Boozing and Bathing in Budapest!

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Sep 30th, 2017, 11:08 AM
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Boozing and Bathing in Budapest!

I'm recently back from a week long trip to the Hungarian capital which was a (very generous) birthday present to me from Tommy. It was a big birthday with a zero and that is all I am saying on the matter of age.

We loved Budapest and I have much to tell of palinka and pinball and Putin and patisserie. I will split the report by day as per usual and start you off with photos. Please come along for the ride

https://www.flickr.com/photos/494523...57689299530735
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Sep 30th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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I love Budapest. Looking forward to details.
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Sep 30th, 2017, 03:09 PM
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Ummm..food porn, my favorite. Now I'm hungry.
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Sep 30th, 2017, 10:32 PM
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wow. gorgeous, gorgeous photos. i LOVED budapest and have been to most of the spots you photographed... but it's so much more beautiful than i can remember!!
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Oct 1st, 2017, 03:18 AM
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As you will know if you have read any of my previous trip reports I am not a huge fan of flying, and having completed eight flights late last year in the space of just three weeks to/from and in and around Thailand and Vietnam, I decided I’d make my way from the UK to Budapest by train instead. This meant taking Eurostar to Brussels, then getting an onward train to Germany, then a choice of overnight trains, either direct or via Vienna. I’ve done enough train travel round Europe to know to leave reasonable connection times so this all went very smoothly. Although much of the journey is overnight, I did have some fabulous views from time to time – crossing the border from Germany to Austria at Passau with the hills shrouded in mist, and on the return leg when the train followed the Rhine for hours – castles and chateau abundant in the hills, ferries and cruisers running up and down the river, and fishermen perched on the bank or little islets in the water. On the Austrian leg of the journey I splurged for first class, which meant seat service on the train, and use of the lounge in Vienna (excellent coffee and brioche!) My recommendation for a quick bite in Brussels Midi is ExKi which despite the carrot symbol in the logo is not veggie, but organic. They do a wide range of sandwiches, quiche and soups, plus sweet treats like pastal de nata.

I arrived in Budapest not long after 2pm and caught the metro to Deak Ferenc. It was just 3 stops from Budapest Keleti station with no changes, so a very easy final leg of the journey. The ticket machines speak English(!) and you have a wide variety of purchasing options from single tickets to carnets and passes. The only slight confusion I had was finding the orange ticket validating machine where you punch the single journey tickets. I’d repeatedly read that the machines are located at the top of the escalator and are usually manned by ticket inspectors, but actually not all of them are ‘upstairs’, and at my departure station the machines were down on the same level as the trains. Exiting Deak Ferenc I saw I had a text from Tommy who’d already checked into our apartment and was trying to get a charger or adaptor of some sort in Vodaphone, as the one he’d brought wasn’t working properly. I said I had an adaptor on me so he abandoned the quest and we met on Kiraly Utca.

The area we were staying in was in Pest, ie east of the river, in District VII, abutting the Jewish Quarter, no more than 5-10 minutes walk from the river. Basically there are a number of large streets running parallel here - Andrassy Utca, Paulay Ede Utca and Kiraly Utca, and connecting them crosswise are a warren of alleys and smaller streets full of exciting looking bars, cafes and markets. Our apartment was part of the Park Residence complex and I think it was just off Hollo Utca. Right outside we had a number of Serbian restaurants and bars (it turned out to be a bit of a Serbian enclave) and a posh burger van, as well as access to one of the covered alleys full of restaurants, ice cream stands, breakfast cafes, and market stalls selling vintage crocodile bags, soviet era watches and 60s rhinestone jewellery. There were also from time to time artists selling ceramics, cartoons and felt or wool products. The apartment itself was really nice – a large lounge with cherrywood floors and a flatscreen tv, a decent kitchenette (with kettle!!), a dining area, bedroom with floor to ceiling windows, and two balconies overlooking mature gardens in a secluded courtyard. It was ideal being so close to the action but facing away from it as it meant we had endless entertainment options right on our doorstep but little to no noise.

We dumped my luggage and headed out to a bar right on the corner of our complex – Publicum – where we drank beer (Tommy) and gin and tonic (me) and exchanged travel stories. Tommy had flown out with Wizz Air and the flight had been delayed by people sitting in the wrong seats and refusing to move. Also my birthday present from his mum had been unwrapped at security! The lovely sunny weather and the chilled vibe of the outdoor terrace we were sitting on soon soothed all angst though. We ordered ‘creams’ which were little spoonfuls of savoury dips to be eaten with bread. We had fun trying to identify the creams – one was tapenade, another paprika, a third tuna, and after that we got a bit stuck. One was possibly chicken and pesto, the last one went completely unguessed. It was very nice though, with our big basket of toasted bread. I also tried, and failed to order a cocktail. ‘No’ was the answer – either it was too early, or I looked under 18 (ha!) – we never found out the exact reason.

After this brief refuelling, we headed off for a wander, passing a huge synagogue, interesting-looking antiquarian bookshops, little courtyard gardens and more bars and cafes. Yellow trams clanged past on the busier streets. Eventually we made our way down to the river. Here there were some really impressive art nouveau buildings fronting the water – one seem to have been inlaid with gold on the upper levels and the effect at dusk was breath-taking with the metal catching the dying sun. We walked across the chain bridge stopping to look up and down river or take photos from time to time. Banners and flags mounted along the bridge flapped in the early evening breeze. Looking to our right we could see the parliament building. Looking directly across the river, we could see Buda castle perched up on the hill, fed by winding roads and a funicular railway. Tommy informed me that the chain bridge had been designed by a Scottish engineer and I admired the vast stone lion stations guarding both ends.

We headed back to District VII for dinner, stopping at a small restaurant on Paulay Ede Utca – I think it was called Vendeglo. It served good basic Hungarian food – I had pork with lecso – a kind of pepper and tomato stew – and Tommy had a casserole but I can’t remember if it was venison or lamb. It was good, tasty filling food and the staff were really nice, squeezing us in even though almost all the tables were reserved. Then back to a bar just outside our apartment complex where we sank a few cocktails – they did very good white Russians! It was lovely sitting under the awning with lamps and fairy lights glowing, knowing our walk home was going to be little more than a dozen steps!
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Oct 1st, 2017, 04:17 AM
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I, too, prefer trains to planes. Sounds like a good journey. I also prefer to sleep in Pest - more dining options than Buda.
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Oct 1st, 2017, 04:37 AM
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What a great start!
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Oct 1st, 2017, 04:47 AM
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Eating this up!
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Oct 1st, 2017, 05:09 AM
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Love your photos! Will be following along. We've been to Budapest several times for only for a few times each visit, this is motivating me to do a similar trip to yours.
Waiting.....
Waiting
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Oct 1st, 2017, 05:21 AM
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Thanks everyone. I will try and do a post a day.

Thursdaysd - I love train travel and have been to Spain, Italy and Germany using the European high speed rail network. On this particular trip I just had standard seating rather than a couchette - had I been able to afford a single cabin I think that would have been better. It's easy travel though - most staff at major stations speak some English and there are a great choice of food options in Germany in particular - love the little brotchen stands ubiquitous in most stations
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Oct 1st, 2017, 05:44 AM
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I have slept in couchettes a number of times, don't think I would last all night in a seat! Never had a problem, and in western Europe they are single sex. The Caledonian and the Riviera night trains in the UK are high on my list. (I once traveled Scotland to Saigon by train, but am not so energetic these days.)
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Oct 1st, 2017, 10:35 AM
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Hi,
Actually "Vendéglő" in Hungarian means a restaurant, literally:
"Guesting place"
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 05:55 AM
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Thanks Okszi I actually looked the restaurant up on Google earth before posting and that's literally all it says on the frontage - 'Vendeglo' - no specific name. We both struggled a bit with Magyar tbh - so few words resembled any other European languages that we knew.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 05:56 AM
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Day 2: Sunday

A particular feature of Budapest is the proliferation of Ruin Pubs – these are bars set up in dilapidated old buildings, usually decorated in an eclectic and Bohemian style, where in addition to imbibing, music, comedy and food are often on offer too. We’d read that one of the larger Ruin Bars – Szimpla Kert (which I think means Simple Garden) – was open on Sunday mornings for a farmer’s market, and we thought this might be a good place to visit for breakfast. It was just a short walk through the Jewish quarter, passing cafes and restaurants named (somewhat stereotypically) things like ‘Mazel Tov’, where men with peyot and black hats nipped in and out of shops, carrying briefcases or chollah loaves.

We found Szimpla Kert quite easily, navigating the narrow passage-like entrance which eventually lead to an inner courtyard, partially open to blue skies. The décor here consisted of hand-sown fabric bunting and fairylights, with bicycles and garden gnomes strung from a sort of mesh false ceiling. The market was in full swing and we wandered round trying sugar-free jams (apple and almond), and truffle oils, butters and pastes, admiring stands of herbs and veg – red chillis tied in immaculate bunches. Upstairs there were many interconnected smaller rooms housing bars or games like table football, the walls decorated with graffiti and modern art (my absolute favourite being a painting of a winged jackel in a ballerina tutu!). Old cast iron bathtubs had been repurposed as seating. Working our way through the maze of chambers, we eventually came across a vast breakfast buffet that occupied an entire room –pastries and breads, meat and salami, pickles, salads, and eggs with great glass jugs of every fruit juice and smoothie you can possibly think of, as well as fresh coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We were sorely tempted by the buffet but it was quite pricy – I think around 20 euros if memory serves me correctly, and we decided we probably couldn’t eat our moneys worth, so instead headed back to a covered area of cafes slightly nearer our apartment.

Blue Bird café had lovely tiled floors, tables decorated with fresh flowers, and mix and match china. Tommy opted for the traditional Hungarian breakfast, which consisted of cured meats, cottage cheese with paprika and caraway seeds (a millions times nicer than cottage cheese back home!) and dark rye breads and salad. The final item was an unusual crackling made from duck skin – he wasn’t sure about it but I thought it was delicious. My own plate was slightly less adventurous - I had bacon and eggs - and we both had coffee and fruit juice.

After breakfast we decided we wanted to explore Buda, so wandered back down to the river and across the chain bridge again. We decided to catch the funicular up to the hilltop rather than walk, and this necessitated a short period of queueing. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies, and warmer than average for that time of year (high 20s), and part of the queueing was conducted inside a Victorian era glasshouse-like structure surrounding the ticket office, so it got even hotter once we were in there, but luckily before too long we were inside one of the old wooden funicular carriages working our way up the hillside. You couldn’t actually see much from the carriage as the seats were quite low and the front of the carriage quite high, but it was no more than a minute or so to the top where a vast terrace gave expansive views out across the city. We wandered the terrace for a while, taking photos back across to Pest with the Chain Bridge below us. The castle to our right looked to be closed for a wine festival – you could buy passes to the festival but it was barely midday and we honestly didn’t feel ready for alcohol that early on! People passed by in peasant costumes and a suitably cruel-looking moustached man cracked a long whip behind them to hurry them!

Heading away from the castle and toward the old town we passed pink, yellow and ochre buildings with ornate double doorways, and a number of magnificent statues. I couldn’t tell whether the figures were biblical, crusaders or Eastern European persons of historical importance, but every single one was beautifully modelled with realistic expressions of anguish and suffering to match the gold arrows piecing their torsos or faces. Eventually we came to St Matthias Church – a huge building, pristine white, like a wedding cake, with knobbly spires and an amazing mosaic tiled roof. Again, there were wonderful views out across Budapest from a terrace alongside the church. We contemplated going into a small café at the edge of the terrace, as it looked like a prime spot for photographs, but the price of drinks was extortionate, so we passed. Interestingly, some days later when looking through racks of postcards back in Pest I saw a number that were clearly taken through the photogenic stone windows of the café at this exact spot!

I mentioned to Tommy that I thought Ruszwurm was in the area – one of Budapest’s oldest cafes, famous for its cream slices and simple art nouveau décor. Google maps on my phone confirmed that I was correct and we headed off down a side street looking for it. In no time at all we were queuing on the doorstep with a few other customers. Ruszwurm has indoor and outdoor seating, but as both were full when we arrived we had to take whatever became available first. This turned out to be one of the pavement tables and a helpful waiter put a parasol up for us. It was really quite hot even with the parasol, so it might have been better to wait and sit inside with the blonde wood patisserie cabinets, sage green banquets and old cream woodburner, but the cakes were the same either way! We ordered a cream slice for me and a sour cherry strudel for Tommy, and coffees. (I think Mr M may also have had a beer). Amusingly, on the Ruszwurm website they state somewhat disdainfully that they don’t think their cream slices are all that – apparently they have an alternative version that they favour but in taste-tests the public didn’t like it as much, so they serve the original (inferior!) recipe, under protest. I liked it a lot, but if I am honest, Tommy’s cherry strudel was better.

After settling the bill, we headed back to our apartment on foot, down twisty footpaths and steep flights of steps, back over the river and through St Stephens square past the imposing basilica. After a brief rest at home (uploading photos, freshening up) we found another decent-looking Hungarian restaurant in the covered passageway the other side of Hollo Utca. I honestly can’t remember the name of the place but I do recall what we ate. We shared a platter of cured salmon (in big chunks, very rustic), then I had duck with a lovely dark fruits of the forest sauce, and Tommy had steak or beef. I also had a cheesecake for pud which was actually more like a brownie on the base and Tommy helped by having the odd spoonful. We then had drinks at the Serbian bar again. I must say, this was a very good joint – at first I’d thought the drinks menu a bit uninspiring as they served only a tiny handful of classic cocktails, no signature ones whatsoever, but they were all extremely well executed. Our white Russians came with a creamy head not unlike a cappuccino and three coffee beans perfectly lined up on top! Egészségére!!
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 07:11 AM
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How fun, RM. and yay Tommy! Train sounds like a great way to go.

Love the photos, a fine mix of funky and grand.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 10:12 AM
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If I'm honest the train was quite tiring Stokie, due to the overall length of the journey and my decision not to go for a sleeper. But it was pretty much stress free compared with all the hanging around in airports.
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Oct 2nd, 2017, 07:59 PM
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RM67, thank you for posting. I'm currently planning my first trip to Budapest. Only 3 nights (we are going on to Croatia for family research), but I'm a bit of a foodie. So, I appreciate your mention of eateries!

Enjoying the report and already getting a feeling for the city! Looking forward to the next edition! thanks!
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Oct 3rd, 2017, 07:02 AM
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Thanks - I will try and do another section tonight (around the Great British Bake Off!)
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Oct 3rd, 2017, 01:19 PM
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Day 3: Monday

Monday was Tom’s birthday and after tea and card opening in our apartment, I took him for breakfast at Café Gerbeaud. The café in its modern incarnation is close to 150 years old, and situated on Vorosmarty ter in a grand building with stucco ceilings, chandeliers and simple wooden chairs. However, we again opted to sit outside as the weather was so nice. We ordered ‘Breakfast for Two’ which is basically pretty much every breakfast dish you can think of in miniature, served on one long platter. Scrambled eggs with cheese came in ramekins topped with smoked bacon. Cured meats, peppers, cheeses and pickles were piled up at each end of the platter, and in the centre were two glass tumblers containing coconut tapioca topped with museli and fresh fruit. In a separate basket we had Danish pastries, brioche and French bread. Hot and cold drinks of your choice were also included – the tea and coffee served in eggshell thin porcelain cups. The price for this feast was a very reasonable £20 for two – or rather it would have been if I’d been given the right bill – it wasn’t until I got back to the UK that I realised I’d actually paid someone else’s tab. I don’t even think it was a scam attempt as that usually involves subtle addition of an extra item to the correct bill – this was a completely different order from a completely different table, and probably came as a result of the fact we flagged down someone other than the guy who had actually been serving us for the cheque. Learn from my foolishness dear reader!

After breakfast we headed along Vaci Utca – a pedestrianised street running roughly parallel to the river. This street predominantly consisted of eateries, but there were a few unusual shops to peruse too – one selling nothing but hunting knives (most of which would have been illegal in the UK!) and another selling Cossack-style hats. Tommy desperately wanted to buy me a Cossack hat but I declined! We also saw huge gothic-looking buildings in this area, one a casino and another I think a very old shopping arcade, both undergoing redevelopment. I have a bit of a thing for old abandoned buildings and was desperate to see inside but the presence of the builders, although few in number, put me off. You could just imagine the grandeur that lay within though. We crossed a busy road, noticing the river just off to our right, trams rumbling along the bank, and on a corner, the Buddah Bar hotel, which looked very smart indeed. But our destination was the imposing neogothic building directly opposite – The Central Market Hall .

Inside, the market occupies three levels. The ground floor is mostly raw produce, fruit and veg, and meat and fish. We saw epic displays of chillis in every shape and colour, including unusual foot long yellow ones, and alarming salamis with pictures of donkeys on (surely not?!). Paprika was sold in little metal tins with wooden scoops, or in teeny cloth sacks. Upstairs, the right hand side of the building was devoted to hot food vendors – grilled meats, and mediterranean roasted veg looking very enticing. Most of the counters also had gargantuan jars of pickles of all description. Moving round the top floor anti clockwise, we came to an area selling souvenirs – lace and Christmas decorations and Russian dolls and etchings of the chain bridge. I liked the Christmas decorations a lot – very ornate – although what I actually ended up purchasing was some cherry and plum palinka (fruit brandy) and paprika tins for family and friends. Tommy looked at fridge magnets, but resisted. I can’t remember much about the lower level – I think it was more pickles!

We wandered back to Kiraly Street, avoiding ubiquitous segways and fat tyre bikes, and very persistant HoHo bus ticket sellers en-route, eventually stopping at a bar we’d passed a few times but not actually tried thus far – BBz. The bar was in an old building with vaulted stone ceilings and waxed wooden floors, and huge windows that opened directly onto the street. The décor had more than a few contemporary touches though – modern bar stools and high tables, an eclectic collection of art on the walls, and a huge stone relief of a face. The staff here were lovely – the bar’s motto is ‘It’s cool to be nice’ and everyone was in t-shirts carrying that meme. We started with lemonades. These fruit drinks were served in just about every pub, bar or café in Budapest, consisting fresh fruit, soda water, mint and ice. We encountered many variants including the familiar lemon variety, and apple, and peach, but our favourites were sour cherry (Tommy) and strawberry and basil (me). After the lemonades we progressed to the hard stuff – fabulous negronis – and then bar snacks. The bar snacks were a generous platter of cured meats, pates, pork fat, sausage and salad. After the meat fest our waiter unexpectedly bought us complementary fruit shots ‘to cleanse the palatte’. We really liked BBz!

After a brief rest at home we ventured out to find another Ruin Pub to continue Tommy’s birthday celebrations, this time plumping for Kuplung. Through a doorway manned by bouncers we came to a courtyard with jellyfish lights hanging over the tables and a choice of bars, left and straight ahead. We tried both bars, having a ‘Swimming Pool’ in the first one (like a blue pina colada), and I honestly can’t remember what in the second. We didn’t stay long here as poor Tommy felt old amongst all the giggly young students in their skinny jeans and skinny tees!

Next port of call was Rumpus, a tiki bar. The themeing had actually been done very well here, with native drums as bar stools, hawaiian masks on the walls, and glasses that looked like bamboo shards and witch doctor heads. The cocktails arrived with great theatre and fanfare, presented in little treasure chests on dry ice, but were actually a bit of a disappointment to drink. They were also the most expensive cocktails of the trip by far. We beat a hasty retreat to get something to eat.

Zing burgers took our fancy and we plumped for Aberdeen angus and sweet potato fries. The food was delicious and I would heartily recommend this place, but we did have a slightly awkward moment when they duplicated our order accidentally and got cross when we wouldn’t collect the second tray. It didn’t help that they announce the orders by shouting out your name and got mine wrong such that we didn’t even initially realise we were being called up again. After that, I think we might have stopped at the Serbian bar again on our way home but it’s all a bit of a blur 
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Oct 7th, 2017, 06:28 AM
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Day 4 : Tuesday

We had breakfast at the BlueBird café again – continental for me with banana bread, croissants and fresh fruit, and I think an American for Tommy, with frankfurters and bacon and eggs, and then we wandered down to the waterfront to catch a tram to the parliament building. There are literally dozens of tram lines in the vast Budapest network, parts of which date back more than 150 years. The oldest trams running at the moment date to the 60s, though there are state of the art cars which have only been launched in the last 12 months or so too. In central Budapest you can use the general BKK tickets on them i.e. same as the metro. I can’t remember the route number we used but it ran along the river all the way to Kossuth Lajos tér.

We alighted in a square outside the parliament and wandered up and down admiring the various aspects of the building. It’s a huge Gothic revival edifice, with multiple spires, fronting the water imposingly where it glows apricot at night under artificial lighting. On the day of our visit there were certain sections that seemed to be closed and a number of armed guards patrolled the terraces and water features around the building. We found an underpass that seemed to be the entrance and went down the steps to join a large queue of people waiting to get in. A few minutes perusal of the queue confirmed that it wasn’t really moving, so we instead entered a small museum accessed from the same underpass that detailed the history of parliamentary rule in Hungary. We had audio guides that drew our attention to artifacts such as inkwells and desks used in the drawing up of legislature, and posters from the communist era. The latter is a period of history that fascinates me – the iron curtain that came down across much of eastern and central Europe in the years immediately following WW2 – and the reactions of the various peoples to their mostly uninvited occupation by the Soviets. The guide referred to a number of unsuccessful attempts to resist or oust communism, including the occupation of a radio station, before the eventual fall of the regime in the early 90s. It was a small museum but an interesting and worthwhile visit.

We left the parliament and headed back toward the city centre on foot. To do this we walked through some of the grandest areas we’d seen so far. I would guess this to be ambassadorial territory based on the scale and opulence of the buildings – some, very classic sweeping organic art nouveau with curved windows and doorways, others more Germanic – Jugendstil - with frightening looking cubist sentry statues on the rooflines. The trees still in full leaf were tall and old. At one point we came upon a monument with an eagle, and just in front of it, an area with discarded luggage and shoes and pictures of missing people. Small notices in several languages revealed that the eagle monument was an official memorial to the German occupation and is widely considered to be offensive in terms of both the wording (which was later revised) and the way in which it fails to centre on the victims of the war (and holocaust). The luggage and photos are an unofficial memorial left by the public who see this as a more accurate and fitting tribute. Alongside, children and tourists were playing in a small fountain – jets of water springing up from the pavement sporadically – many oblivious to the controversy a few feet away.

Back in the city centre we nipped into Gelarto Rosa – a parlour where ice cream is cleverly fashioned into rose petal shapes using special tools and scoops. Although the weather was a bit overcast (our only non-sunny day) the lack of queues at this usually rammed café meant we couldn’t pass the opportunity up. I had salt caramel and bitter chocolate, and Tommy had pistachio and raspberry and a third flavour that I’ve forgotten. It was important to choose contrasting colours to get the full rose effect but that made it harder to pick combinations that worked, so there was a bit of dithering over options! We ate at the tables outside, wrapped up in warm jackets, but our tongues rapidly becoming icy!

Using the Lonely Planet Guide and our phones we decided on The Terror Museum for out next port of call. We went on foot, as it was more or less a straight walk up Andrassy Avenue. Here there were more grand buildings, many housing some very posh shops (every premium watch brand you can possibly think of) and lots of cafes with enticing-looking patisserie in glazed cabinets. Tommy was amused at me losing my bearings every time we crossed a busy junction – it felt like you were going round a corner instead of straight on, but you weren’t! Some of the older buildings were propped up with makeshift wooden scaffolding poles or supports, which seemed wholly inadequate to support the vast stone balconies above. We saw an eclectic mix of cars – from Lotus and Porsche, through Fiats and SEATS, to old Eastern European models like Trabants, in beige or olive green, usually immaculate and obviously well cared for.

As we reached the Terror Museum, for the second time that day we found ourselves standing in another long queue that hardly seemed to move. I think the inclement weather was responsible, encouraging everyone to focus on indoor pursuits. Tommy wasn’t very patient in the queue and kept trying to persuade me we’d be better of finding a café and troughing cake to pass the time. As a compromise I agreed that when we got to the entrance of the museum, if it turned out that the queue carried on inside too, I’d happily move on elsewhere. When we finally got to the two huge wooden doors that marked the threshold, Tommy sneaked a peek inside as the guard opened them to let someone out, and gleefully reported that a huge queue was indeed snaking round the foyer. So we cut our losses and headed for the nearest café. Sitting at tables on the street, watching the world go buy we ordered coffees, and a poppyseed and redcurrant cake for me, and a dark chocolate and raspberry mousse cake for Tommy. Both were excellent, though I had anguished a fair bit before ordering, repeatedly jumping up to check what was on offer in the glass counters rather than relying on the menu!

We wandered home stopping at a sports pub that Tommy liked on Kiraly Utca – they had a light beer that he really loved, and I switched between lemonade (the home made variety) and Aperol Spritzes. Truth be told I am more of a Campari girl though, and feel it is somewhat unjust Aperol is enjoying a moment when it is clearly the inferior of the two bitters! That evening I magnanimously agreed to visit a Scottish pub – The Caledonian – so that Tommy could watch the Champions League game. We’d actually texted ahead to check that they were showing it and it was on the biggest screen in the pub to Tommy’s delight. The warm glow didn’t last long unfortunately as Celtic got humped. I probably had a better evening of it than Mr M in the end – enjoying fish and chips from the bar menu and a couple of very decent gin and tonics!
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