Monday, May 18, 2009

Budapest: gothic charm

A doll's house in the apartment. Welcome to Budapest.

At last I had Hungarian Goulash...and it was Homemade! yum just the way your mom would made it and the way I had it when I was growing up. Yes it is very similar to my mum's soup surprisingly.. clear spiced water, potatoes, boiled-for-hours chopped diced meat, carrots and vegetables. My cousins family were saying it was the best-proper meal they had since traveling abroad in Europe, homecooked and delicious. And surprisingly after a two weeks fest of eating on the run that consisted of takeaway kebabs, nutella crepes in Paris and scary Chinese food, they all lost a considerable amount of weight! :) We were on a marathon in Paris but I'm sure they were pleased with themselves..

The remnants of modern art-deco furnishing...going up to the apartment...

Arriving on Friday afternoon in Budapest, I was feeling very relaxed, we passed some grey neighborhood along the way from the airport but once we were near to the apartment and the crowded streets, I knew I was in the city where they made all those spy movies! The city is surrounded by tall green hills, ancient gothic buildings now occupied as museums and government houses, and a few great bridges that separates Buda from Pest. My cousin's husband lived outside of Buda, along the hills, where most locals would prefer to live with clean air, big lands and fresh vegetables and fruits at your disposal.

A very tall guy...the mosaic-like ancient buildings, on the way to Vaci street. A beautiful sunny day!

Besides Metro lines, they have electric buses and trams. As you passed this street, you can see the hills around Budapest.

Although Budapest is not as pretty as Paris, the city has it gothic charm as I would put it, grey rustic monuments sits along the clear river, what looked liked a very old drawn brown bricked building has very cool modern art-deco interior, where our service apartment was.

Central Market, the biggest food market in Budapest, seeling fresh produce from meats to vegetables and spiced - liquor drinks. Palinka is a speciality Hungarian liquor, usually between 40-70% alcohol level. My cousin's husband grandfather used to make his own Palinka and it was abundantly served at the wedding dinner :O it burns the throat from 10 seconds and they a splash of warmth would engullfe afterwards, warming the whole body.

On Saturday we went to Vaci Street (Vaci utca), where cafes with nostalgic charm of little tables, flower pots and colourful chairs lined the long street, inviting many tourists and locals to sit for hours and absorb the sunny weather.

Colourful buildings with equally interesting folks and people to see from all over the world.

There were quite many embroidered patchwork cloths in antique speciality shops around Vaci Street; traditional way of embroidering and craftwork are still very much prided here.

We had a good walk, although my cousin had to walk for an hour to find a clothing store that did not exist anymore. Poor koko wonder he lost so much weight!

Eventhough I didn't see any mini coopers in Budapest, there were some old-vintagey looking cars that resembled a fiat and a mini cooper all in one. I forgot what its name now, anyway I went crazy in the local supermarket, everything was so cheap, compare to Paris! yogurt..chocolates...sweets to bring back for friends. Ah I can an hour in a supermarket. If you want to make me happy, just drop me in a nice supermarket with lots of speciality sweets and food to see and pick me up in a few hours..he he he

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