Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hong Kong and Eastern Europe 2009 Day 4

September 2009

Day 4

We caught our flight over Europe to Zurich, for a quick plane trip to Budapest in Hungary.

Before this trip we debated quite a bit how much time to spend in Budapest, or if we should take a few side trips instead, as we were due to start a Intrepid tour from here. We had a number of people state that we should not visit the city, and also an equal number state that it was one of their favourite European cities, so with this in mind, we planned to spend the whole time before our tour was due to start in Budapest, and we definitely did NOT regret this decision.

Living in a rather "isolated" country such as Australia (and DH's home country of New Zealand) we found it quite amusing that there was no border or customs control coming into Hungary, seeing that it's now part of the EU, it was all done in Zurich. After clearing customs, we got into a cab (which have a zoning system so you know exactly what you are to be charged) and headed to our hotel, The Kings. Once we checked in we headed straight down to the Danube river, to take in the beautiful day in Budapest.

The river bridges are some of the best know landmarks in Budapest, including the Chain Bridge and the Elizabeth Bridge, both which were destroyed during WWII and subsequently rebuilt. The chain bridge in particular is the well known link between Buda and Pest.

After grabbing lunch in a local supermarket, we went to visit the Great Hall markets. The bottom, or entry level has fresh produce of every kind, including cheeses, fruit, paprika and pastries. The upper level has handicraft, souvenirs and a number of hot food sellers, where you can buy local specialties and eat them fast food style.

After making our way back to our hotel, we headed out for dinner at a recommended courtyard restaurant in the Klub Feszek, where we tried a number of local dishes, before heading back for a well earned rest.

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