Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bathing in Budapest


I thought I would have so much time to write during this trip, but instead I have been so busy trying to see and do everything. Of course I have been active on tweeter and Facebook, so you may have been getting snippets of my experiences.

Dorm Living

First off, I decided to forgo trying to get private rooms, since in most places I would have to share a toilet and shower anyway, I needed to start embracing dorm living. They are also about a third to a half of the price of single rooms if I can get them.

This has not been without its comical and noteworthy incidents.

Living in a dorm environment one gets DSCF6759an education in the latest of fashion for young men’s underwear and sleeping attire. It was in Budapest, that I woke up and saw the young man next me wearing super hero underwear. Another day one of my dorm mates spent the whole day in his superhero lounge pants. But most of the time the boys (yes I am hanging out with people who are young enough to be my children and some of them is more comfortable with the fact than others) wore the traditional backpacking dark y fronts. The girls normally sleep in t-shirts and both sexes sometimes barely managed to make to their beds normally sleeping in their day clothes till the late hours of the morning.

DSCF6757 People party hard and rarely do you see someone headed to the dorm prior to midnight or waking before nineish unless they have to catch an early bus or train. All in all at Goat Hostel, the people were pretty courteous. The staff was very friendly and did a great job of keeping the place clean.

Budda and Pest

I enjoyed Budapest, once again the architecture took center stage of my attention to this city.

The outdoor sculptures, the ornate cravings on the buildings, the mosaics, on the streets or the M1 the oldest metro line in the city built in the 19th century, were like eye candy to me. Yes, once again, I walked and walked, and then walked some more dazzled by what I found every time I looked ahead or around the corner.

I also enjoyed the baths and managed to go three times, twice to Gellert Baths and once Szechenyi Furdo. I liked them both for different reasons, Szechenyi has a more local feel and Gellert was more upscale. At Szechenyi I even took a water exercise class in Hungarian. They both had numerous hot spring and normal temperature pools, steam rooms, saunas, etc.

Dinner on the Town

My favorite meal was the one with tasting menu I ate at Olimpia which I live tweeted. It was a memorable and (I think was) 10 courses with wine pairings.

Unexpected Connections

I am pretty open to meeting people. I was able to meet up with an artist friend of a friend of mine, who was very helpful to me. In trying to connect with her I met the owner of a gallery that had just finished showing her work.

M. the gallery owner invited me to come in on Thursday to see some of the photographs of the artists he represents. I saw some very interesting work of Eastern European photographers. Then M. asked me if he could show me some of the night life. I ended up spending the next two nights with him and a photographer from New York. God bless M., putting up with two New Yorkers for two evenings in a row.

IMG_0386 The first night we went to the park, drank beer and listened to music. The second night was the Night of the Museums. Which is very cool, all the museums stay open until 2 a.m. and they have shuttle buses running between them.

We went to the a couple of museums. I loved the first show we saw. It was an incredible contemporary art show at the Műcsarnok. The picture to the left was taken by S. of all three of us.

Whew – I think that gives you a snippet of Budapest. Let’s see if I can start writing more about Romania tomorrow.

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