Budapest

17th April

Budapest was my first stop in Hungary, not only because I was arriving by plane from Malta, but also for Anikó decided to show me the beautiful capital first of all.

Our meeting started later than we had planned, because my plan was arriving late. There were a thunderstorm in Munich and it made it impossible to start in time. During the flight we were caught of a lightning and the plane was shaking a lot, but only for a moment. Some passengers got scared. Anyway the pilot landed the plane safely in Budapest. Anikó was not in time either, but early enough to be at the airport before me. Even we did only know each other by emails, we did get along like we were very close friends already.

I did not have any Forints with me to Hungary, because in foreign countries I prefer to take some money at the ATM and pay the rest with my debit cards. I did not have any need for my cards even I only took out 30.000 Hungarian Forints, that means a little more than 100 EUR. I was happy, that the ATM showed the amount both in Hungarian Forints and EUR, because it was not so easy to convert both currencies with each other. I only had to pay for the transport. A ticket between Budapest and Kecskemét was for 2100 Forints, that means around 7,50 EUR.

Afterwards we were going by the underground to the guesthouse where Anikó was renting a room for one night. Actually this guesthouse was not directly by the Metro station, but close to. We only had to take a 5-minutes-walk. I have to tell you here, that Anikó was not used to Budapest either, some things we discovered together, some things she already knew because she has been there a few times before, but often only for a course or similar.

The guesthouse was clean, but simple and the owners not very friendly. The unfriendly owners did not matter for us, because it was only for one night and we were not there more for to sleep. Anikó had ordered a twin room, but no breakfast, because the breakfast was too expensive there – compared with a breakfast e.g. at Mc Donalds.

After we had left our luggage in our room we went to a concert. Not used to the distances and how long time it will take to go from one to another point in Budapest and also not totally sure about the direction, we were late for a concert. It was in the Old Academy of Music (Zeneakadémia), which was worth to see only for the architecture. There were students, who had their concerts for their diplomas. Even we were late, we enjoyed the music of this young, but great artists. The concert lasted until around 7pm, but anyway it was dark when we left the amazing building, where it has been.

If you have not seen Pest from Buda at night you have missed a lot. In Buda, the part of the city, which is on a hill, you have castles and the Matthias Church (Mátyás-Templom). While the castle is in Roman style, the church was built in Gothic style. From the castle one can see the city part called Pest (the name does not have anything to do with that horrible epidemic, but a special kind of “furnace”, “oven”, probably with reference to a local cave where fire burned – the name Pest comes from the Slavic language.) with its famous “House of Parliament” (in Gothic style, too) and some beautiful bridges over the Danube.

After satisfying our brains, we had to satisfy our bodies, of course. We were looking for some cheap place to eat in and I found a Hungarian pizzeria, where we took a pizza slice each. We had to stand up there and eat, anyway the pizza was delicious, but fat. Back at the guesthouse, we went to bed immediately, but we talked a lot before falling asleep.

 

18th April

We left the hotel at 10:25am without breakfast, because it was expensive there. Anikó took me to the “West railway station” (Budapest-Nyugati pályaudvar). She went to Mc Donalds with me for getting a breakfast, but it was already to late, so she bought a salat for her own (she is a vegetarian) and a happy meal for me ;-). Furthermore we took a cappuccino.

After this late breakfast we went to the National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) using the metro and the tram.

We also were coming back once to the same point again by using both of these public transport possibilities another time  ;-). At 5pm there were another concert, Anikó had bought tickets for. It was in the New Academy of Music (Zeneakadémia) and the organizer was a foundation. Even for this concert we were late, though we were only allowed to be outside the upper galeria during the first playtime. At the end of the rest we were allowed to take our seats, but it was only a short other half.

We also visited the “Heroes square” (Hősök tere; Heldenplatz), because it still was daylight, when we left the concert – and afterwards another Anikó and her family, a friend of my host. They know each other from the time at school. The other Anikó and her family are living in a part of the third city belonging to Budapest, in Óbuda. We were invited to an evening meal and hat a nice chat, unfortunately most of the time both Anikós were speaking Hungarian. They have not seen each other for a long time, though I understood the need for it. We were going to sleep at 10:30pm.

 

19th April

We enjoyed breakfast with our host family. They hade to go to work or studies (one of the daughters) afterwards and they took us close to the “Margaret Bridge” (Margit híd). We walked the bridge and took some pictures.

It was Sunday and Anikó took me not only to St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Basilica), but also to the Holy mess. It was interesting to see the truth of what people told me before about the Catholic Holy Communion – the priest is drinking the “blood of Christ” alone and the believers only get the “body of Christ”. It looked strange, because I was educated as a Protestant, even I do not believe in God anymore.

Looking for a place to eat we found a market in the pedestrian’s zone with nice wooden kiosks, selling homemade Hungarian food and other homemade Hungarian things. One of the first kiosks sold “bread-langos” and they looked good. Though we bought one each. They were tasting good, too, but they were fat. We continued throughout the Vaci Street, which is like the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin or the street “Am Wall” in Hamburg, both Germany. The things I remember most were all the dolls they sell in Budapest. By the way beautiful dolls with beautiful clothes.

After a while we took a tram to the “Palace of Arts” (Művészetek Palotája). Even it was closed we were inside, but not in the concert hall. Nearby this modern palace, the old National Theatre is situated. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of it. We were leaving by tram again and changed at “Margaret Bridge” for coming to the “Place of the Holy Spirit” where we met our host Anikó again. We went by car to Óbuda where our host showed us around. The place is not very big and we also were only in the center of it, but there were some nice sculptures. We continued to the favorite place of our host at the Danube. It was very calm and quite there and even a lovely place. At home at that Anikó again, we have got a dinner as well.

 

20th April

I was up early because I was told, that we will leave early, but the time was changed. After a good breakfast in a friendly atmosphere our host (the husband) drove us to Margret Bridge, where we arrived around 10am. I made some pictures I could not take the day before and we continued to a supermarket named Spar-Markt buying some bread. Again we went to the West railway station, but this time we took a train to Kecskemét.