Travel Journal Overview: Though it’s not written here, but is in the book, I learned more about the practicalities in finding home in Hungary then just about anywhere else in Europe bar Spain.
Traveling along he streets of Budapest was not always so nice. Burger Kings, and Mc this, mc that’s spoiled the oldness of the place. I went up to the castle on ly last day. Again not so massively impressive as expected, and again I was caught out by repair works spoiling the best pictures of both the castle and parliament. Hilton hotels had taken over near the hotel, maybe that was one of the reasons the place was so spotless, and full of those super rich tourists. You know the ones that smoke giant cigars, or really thin ones, and like black Mercedes Bendz. Okay the views were really good, but unfortunately photographically marred by scaffolding.
I got the better of the colorblind metro and managed to swap back and forth under the Danube to get a couple of nice night shots, but it was limited. What else to do at night? After consulting my LP I noticed continental Europe’s oldest metro line headed right up near that little Chinese restaurant, hmm. No longer constricted by pain I headed back to the little Chinese place where they actually remembered me from the day before, and I even managed a polish beer this time.
Tomorrow would be the torture museum of the KGB, which just happens to be next to the little Chinese restaurant! Hey not my fault the Hungarians do not have there own restaurants out in the open! Then its to the huge open market to buy some food for the train nighttime journey.
The Train was leaving at 5.30pm and cut straight into the Carpathian mountains into Transylvania during the night under a fully internet confirmed full moon to deliver me straight to Brasov the birth place of Vlad the Impaler, better known as the inspiration to Bram Stokers “Dracula”. All Cliches’s aside, I did grow up with Hammer House movies so this is boyhood fantasy “2” complete in as many weeks!!
Budapest was a nice surprise, indeed I have no idea why it is not publicized more for holidays. It’s oozing with culture, architecture and full of excellent touristy things to do. Ok its a little expensive compared to Poland, and it lacks a central sitting attraction. It has parks to sit in, but in Prague you can sit in a main square and stare up at Gothic architecture, and likewise in market square Krakow, albeit a bit too touristy. Yes you can head to the castle and chill up there, but at a huge cost. Moreover Budapest is slightly overrun by hostel shagging Americans and Australians on their’ year out …
Hungary to me started to pull all of European culture styles together in a wonderful setting. Its like a mix of everything European and more besides. Now it was time to leave again, onto full moons, jagged mountains; to legends both fictitious and not so fictitious.
Links: Travel Guide to Hungary