Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A weekend in Budapest, Friday

(back-posted to keep chronological order)

It's been too long now since my trip to Budapest so I'm not going to detail the restaurant reviews like I normally would. I didn't take copious notes and frankly it's not the most interesting part of that weekend. It's more important now to get the stories and photos up!

In the middle of my world tour, I had a weekend off that I chose to spend in Budapest. My girlfriend met me there, and of course we had a fabulous time. We both arrived Friday; myself by plane from Berlin in the morning, and her by train later in the afternoon.

We stayed at Le Meridien Hotel on Erzsébet tér, a gorgeous hotel in a fantastic location. Right on a metro stop, we were walking or subway-ing distance to everything.

Panoramic view from Le Meridien Hotel

While I waited for her arrival, I took a long walk from our hotel on the Pest side of the river to the train station on the Buda side. It's a beautiful walk that takes you across the Széchenyi lánchíd (Chain Bridge) over the River Danube.

Széchenyi lánchíd

Half-way across the bridge, I met an animated gentleman by the name of Mr. Erdely, a Transylvanian photographer selling his images precariously wedged into the stones of the bridge, and very eager to discuss the history of his homeland.

Mr. Erdely, Transylvanian photographer

I bought a photo of Dracula's castle from him that you see displayed here. I may have to visit Transylvania one day just to see this castle; it's quite a sight.

After a rapid climb up Castle Hill and an even quicker descent down the other side, I finally found the train station. From there we enjoyed a tranquil afternoon and a nice, albeit expensive, dinner at Rézkakas Vendéglö. Probably not quite worth the expense but it was enjoyable, and we were entertained by a live "gypsy" band (a bit of a misnomer, if you ask me… gypsies playing in an expensive restaurant… ha!), and were educated on the finer points of Heimann wine, a Hungarian favorite.

Gypsy band at Rézkakas Vendéglö

Delicious Heimann Syrah

This is the PUBLIC photo gallery; (this same gallery is linked on all Budapest posts)

This is the PRIVATE photo gallery; please email me for the login and password (this same gallery is linked on all Budapest posts). This gallery contains all the photos from the public gallery as well.