I recently had a friend come up here from Texas. Since I live "close" to Niagara Falls, we decided to make a trip out of it! So, here are a few brief pictures to whet your appetite until I can get a real blog post going.
I don't want to be the person who talks about food all the time, but I will make an exception for this post.
We did a lot of fun things that I will talk about in my next post, but for this post, I will talk about how awesome the food was on this trip. I'm not sure what you think of when you hear the words, "Hungarian food", but you probably thought of paprika. Yes, there are delicious paprikash dishes, but there is something even better about the food than the traditional dishes.
When I lived in Scotland, on the weekends I ate ramen noodles, and bread and cheese. Not just any cheese, I ate Camembert. It is my favorite, and in Europe, it is generally less than $3 a wheel. In the US, it is around $7. Ridiculous. European bakeries are my favorite. When I was in Germany, I discovered these rolls that had seeds all over them. Here, you can find poppy seeds or maybe sunflower seeds, but the rolls there were covered in all manner of seeds. We called them bird rolls, and I loved them. We didn't find them in Hungary, but we did eat an awesome amount of croissant based bakery items. There was a pizza like item that was on a crust, with some sort of ricotta type cheese (minimal amount), melty type cheese on top with onions. It was delicious but messy. I personally loved the cranberry stuffed croissant things.
The most important things to mention are: gomolya and tomatoes.
Gomolya is sheep's milk cheese. There are lots of different kinds of sheep cheese that I'm sure you've eaten: feta, ricotta, Roquefort, etc. The cheese is melty and delicious. There was one time when I ordered grilled cheese and I was served two pieces of cheese that had been grilled, no bread. It was delicious.
Tomatoes are a fruit. You've had them. Even if you're allergic, you've had them... I mean, you had to find out somehow. The tomatoes there are what tomatoes are supposed to taste like. They were flavorful and red. I will never eat another tomato here unless I grow it myself. They tasted like tomatoes are supposed to taste. One night, we had tomatoes and cucumbers for dinner, and it was most excellent.
We didn't do much today either. We saw a medieval boat, got lost a bit, sat under a bridge by the Danube, and now I'm going to teach TC how to like beer.
Wally isn't very well hidden in these pictures, enjoy them anyway. ENJOY THEM I SAY!!
This trip was not intended to be a sight seeing trip. I mean, we want to see the sights, but most of all, we want to relax. So, today we went to the transportation museum in a giant, beautiful park. When I say "we went" I mean that TC went and I chilled and read my book. The point is that we didn't do much today. Here are some pictures of Wally.
I chose the title because we were in the northern part of Buda and Pest today. It was a lovely day for it, though my foot might tell you otherwise. Also, keep an eye out for Wally in the pictures that follow.
This is a picture of Wally with the castle and the chain bridge in the background.
Let me just start this post out by saying, Wally is in all of these pictures. Except the first post or two with Wally, I have included him in every picture. So, keep your eyes peeled... which is gross.
Wally got out on the town and tried to nom on the cave church. It didn't go very well.
This is a picture of the three of us together, but in a very strange lineup.
Just before we got pho, we sat at the bar next door and had cold drinks while we waited for the pho place to open. It was hot. Everywhere is hot, and a/c is not as widespread as it is in the US. This place had a/c just above TC's head, but it wasn't on.
On that note, people drink beer at all times of the day. It is not uncommon to go to breakfast and see someone order a beer. I've never been a "drink before 3pm" person... except that one time in Mexico.
There is a ferris wheel in Budapest. From this ferris wheel you can see many awesome sights... unless your short and can't see over the seat... then you can only see out the door.
The Basilica, also known as St. Stephen's Cathedral. It's beautiful, and from the ferris wheel, it stands out from the buildings that surround it. We hope to tour it one of these days. We were too late today, but who knows what tomorrow brings?
In an attempt to get more pictures of Wally, we accidentally left him at a restaurant near our hotel. Luckily, they like us there. The woman who was our waitress spoke excellent English and was very helpful to us. When we went looking for Wally the next day, she had taken him home with her. Unfortunately, she wasn't working that day. So, we went back today when she was working and she brought us our Wally back. It was awesome. She also told us a little more about herself, she is from Hungary, but lived in France. She speaks English with a British accent with occasional words sounding Australian. She also knows her wines. I asked for a wine list and got an education about the wines of Hungary. She directed me to an excellent wine that they call Bull's Blood. I don't know if I will be able to drink wine from anywhere else again. The wine here, assuming you get the good stuff, is hard to describe. It's perfect. I love it.
Anyway, Wally was AWOL for a day. Unfortunately, that was the day we climbed the hill to get a view of Buda and Pest. That would have made for some good Wally hunting. Perhaps he was doing something fun with his watcher. Maybe he supervised the dinner preparations, maybe he fell in a glass of wine, maybe a cat tried to chew his face off, maybe he stayed in the pocket of a dark apron for two days. Who knows? I am here to catch you up on his adventures. He's always lurking around, so keep an eye open for him.
While I was writing in my journal, TC hid this little gem in the book o' fun. I thought it was the pen that was keeping the book open, so I just ignored it until I had to use the book for something. My husband knows his stuff. He's good at getting me gifts that are special, and he is amazing at making me feel like I am the greatest thing since man discovered fire. Also, Wally tried to eat the box.
We spent all morning thinking that today was Saturday. We were baffled as to why everything was closed. Stomach issues had us searching for a pharmacy, all of which are not open on Sundays. So we're not venturing out too far today. It's a good recuperation day for us. So far, Budapest is amazing. The buildings are beautiful. I try my best to not look too much like a tourist, but I'm sure everyone can tell because we are looking at the buildings so much. Can't wait to go explore!
We went to get coffee this morning. I ordered iced coffee and received an iced latte. I don't like to be the person who brings their coffee back, but I can't drink milk, it makes me sick. TC ordered a cappuccino, which was delicious. Wally agrees. So, TC ordered me some iced espresso, which received many giggles. Apparently, that is quite uncommon. In the end, we got all caffeined up and went on our way.
Wally joined us on our flights to Budapest. Thankfully, we made all the flights, but the layover time was so short that we had to run to our gate to make the flight each time. All in all, I'm glad we're here, and TC is glad to not have to be in an airplane or airport for another couple weeks.
For your enjoyment, here's Wally:
... And here is the view from our room...
I like to travel... a lot. I like to see new things, meet new people, and have crazy awesome experiences. I try to write them down as I go... and this is where I do so.