Monument to .... Number Zero?
Right in front of the entrance to Buda Tunnel there is a monument to - number Zero! (I told you Budapest is full of various monuments).
Apparently, this is the zero point in Budapest from which all the road distances to other towns in Hungary are measured from.
Well, this is the funny area regarding monuments. The new Budapest National Theatre (Nemzeti Szinhaz) is situated on the right bank of Danube, close to the Petofi Bridge.
The building itself is a post-modern experiment, and around it you'll find ziggurats, labyrinths and an aboundance of silly sculptures: paraschuters jumping from the sky, people waiting for someone on the benches etc.
Right at the main entrance path you'll find this guy apparently leaving the area with heavy suitcases.
I wonder where is he going? And whom does he represent?
Walking around the Belvaros (Inner city)
By night, when most of Budapests streets are pretty empty of people and there are even places where you cant hear any sounds you should go to city Center. The area of Vaci utca and the Promanade along the Danube never rests, there are always many people who walking along the pedestrians, many resturants, cafes, stands that sell many stuff (books, postcards, small toys, gifts and more...) and of course many tourists who go there to have some fun.
One of my memories from there was in Vorosmarty ter thats in the center of Vaci utca. There was an old man who was walking around and selling ballons which you can throw up to the air and suprisingly they are coming back to you, at least most of the times... it can also fall into a cafe house or a tree.... i also bought one, it costs only 100 Forint.
Last name first
When Hungarians tell you their name it goes last name first then the christian name. So i'd be Masters George. However if they realize that you're foreign and not used to it they will switch it round making it very confusing.
Also a lot of Hungarians have names like Zoltan or Attila that can make them sound like Bond villians.
'Amazing Grace' by John...
'Amazing Grace' by John Newton:
This is probably the most poular hymn in the English language.Television documentary was even made about it.Perhaps it is because its words so well describe the author / John Newton/ was a slave trader before coming to Christ.
Amazing grace,how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost,but now am found,
Was blind,but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers,toils and snares,
I have already come.
'This grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
I was blind but now I see.
Come and hear,all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath donne for my soul.
...noha vak voltam,most latok.
Jojjetek el es halljatok meg hadd beszelem el minden istenfelonek:miket cselekedett az en lelkemmel!
- Religious Travel
The courtyards in Pest side of the city are somewhat different. The 19th century rental houses of the central part of the city had large appartments (usually one of them owned by the owner of the whole complex) at the street side, and smaller appartments for renting organized around small courtyards. If you take a closer look you’ll see that the rhythm is door – window – door – window on each floor, showing that appartments were rather small, consisting sometimes of only a single room with kitchen and bathroom.
Some of these courtyards still have the charm of small communities where you can see that everyone knows everyone as they are in a way forced to live together in such a limited space.
It’s either cooperation and understanding or the living hell.
Buda (Castle hill) courtyards
Most guidebooks will tell you to look at certain houses in old part of Castle hill: Neo-classical medallions at Bécsikapu Square no.7, stairway at no.5, St. John Nepomuk statue at no.6. etc. etc. …
Of course it’s necessary to look at the facades of these old houses in historical part of the city. But while walking there don’t miss the opportunity to peek at their courtyards. You’ll hardly find any medallions or statues here. What you will find are small, beautifully kept gardens or green oasis created with plants and flowers in pots. You’ll hear the sounds of everyday’s life – but like it has stopped in some past time. Depending of the time of the day and the season, through the open windows you’ll probably be able to smell some goulash being prepared for the dinner.
Sorozo vs Borozo
You'll find plenty of them in Hungary. Quite often in a cellar or in the basements, a sorozo is a beer-related place (brasserie ?) while a borozo is indeed a wine bar!
It mainly depends in which mood you are!
However, in such a wine country, I'd only recommend the borozo: you can easily find beer all over the world while unfortunately I couldn't say the same about Hungarian wine...
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
Korsos,Pohars and Kegli's
Beers come in three sizes in Budapest.
A pohar is a half ,a korso is a pint and a kegli is two pints ( usually served in a porcelain mug ) ,learning these saves a lot of pointing and hand gestures and avoids the eternal shame of sitting in a pub drinking a half.
24 hour flower kiosk
There's a 24 hour flowerkiosk at Jaszai Mari Ter ,(and yes i checked). Nothing says " i love you " or more accurately " i'm so sorry " than stumbling through the door at 5 a.m with a bunch of flowers for the better half. Good for 5 minutes grace until you throw up or she notices that you smell of some other girls perfume and have a phone number on the back of your cigarette packet. At which point she'll go mental and chuck them out the window.
The old rose seller
Now rose sellers who bug you in bars would normally be an annoyance or a tourist trap ,but there's a very small ,old ,bald guy who's apparently been doing it since the war. He normally works the bars on List Ferenc Ter and is something of an institution. So buy one for the ball and chain ,or any likely looking girls that happen to wander past. You can't miss him he's about 90 years old.
Ladies sitting on the corner of a table.
Its apparently bad for women to sit on the corner of a table ( leg either side) , someone told me that if they do it they won't get married. Don't ask me why , might have something to do with sitting with your legs wide apart.
Szia and hello
Szia sounds like " seeya " and means kind of hello and goodbye , hungarians also say hello when leaving shops which is a bit confusing. Also if you happen to wandering around district VIII ,and hear a drawn out " Sziaaaaaaaa" it's the local prostitutes way of greeting potential customers.
UNICUM- Cure for all of lifes problems
A shot of unicum after a hearty meal ( and hungarian meals can get a bit hearty ) is essential to ensure the food is digested properly allowing you to force more beer in on top of it.
It's a digestif like Jagermeister or Strega but much stronger ,the recipe was hidden during the communists but the bomb shaped bottles are everywhere now.
According to various friends it either tastes of herbs ,fire or like drinking an ashtray but it's a blinding hangover cure and a usefull medicine for colds and flu. It also like tequila relieves beer bloatedness allowing for much greater consumption and wins you local coolness points because tourists normally hate it , however if you wince as you down it these will dissapear as everyone says you are a little girl!
The hangovers are monumental though ( think 40 fags and two bottles of champagne ) and the only cure is to get drunk again.
Whatever you do DON'T MIX IT WITH ANYTHING as it's like going to Russia and ordering Vodka and orange.
There is a language barrier in Budapest more than in many more touristy cities. You are likely to encounter many people who don't speak a word of your language, but that's what makes traveling fun!
Here are some basics:
Yes: Igen (EE-ghen)
No: Nem (nem)
Please: Kerem (KAY-rem)
Thank you: Koszonom (KUH-suh-num)
Hello: Szervusz (SAIR-voose)
Goodbye: Viszontlatasra (Vi-sont-lat-tah-shraw)
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