Budapest Journeys
Hungary, © 17.May.2002 gM
Photos of Hungary
Introduction to Hungary
Budapest Journeys
Thieves & Scams: 0   kN/gM: 1
Our culinary journey through Budapest starts with hostel-level coffee but ends in delight. We stay our first night in a typical Budapest hostel - a remodelled, high-ceiling apartment crammed with as many beds as possible. The three to four story apartment building itself is built around an outdoor courtyard. Wide staircases with iron hand rails and a cage-like elevator with a folding gate lead up to corridors which face the courtyard and give access to the apartments. Hostel breakfast consists of bread, jam, cheese, cereal, tea, and coffee. I cannot tell you how happy we were to be tea drinkers instead of coffee drinkers. Coffee is served in a thermos which is periodically refilled with fresh coffee from the coffee pot in the coffee machine. After refilling, new water from the tap is added into the unrinsed coffee pot. The water turns immediately light brown because of the residue coffee. This coffee/water mixture is then filled into the coffee machine. Not all of it, however, fits into the coffee machine and pouring out the excess liquid does not seem to be an option. Therefore, coffee drips into a half centimeter high remainder of the coffee/water mixture and slowly turns this mixture darker and darker until it is time to refill the thermos.

By the end of our stay however, we have sampled many of the excellent pastries, great ice cream, yummy goose soup with macesz dumplings (Semmelknödel in German), of course gulyás (a paprika meat stew), fried mushrooms filled with goat cheese, chicken breast filled with camembert served with blueberry sauce on the side, and Somlói galuska (a sponge cake filled with custard, soaked in chocolate sauce, and topped with whip cream).

Our journey of the city allows us to find out that:
  • kN falls asleep in the second act of an opera ("Madame Butterfly" in the beautiful State Opera House) and I am bored from the beginning,
  • the Applied Arts Museum is very much hit or miss depending on what is currently shown,
  • the Great Synagogue is a must see, and
  • ice blocks were used to air-condition the Hungarian Parliament - true ice-conditioning.
  • Our two onward journeys from Budapest come with a few surprises:
  • The flight to Cairo with Malev, the Hungarian airline, has at the most 25 out of 180 seats booked. We cannot wait to spread out over three seats and sleep - however, sadly the arm rests cannot be lifted and the seats do not recline.
  • The overnight train ride to Braşov cost about Ft 16000 one-way per person but Ft 10000 return!
  • Introduction to Hungary  /  Budapest Journeys  /  Thieves & Scams: 0   kN/gM: 1