Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Budapest, Round Two

Budapest's Keleti train station.

I had hoped to have one more full day in Budapest, but missing the overnight train nixed that notion. I got into my hostel, went to sleep, and was planning to get up and ride late the next morning after a few more sight seeing trips and errands. However, after getting up early to go to the market all of that was pushed back for weather. A huge down pour came blowing through.

Morning rain discouraging me from riding.

I had no need to run my errands in that so I sat tight. After the rain started, I got going but wasn't sure how much I would be able to do before I left. I used the second oldest subway in the world to head to Stu's recommended restaurant. Unfortunately, it was closed which had me searching for something else. I didn't find any great food, but I did find another great garden bar, Szimpla Kert, that seems to cater to the biking crowd. They have a room to leave your bikes inside the bar. I also found an amazing tea house, Sirius Tea House. They had more teas than I have ever seen on a menu, great honey cake, and a jungle gym like atmosphere to explore. There were ladders, floor seating, secrets rooms, and who else knows what. These little finds are what make Budapest so compelling and hard to leave. I want to go back to those places again and find more like them.

Line 1 of the Budapest metro system, the second oldest in the world behind the London Underground.

Szimpla Kert, another garden bar.

Szimpla Kert

Sirius Tea House.

After my long day running around Budapest, it was 5pm. It was past time to go. I was reluctant, but finally got myself out the door into the drizzle. I took a supposed bike route and then lost it outside of town. After asking for directions, I got myself pointed in the right direction and started pedaling. I took a long break at the Memento Park though. They have taken a number of the old communist era statues and put them in one park outside of the city. It cost a little bit too much to go in, but it was still pretty neat. I wish I had been there with a tour to get a lot more information about what each statue meant and why it had to come down after the communists got the boot.

The boots of the former Joseph Stalin statue.

Lenin statue at Memento Park

Republic of Council's monument of a 30 foot tall worker running to deliver a message in Memento Park

Statue at Memento Park.

After visiting the park, it was time to pedal hard. I was behind schedule and stayed that way. I stopped to get some a traditional Hungarian summer snack, langos with sour cream and cheese on it. It is basically fried bread, thick naan, than isn't dried out. Sometimes they serve it up with nutella on it. I ended up calling it an early day. I just was not getting into any good rhythm. I could have pushed farther than the 64km I did, but I ended up on this super quiet bike path that had some perfect camping places along it. There were very few bicyclists going by and no cars. I think it might have been one of my best nights of sleep until the thunder storm came through. First, one of the loudest thunder claps I have ever heard sounded, then the rain started. I had left the fly strapped open to let more air in the tent. This was great for air, but terrible for tired hands to undo in the dark. I got super wet trying to figure it out. Note, leave the fly open, but not tied. Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your photos and your blog. I loved Poland and your blog makes me want to return there. Thanks for sharing. Happy and safe travels to you.