Budapest, Day 1 – I’m clever

Remember when I gave the whole spiel, Travel 101, don’t be an idiot…yeah…I’m an idiot. As I mentioned yesterday, I think my brain is totally fried. When I packed for my trip to Sweden there were a couple of things I totally forgot…

  1. Swedish Kronos, the Swedish form of currency, I have a bag of this money at home
  2. My power adapter -_- This has to be one of the most important things someone should pack. I was able to get one from the Airbnb I’m staying at, but it’s not as sturdy as mine…sooooo I had to get clever and give it a little boost for my laptop charger. That is the advertisement stand in my hotel room laying flat on top of my bookbag…

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True to my style of travel I had some idea on how to get around, but not 100%…getting from the airport to Budapest was really simple. If you are coming in from terminal 2B the bus station is just a short walk away. You can purchase a round trip ticket for 530HUF (~$1.80) or a single fair for 350 (~$1.18) for the bus and it will drop you off in the central city of Budapest. I didn’t have to take it that far as I’m staying at Ibis Hotel Aero which is 10 stops away from the airport and only 220 meters from the bus stop and subway station.

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Bus ticket, for one way

 

The hotel isn’t bad, it’s not a Ritz Carlton, but it is clean, comfortable, and cheap…and I got it as a group deal with Expedia for my flight and hotel for $300…so…not really going to complain.

An app that could be useful to have is BKK FUTÁR, it is an app that tells you the routes and timetables of the public transportation in Budapest. The transportation in Budapest is plentiful, there are buses, trams, and subway lines.

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This is for the iPhone, but I’m sure one exists for the Android as well

I started off my morning by purchasing the Budapest 24H day pass, and this is a full 24 hours, so I purchased mine at 9:30 AM and it was good until the next day at 9:30 AM. This pass is so fantastic, it only costs 1,650HUF (~5.60) and is useful if you plan to use public transportation all day.

Budapest is fascinating (let me bore you with history for a bit)…

The city, Budapest, used to be split up into three cities, Buda, Pest, and Obuda (Old Buda). The Buda and Pest side are divided by the Danube river and the three cities combined into Budapest in 1873…the only thing I don’t understand is why the combined? I did learn that the Chain Bridge (see below for pictures) was built to help the merging of Buda and Pest more quickly.

The interesting part of the two sides is the not only the different in architecture but also the topological differences.

Buda is much more hilly and the roads are more narrow, but because it’s hilly, you can get some amazing views over the Danube river to Pest. The architecture on the Buda side makes me think of what an old fairy tale land would look like, with the cobblestone roads, the spires that grace the churches and colorful roof tiles.

The Pest side is much flatter with wider roads and more modern in architecture.

Budapest as a city (not in this name) has existed in some form since first century BC, starting on Gellert Hill (on the Buda side), it has been through the Romans, migrations of the Slavs and Huns, Bulgarian-Hungarian wars, the Hungarian Revolution, their involvement with WWII…I mean the list goes on and on…it was so humbling and amazing to walk around and learn more about the history and the beginnings of this beautiful city.

Thanks for the history, now uh…where did you go?

Yeah, so moving on…here’s where I went and what I did:

Breakfast

I started off my day by going to a restaurant called Déyrné Bizstro. The bistro was small, cute, and cozy.

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I enjoyed a version of their eggs benedict. So…I’m going to be honest, I actually looked this up because being from the US an eggs benedict has been English muffin (or some bread like base), meat (generally ham), poached eggs, hollandaise sauce (may have different flavors), and a side of hash browns (or potato side of some sort)…their eggs benedict wasn’t that…it was a nest of hash browns with two poached eggs, and a hollandaise that could have used a touch more lemon…or not? I’m not sure what they put in the hollandaise sauce, then topped with pink peppercorn, fried onion, and cilantro.

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Gellert Hill

After leaving the bistro I walked to Gellert Hill…ok, partially up the hill. I didn’t go all the way to the top, it’s a pretty steep climb and I really wanted to be kinder to my knee. Stopping halfway up and pulling over into the Gellert Reservoir was good enough! I took some amazing photos from here.

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Walking to Gellert hill
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Halfway point of Gellert Hill
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If you do go to the top of Gellert Hill, those are the statues you’d get to see up close. As you can see from my picture there are a ton of pictures because a ton of tour buses go up there.
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The left shows the ruler of Buda during the 1873 merge, the right shows the ruler of Pest during the 1873 merge…I love this!
Circle of peace
The circle of peace…I mean, that’s what I’m calling it. This area has statues depicting people through how history that symbolize peace: Akhenaten, Buddha, Ghandi, Bodhi Dharma, Lao, St. Francis, and Abraham

Chain Bridge

The first permanent suspension bridge that opened in 1849…it is so beautiful, there will be more pictures on Day 2 when I cross it.

Chain Bridge

House of Parliament

I love the Parliament buildings in every country I’ve visited, they are always amazing. This one started being built in 1885 and was completed in 1904…and just…the intricate detail on the outside is amazing! I believe you can do a tour, but…I like to travel cheaply.

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Shoes on the Danube

This memorial is to commemorate those that were killed by the fascist Arrow Cross militiamen during WWII. These individuals were ordered to take off their shoes before they were shot in the back and their bodies fell into the river. People still leave flowers and offerings to commemorate the dead.

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Shoes

St. Stephens Basilica

This isn’t the biggest church, but it is gorgeous…and it holds St. Stephens holy right hand.

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Always look up

 

 

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The Holy Right Hand is in there…

 

Kerepesi Cemetery

This might sound weird…but I really love beautiful cemeteries. This cemetery is gorgeous and HUGE. Kerepesi cemetery was founded in 1847 and it is one of the biggest National Pantheons in Europe with the biggest outdoor statue park. When I come back to Budapest I’ll spend more time here, I didn’t get to explore the cemetery as much as I would have liked to. It is 56 hectares (140 acres)…so..yeah it’s pretty large.

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