Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Budapest: city of spas, city of caves

My Christmas trip this year consisted of three cities. Budapest, Prague and Berlin.  a few facts about the trip: total time: 11 days. total mileage on car: 2,744 km. Total amount of people coming and going: 5. Number moments where I was thought I had  hypothermia: app. 1000. Number of times I actually had hypothermia: ZERO! Number of times I pinched myself to make sure this was real life: too many to count.

Budapest was amazing. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. After driving for approximately 12 hours from Zurich with a stop to pick up our friends in Vienna (and a few wrong turns), Shelley, Michelle, Andrew and I arrived at our apartment in Budapest on the 23rd. We went out to dinner and did a little bit of walking around before collapsing into bed.
Christmas Eve day was devoted to relaxation and the realization that I had 11 whole days. KID FREE. I left the family on a sort of sour ending (there was poop involved. Need I say more?) so I was hoping to ust forget and relax, which I definitely did! We were at the baths until about midafternoon (massages as well!) and then headed off to do some sight seeing before heading back to prepare our Christmas Eve feast! We managed to have a look around at some platz's, a castle, and walk around the Christmas Market, where we had a delicious baked dough dipped in cinnamon and sugar.
The baths

Shelley and I about to head off to our massages!

the delicious dough being made

possibly the best jumping picture I have ever taken!
 After a short nap (oops?) we headed across the bridge to walk around the Matthias church and surrounding area.  the city was lit up beautifully, definitely one of my favorite moments of watching the city on Christmas Eve!
Our Christmas dinner consisted of a lasagna, garlic bread and salad. While not the usual Christmas Eve oyster stew and Christmas cookies, it was still nice and fun to be able to spend it with new friends!
View of Parliament from the other side of the river!
Christmas Eve dinner!

Our Christmas day was super relaxed. It was so cold outside (quite different from the 55* temp the day before!) and after a lazy morning we decided to head off to see the Parliament building (3rd largest in the world). The weather decided that as soon as we got out it would be best to hail. We managed to take a few pictures of parliament before finding refuge in a small cafe before heading back to the apartment to watch Love Actually and talk with various family members. It was the least Christmasy I have ever felt although not as hard as I thought it would be. I even managed to still wake my sister up for Christmas morning (oops!) and talked to almost everyone.

cheers to a good Christmas!

 On the 26th in the morning we managed to go to the labyrinth. Basically underground maze near the Matthias Church. I didn't realize that Budapest has caves underneath the hill that Buda sits on. It was really cool to see the underground areas that were old wine cellars and torture chambers. We then left in the early afternoon to head to Prague!
trapped in the caves!
delicious wine! along with a sign saying please don't drink....

Coke bottle. Part of the exhibit in the labyrinth of random things from our era being immortalized in cement. Totally random.


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