopping in on Monday. ;-p
(See Part Two of Budapest photos...to come in 48 hours, for those photos).
These were the sinks inside of a random restaurant bathroom we ducked into. I just thought they were so cool, I had to snap a photo.
The ultra-famous Chain Bridge in Budapest. Legend says that the creator of the bridge forgot to carve the tongues into his stone lions at the completion of his project. And that upon discovering he had forgotten this, then threw himself off the bridge.
Just loved the way this building looked.
This was one of the very best things I have ever eaten in my life.
The menu described it as "traditional Hungarian stew with egg noodles and chicken." I know. It doesn't look like much. I am not sure what the chicken was seasoned in. Something tomato-based with the perfect blend of a variety of spices which concluded in a phenomenal finish. The white sauce is sour cream of some sort.
When all mixed together, the effect and final result was mind blowing. One of the best flavored dishes I have ever eaten. I ate every bite. I am still thinking about this dish now that I am back home. Somayeh even agreed, this might have been the best dish of the trip. My particular dish at this restaurant.
This was the dish right before I ate it, all stirred together, the chicken, sauce and sour cream, my god. Amazing.
This is the "Fisherman's Fortress" in Budapest. We stumbled upon this while looking for a famous cafe we were excited to try.
Dobra Torta, the Hungarian famous five layer chocolate and caramel cake. Mmmmmm.
Somayeh and I elected to share three slices of cake at this cafe. Yes. Three. We saw nothing wrong with this, and everything right about it ;-) I drank two teas, and she drank a cappuccino. The total bill came to 12 euro. In Frankfurt, this easily would have cost around 20-25 euro. Thats right though, just 12 euro. For ALL of that!!! We were astounded.
Hands down, the cheapest European city I have ever visited, and yet, with the best food I have ever eaten. All the meals we ate in Budapest would have easily cost double in say, Frankfurt or Paris.
Finishing off the afternoon with one of my newly beloved Turo Rudis ;-)
Cafe Ruszwurm, one of the oldest confectioners in Budapest, and possibly the most famous cafe in the city. This is where we sampled the three types of cake, all of which were excellent. We sat here for about 2.5 hours, had an awesome conversation, lots of laughing together and lots of interesting topics were covered.
These two photos....FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love, love, LOVE them!!!! And yes, Budapest was totally badass!!!!!!!!
Our walk through the serene woods, down the hill, away from the Fisherman's palace.
More photos of the Chain Bridge....
Part TWO of photos from our trip, to come in just 48 hours.... :-D