The first night in Budapest we ate dinner, had a few beers (Dreher) and went to sleep…and slept. It was the first day we didn’t have to catch some mode of transportation at the crack of dawn in a few days, so we ditched setting an alarm and slept in.

The next morning we rolled out of bed and got mobilized to go over to castle hill on the Buda side of the Danube river, which is a world heritage site. We climbed up (I know it seems like everywhere we go we hike up a hill to a castle…that’s because we do) and got a good view of the city and got out berings. I have to say that we are both pretty impressed with how contemporary this city is. I didn’t expect it to be filled with mud huts or anything like that, but their are stretches that wouldn’t look out of place in Chicago or New York. I guess being in Croatia an the sleepy little Ljubljana the past week made me forget what a big city is supposed to be.

We came back to the city center and caught a bus that takes you out to Memento Park. This place is a work in progress, but it houses all of the statues torn down in the city when Hungary kicked the Communists out in the late 80s, early 90s. Particularly striking is the sawed off statue of Lenin. Only the boots remain. There was also an exhibit that played a Secret Police training video which explained how to monitor citizens, conduct illegal home raids, etc.

We came back and had some beers in the square in front a giant church, St So-and-so’s basilica, and went back to the hostel to make a reasonable attempt at going out. A freind of mine used to live here so we had an army of places to go and check out.

We found the place he recommended to eat dinner, called Fátal on a street in the shopping district but were completely unable to find any of the bars he talked about. Thoroughly confused, we pressed on trying to find anything that was going on, but I guess it is a Tuesday night.

In other news Im sick with a cold which is very lame.

– me sitting in a commy-car, apparently you had to wait 8 years on a list in order to be approved to own a car…this is what you got…
– the famous chain bridge across the Danube
– a huge statue from the Memento park
– Lenin’s boots
– Budapest from castle hill

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