Part 2 of Budapest started off with a sequence of interruptions:
1) IT RAINED. After snowing hard the day before, it rained hard on us. We managed to arrive the only store in the vicinity that sells umbrella by sharing a tiny one (that I lost eventually). The umbrella broke in a day, but that’s another matter.
2) Finally we made it to the metro station, and right at that moment, I wiped my nose, and it was wet and red. In more than a year I have not had nose bleed and on THIS rainy day on SLIPPERY stairs, my nose decided to bleed on me. -_-
3) Naive me thought that Citibank must be everywhere in Europe, and turned out they don’t do business in France. Budapest, on the other hand, does have Citi very prominently, but the thing is I forgot my pin because I did not withdraw money in 3 months. Genius me. When I did recover my pin, the card failed. What the hell?
4) Our only “local” friend was locked in her own house and had to postpone meeting us.
WHAT a morning. First stop, the Great Synagogue, largest in Europe. In the center, there buried 2000 dead bodies in 24 graves. They died from the holocaust. My heart pinched a little. Or may be it was a lot.
Another beautiful and thankfully less tragic building – the Opera house.
Then it got super cold and we went for “drumroll”….. TEA!
Hot wine, hot chocolate, pancakes with sweet cottage cheese and with Nutella. Absolutely divine. I have never had crepes (they call them pancakes here, just like in Iceland) with cottage cheese and they are the best !
The cold gave me really bad headaches but we still managed past the never ending lonely path to the heroes square.
Supposedly, Easter means all shops closed and nothing much to see. But no! To our most pleasant surprise, there were Easter celebrations everywhere and we came across two lively markets with mouthwatering food and useless but absolutely adorable things.
I just have to post this photo, he looked at the camera for me 🙂
Crossing the famous chain bridge, we finally stepped foot on Buda. The view was close to breathtaking, but not quite because the weather was bad. What made me love Budapest so much during this trip was not the obvious spectacular view along the river (it was not even close to spectacular on that day);
it was the vibe of the people, the folk songs and dances by bright young men and women, that really made it such a lovely city.
That above is a manual basket-go-round for babies! The cutest thing I have ever seen. The kids were giggling and gripping the ropes so tight. It was such a pleasant scene to see; pure simple pleasures. They were throughly happy. That was of course before the ruthless part of time kicks in, namely, growing up.
Those long tubes were chimney cakes~! The name really fits because when it was ready, smoke comes out of the top, as if you are carrying a portable chimney! That rolling thing was super heavy, and they were the only handmade chimney cakes we have seen.
This Easter Festival celebration on the Buda castle, everyone wore a huge smile on their faces and joy filled the atmosphere. The buzz, the warm hearted people, pale colors and sweet sweet air made the carnival so cozy and radiant.
The famous Mathias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion.
I decided then that I have to go back to Budapest again, when it is warm and clear.
It is my second time to see these thoughtful “Maps” for the blind.
I could not put myself into the shoes of the blind at all. All the gorgeous rivers, bewitching night views, charming seashores, they could not see it. What we take for granted, might be what others are dying to have. I felt so lucky at that precise moment. And as much as I believe that life is fair, I also like the idea of karma and even if good happenings don’t come after good deeds, at least there was some kind of good outcomes for someone. At least there was more good in the world for a brief instance because of me.
Finally, our last dinner at Budapest and was again another hurdle. WE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH HUFF left… After a lot of math and brain power, we made the most out of our money and cheated a hash brown from McDonald’s the next morning. (More on that later on 😉 ) We almost did not have enough money for ketchup and we couldn’t even buy the pastry with ham…just cheese.
It started raining again and we had to run to the metro station, without knowing where was the closest one.
Turned out it was just right around the corner and just when we were overjoyed by how smart we were to find the metro so swiftly and boarding the train that was almost leaving, the train STOPPED. The light went off and the engine went silent. WE BOARDED IT WHEN IT WAS ALREADY THE LAST STATION.
All wagons were separated with no windows! The driver did not know we were still in it…(No wonder there were no one in the trains smartypants…) After some banging on the doors, we panicked. And although I do have some water left that will last me the night, the idea of being stuck there was horrifying. Thank god the light was on again and the engine started again. They used the same train for the other direction. THANK YOU god.
Budapest does have poorly designed metro, you cannot get to the other side of the platform unless you go back up the street. The escalators were different and super fast.
But either way, we were just glad we made home safe and in one piece.