Saturday, December 24, 2011

Budapest with the 'rents

So last week my parents and I went to Budapest for 3 days.  We ended up flying because I have heard way too many horror stories about 8 hour train rides from hell in a freezing cold compartment.  Maybe I will try it sometime, becauset it's really a shame, since it's only a 3 hour drive from here.

Before I get on with the trip and city details, I have to share my airport experience.  First of all, the airport in Belgrade is really small and pretty boring.  Our flight was on one of those tiny little planes that only has one row with one seat and the other row with two..definitely propeller.  So after waiting FOREVER to board, (via a tiny bus that goes to the plane because apparently the don't have enough walkways), we boarded the plane.  There were only 7 of us in the flight, which was weird and a little scary.  Then there's this boy and girl in their twentys, who I assume were brother and sister, sitting right behind us and the boy starts making all this crazy engine noises and acting like a lunatic.  I was like, if this happened at home, he would have been restrained or at least reprimanded for sure.  About 10 minutes later, the flight attendant goes around asking if people want to visit the cockpit..I was like "I thought that was illegal now", but I didn't say anything.  So some lady went and loitered in there for what seemed forever and then the crazy kid got up to go and at that time, in my head, I was like "this is it. This crazy kid is going to go ballistic and crash this plane by pushing all the buttons at once or something".  Clearly, I lived to tell the story and nothing happened.  But aside from this little incident, flying in Europe is the best!  Whole bottles of shampoo, raw meats, and other massive amounts of liquids go in my carry on without a frown, we don't take off our shoes or get X rayed, there are real meals and snacks, even if the flight is only 45 minutes!  But the airports do kind of suck.  They are cold and not as commercialized.  No Chilli's To Go or other fun fried food places.

Of course, half the point of going into Budapest now was to hit up the Christmas Markets.  Unfortunately, they were not as big or plentiful as the ones in Vienna, but we still managed to go to the main one every night at Vörösmarty Tér  and have some of that mulled wine.  We also ate these doughnut-like things that were called Chimney Cakes in English.  This lady would wrap the dough on a stick, then cook it over a charcoal grill until it got golden and crispy.  Then you can get them to roll it over a topping like cocoa powder, sugar, cinammon or coconut (which is not very Hungarian in my opinion).  They were really good, you just pull and take a long strand, perfect for sharing.

It snowed our second day there and it really added to the beauty and magic of the place.  Even if the Christmas markets weren't as awesome as in Vienna, Budapest was so beautiful and incredible.  Almost too perfect.  All the castles and architecture were straight out of a fairy tale.  My mom was joking that we would see a Rapunzel or some other Damsel in Distress hanging from one of the towers.

In case you didn't know, Budapest consists of two sides: Buda and Pest and they are both equally amazing.  I don't want want to get too specific or become all travel-guidey, but if you do get to go, definitely spend at least 4 days, pay a visit to the Baths, and take the bus #16 from the second to last stop on the red line to go up the castles.  You will save yourself a good 1,000 stairs and possibly a heart attack.

This pic was taken at the top of the Royal Castle on the Buda side.  It looks like it came from the internet, but I swear I took it myself as soon as it started snowing.

This is the Parliament building.  Second largest in the world after London's.  Apparently, they do free guided tours, but I am not really into going inside fancy buildings; I hate gaudy and old school grandiose furniture from the old royalty.

Awesomely, even if there weren't actual Christmas markets everywhere, they did have the mulled wine or Forralt Bor wherevere you went.  Up on the hill? Little kiosk of forralt  bot.  Out and about near the Parliament?  Stop by for some forralt bor.  Nice dinner?  Guess what we serve-- forralt bor!  At the airport gate, Getting ready to board your flight back to Belgrade?--grab your last forralt bor of the trip and stumble to your seat, sir.


Philetta said...

You are so funny...I am so glad you are all the way over here to spend these crazy two years with you and merry xmas baby gurl

Maryland Momma said...

You make me miss Europe! Glad you got to Budapest...and I promise, those train rides aren't as bad as they say! I did Warsaw to Prague on the night train and I was fine!

Bojana said...

You Yanks are really serious assholes! :D

Anonymous said...

It was really smart to goto budapest for xmas, because Serbia is pretty much dead thanks to their ultra orthodox faith :(

Anonymous said...

That's bullshit, we are "ultra orthodox" because we aren't celebrating religious holiday :D
See the irony.

Serbs celebrate Christmas on 7th of January in their homes with their families and friends.
And that Santa Coca Cola guy comes to Serbia for the New Year's eve ;)

Pera said...

"boarding via a tiny bus that goes to the plane because apparently the don't have enough walkways". Belgrade airport has at the moment much more walkways than necessary considering number of flights.
Reason why you boarded plane via tiny bus is in a fact that is chipper and price is especially important for a low cost company that you flew with.