One last stop before I’m done

The Dohany Street Great Synagogue was near my hotel, so it was my last stop on my trip into the past. It had started to rain pretty well, but we were shepherded inside the great synagogue and out of the rain. Our tour began promptly, with a historical introduction to the religious house. The Synagogue…

A heavy shadow moves in and stays

From the Holocaust Museum, I made my way around the city from Line 3 to Line 1 and found myself back at the Terror House, which had a sizable line and wait time. I waited for about 40-45 minutes to be let in, as the amount of people inside were carefully controlled. I appreciated this,…

Confronting the darkness

Tuesday was the museum day. I’d dedicated this day to exploring the WWII and Soviet-era history of Budapest. I decided on a route that would take me to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Terror House, and the Old Synagogue and Holocaust Memorial Garden. It was not going to be a day of sunshine and happiness,…

Is this where the Phantom of the Opera happened?

Err…no. But we’ll get to that in a bit. After a quick stop for a latte and almond cake at Eco Cafe (along with taking nearly all their change because I have no small bills), I continued along the elegant avenue toward the Octagon, a large intersection of Budapest’s main roads. It’s all globalization here,…

A rainy stroll down the fashionable Andrassy Avenue

I dropped off the items at my hotel before continuing on with my day, during which I’d scheduled a leisurely walking tour of Andrassy Avenue courtesy of the Lonely Planet guidebook. I took the metro to the historical Hero’s Square and figured on walking back toward the Opera house. A fine, fizzy rain had started by…

A shrunken hand at the Basilica

Monday was dark and cloudy, a perfect background to a possible day of rain. An umbrella was necessary, judging by how low the clouds were. I took Metro Line 1 to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, and I was surprised by not only the closeness of the rock tunnel (it’s thisclose to the windows of the carriage) but…

Away to the Citadel and an impromptu meander through Budapest

After about twenty minutes of winding around and down and using creating thinking skills to figure out which way to go, I made it to the street flanking the Danube and followed it toward the Citadel. Up and up the path wound, toward the St. Gellert Monument and then stairs beyond it. The path wasn’t…

A dash of sunshine, a sprinkle of surrealism, and stir

Following a truly satisfying hour long tour of Hospital in the Rock, I ventured back up to the city on the hill and found the quintessential Miró Cafe, a cafe dedicated to the surrealist master, painted in brilliant colors, and decorated with bits of his art. I indulged in the ultra-meaty beef stew with its thick, cotton-cloud-like…

A clandestine war hospital and a storied history lesson

Up and about early, I nipped at my hotel breakfast – bacon, oh my word, the extra crispy bacon! – grabbed a crusty croissant, and I got my buda in gear for a trip up to the Buda Castle, Palace, and all the goodies in between. I took the metro west, under the river and…

A Hungarian Feast, Part I

Well, nothing could tear my eyes away from the beautiful view on the Danube…except for how hungry I was feeling. I rubbed warmth back into my face and ears and simply started to wander in search of food. I roamed up the river, then turned in to the ultra-busy Vaci Utca, a pedestrianized street where…

A Quick Stop Shop

At Corvin Alley Mall, I happen upon a grocery store in the lower level. I’m not sure why I always tempt fate, but I love local grocery stores. Be it Prague, Siem Reap, Xi’An, Bangkok, or Shanghai, I enjoy breezing through grocery stores to see what the locals consider important to their diets. In Siem…

The wind stole my map

Warning: I’m not good with maps. After getting settled in my hotel in Budapest, they gave me a map at the front desk, mapped out some possible things to go see, along with a Metro map with our two stops marked on it. Simple enough, hmm? I ignored the map for the moment. I walked…