The Sun [Maroon 5]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

[Sorry these are a little off date - with the craziness of my birthday and running around the city with mom I've gotten a day or two behind. I will date the entries until I'm back on track :)]
August 25, 2009

Hungarian of the Day: “I’m hot!”

Melegem van!

[me-le-gem von]

Whoever tries to tell you Budapest is not a hot place is lying to you. Really, laugh at them and stick up your nose and walk far, far away. I don’t know if it’s just a heat wave going on through here this month, or maybe people just thought it would be funny to tell the American who burns at the drop of a hat that it’s so nice over there! Really. It is nice, but dangit I got a sunburn. I guess that’s just up to par with every one of my adventures - sunburn in Russia (potentially worst sunburn ever), sunburn in Italy, sunburns all across the USofA. Oh well, it’s not that bad of a burn, but I’m still sweating constantly. Oh yeah, and pretty much no where has a/c. Come visit in the fall, ‘cause it’s hot rig

ht now.


Today was an adventuresome and tiresome day. We walked a lot. The day started late, as usual, as we were trying to make up our minds about what we wanted to do today. You see, there’s so much to do that it’s almost hard to choose what you want to do and what can wait until the next trip. So we walked outside and realized, wait a minute!, there’s a much easier and faster way to get to St. Steven’s cathedral (really, 5 minutes v. 15) right across the park in front of our hotel. I think I just never bothered to look for a faster way because I just really love walking down the Danube. However, there was a long walk ahead of us and cutting off ten minutes seemed like a good plan.

Today we decided it was time to go into the cathedral, which may be the only place so far in Budapest we have not had to pay to go inside. That may be what I miss most about Rome, the majority of things you want to see there are free. Needless to say after the ten thousand churches Mary brought us into in Rome it was going to take Mount Olympus to impress me. This cathedral was very nice and very ornate - but everything was gilded. I’m more of a frescos/paintings/intricate altars sort of girl instead of a gild-the-heck-out-of-everything sort of girl. But I can get where these guys were coming from, and it was quite the setup. I mean, you walk in and on the main alter is St. Stephen, not Jesus. That takes some guts.

Today’s ick factor was about a 9 out of 10 as in the little chapel behind the alter is St. Stephen’s hand, 1000+ years old and on display for all to see. Now, after many medieval history classes and much discussion on the cult of saints I have my issues with relics like these. Chances are some poor dude about 1000 years ago had his hand chopped off (let’s hope after death) and stuck in a box and somebody decided to sell it as “THE REAL HAND OF ST STEPHEN!” Who knows, there are probably six more hands of his laying around, a few ears, and maybe a foot or two. Anyways, there’s a chart depicting it’s authentication as a real hand and dating it back to the times Stephen would have been alive. And for the mere price of 200Huf you can get two minutes of light to see the hand more clearly! Ick.

When we were done with the hand and the cathedral we walked out of the church and towards its back and headed down Andrássy Út., another main boulevard of Budapest. We strolled down the street which was full of high end stores and plenty of touristy cafes. It was, as mentioned before, very very hot and sunny out. We made our way past the Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állmi Operaház), which is pretty impressive from the outside. The only

ways to see the interior are to either catch a show or take a tour. Maybe next time mom comes we’ll take the tour, but I think I’d rather just catch a show once the season starts up again in September. You can get halfway decent seats for about $5 and “obstructed views” for about $2 (meaning you’re literally behind a pole or a wall, but you can still hear to music). We wandered into the main lobby just to take a peak, and man if the lobby is that ornate I can only immagine what inside the theater must be like. It impressed me in ways St. Stephen’s didn’t.

As it was now well past lunch time mom and I really needed to find a place to eat, but were not feeling like shelling out $20 for a salad on the main street. So we decided to take a side street and wander our way through some of the less traveled streets. We bumped into this busy intersection with a PIzza Hut and a KFC, now we really weren’t that interested in more fast food but we were FAMISHED, so we walked in the Pizza Hut. This turned out to be quite the mind-trip as it was the fanciest pizza joint I’ve ever ben in. There were waiters in black and white, white linen table cloths, menus and ambient lighting. Not interested in spending a lot of money at a Pizza Hut, no matter how nice, we turned and left. We finally found and settled on this small Gyro stand with outdoor seating. We each just got a chicken gyro and a Coke Light and sat for about an hour reading and just watching the world go by. This may be my favorite thing about Europe. You try that most places in the US and they’ll glare at you until you politely excuse yourself.

Afterwards we continued our walk down the main street we ended up at Hero’s Square, a giant colonnade with a monument in the center. They say the monument is fenced in because the huge dedication block is the perfect angle for skateboarders to use as a ramp. I think that’s just funny (and very smart of them too). In an attempt to get out of the sun and the heat mom and I decided to tour ourselves around the Fine Arts Museum which stands to the left of the square. Got us out of the sun, but it was warm and stuffy in there, so it didn’t help that much. The Romans in charge of the museums in Rome would have had a fit at the art being displayed in such a climate! The art here was a lot nicer, probably because not much (if any) of it is Hungarian. There were Spanish and Italian and many other wings with works by DaVinci and VanGough and many others. It was nice to see color on canvas! They even had an egyptian section in the basement with some human mummies and a mummified Alligator! It was a nice museum, would

probably have enjoyed it more in the fall or if they had had some real fans circulating the air.

The walk back felt long, probably because we were so tired and worn out from all the sun. But we stopped half way back for some Indian food, which (like the rest of the food we’ve eaten so far) was pretty delicious. Mom got some vegetable soup (as she’s fairly wary of Indian food and the spices) and I got their chicken plate which consisted of Chicken in a red sauce over rice and some Nan. It was pretty delicious and they served it in a half size, which was just enough for me

(and mom to sample - and she liked it!). When we finally got back it was nice to just sit down and recuperate and enjoy the

hotel. We went to the pool upstairs which features a hot tub, sauna, and steam room as well. It was nice to just do a few laps in the cool water and soak in the hot tub. All in all it was a long but good day ended with a nice relaxing evening.

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