The next stop of my trip was Budapest. I really liked this city because of all of its little quirks. For instance, there’s a statue in town whose fat belly you’re supposed to rub in order to guarantee that your next meal will be very delicious. I really liked all of the people I met in Hungary, and only met one person who was nasty to me (the cashier at mcdonalds). I stayed with a very nice couchsurfer, and we drank a lot of homemade palinko– a spirit made with fermented plums. I didn’t do much during my time in Budapest– I was mainly concerned with locating various dishes I’d read about which sounded delicious and needed to be tried. I ended up not liking most of them– they sounded better on paper. However, I ate plenty of delicious pastries, such as sour cherry and plum tarts. and this cream cheese stuff coated in chocolate, and poppy seed pastries– i kept mistaking these for chocolate. I really enjoyed the energy of this city. It seemed so vast and dark and old, and I felt like I had stepped back in time. Hungary was pegged in guidebooks as a sort of dreary place, and I can agree that that was true, but the warmth of the people more than made up for it. I also learned a lot of interesting things about communism, such as how they considered wealthy ppl potential enemies and they shipped them out to the country and separated them. also how a lot of the city was destroyed for some reason, but communism promised everyone housing, so they had to hurriedly rebuild the city. all of these things happened so recently, and its still part of the mindset of the people. However, it wasnt so entrenched since communism was only there for a short time.
Perhaps my favorite day of the entire trip came when I took a day trip to Visegrad, a little more than an hour outside of Budapest. I had to take a ferry to get across to this town, since there is no bridge crossing over to it. The ferry also transported cars, since there was no bridge, and it was funny to see cars waiting in line to drive onto the ferry.
Over in Visegrad, there were beautiful mountains and a deserted castle that I explored. It was a unique experience to be truly isolated like that, standing in the middle of an ancient place covered in feet of snow. It was almost a scary feeling to be there, it almost felt wrong. If something were to happen to me, I wouldn’t be saved. It’s interesting how co-dependent we are in this modern day. Standing there looking up at the castle gates, I put on some music from nancy drew and the royal tower. what an experience.