Touristy in Budapest

Waking up in the morning never felt so easy. It was a light, free and easy day around the Pearl of Danube.I had decided that the main highlight for today is to find the popular Pottyos, a local snack that was mentioned by the free tour guide as a staple snack. I confirmed that this was true because when I asked the people in the hostel reception about how it looks or where to buy it, two of them reached out in their bags to show me.

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So I went out of the hostel to find the famous snack but had no luck to find it because it was sold out at the near by supermarket. I started to wander around till I feel the need to stop. I checked out antique shops, second-hand markets by the narrow streets of the city and some other street corners where I literally did not know where they were leading to. When I felt bored at one point (I somehow ended up walking along loading bay of the street shops) and felt like I should eat another portion of Goulash.

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Luckily I had asked about where to get the best local food from my guide yesterday. She recommended kék Rózsa. I had a set meal of (oh my GOSH) much better goulash than the expensive one I tried yesterday, served with some bread, a main dish of sliced chicken breasts with traditional spicy sauce, roasted pork, and a generous portion of potato wedges. With local wifi that they provide, I just thought it was the best lunch I had had so far.

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I left the restaurant with a smile. I went to explore more of Pest and saw the shopping district with typical franchises that I could find in other cities. The place was expectedly crowded. I felt out of place in the crowd. When I decided to leave the area, I found myself walking towards the Danube river, overseeing Buda. From where I was standing, a statue of a girl stood on top of the hill across the river, holding something above her head. It turned out to be Liberty Monument on Gellért Hill. The lady holds up a palm frond proclaiming freedom of the city and honouring those who died for Hungary’s independence.

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The hike up the hill was a rather tiring one. Luckily it was spring weather, so it was not bad at all for me. But I thought I would have been drenched in sweat doing it on a hot summer day. And of course, like most hikes, the view from the top was breathtaking.

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The walk around Gellért Hill was delightful. The crowd was not bad, and aside from an old guy who took a piss near the bushes, the view of the trees was not bad at all. It was quite at one point, and I decided to read a book at one of the benches.

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There were some souvenir shops there and even pop up carnival games like throwing balls to topple stacked cans and archery. I tried archery but did not manage to get any prize.

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I came across Budapest Spring Fest at the city centre. It was so much fun. Everything traditional – food, souvenirs and clothing – were there. I tried a tube-like cake that was baked then sprinkled with flavours of your choice. It is called Kürtőskalács. I tried one with cinnamon and sugar. Pretty good! Could not finish it by myself though because it was huge.

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For the rest of the day, I actually watched a dog show. That was probably my first dog show. It was so incredible, I wonder why people were not as excited I was.

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After the last view strolls around the city, as the sun set, I took pictures by the river, enjoying a spicy hot dog in the cloudy night. Budapest at night was like a golden city where everything was lit beautifully with warm yellow lights.

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I told myself to take it slow and not try anything stupid in the next destinations.

Oh yeah, I did not manage to find Pottyos at the end of the day. But considering how I enjoyed the day walking around Budapest, it seemed like it did not matter.

22 April 2017

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