Alex writes a post!

by arianambrand

Guest writer edition! Because I am extremely jetlagged but still need to stay awake a few more hours, I will be describing some of the excellent adventures I had last week that Ariana hasn’t mentioned yet. She was in class a fair amount, which meant that I had to be brave and explore the city on my own. It was really intimidating at first since I had no idea what I was doing since Hungarian is THE CRAZIEST LANGUAGE EVER. Seriously, it’s really weird and not at all related to any other language. Luckily most people speak English, although I was able to pick up a few useful Hungarian words along the way (kosonom=thank you, szia=hello/goodbye, and a few others).

Alright, lets start then. I think the most worthwhile purchase of the trip was a week-long transportation pass. Budapest is one of the most impressive cities I’ve seen in terms of urban planning; it’s very pedestrian friendly and has a comprehensive metro/bus/tram system that lets you go just about anywhere. The first day alone in the city I found my way to the downtown market where I bought myself a fairly substantial lunch of sausage and fresh bread rolls for about 600Ft, which is about $3.

Here’s a picture I took of the market.

After that I bussed myself up to Castle Hill to have a look around. It was a great day and the view of the city was amazing!

I also got to see the changing of the guard, which was an amusing experience since I wasn’t expecting to see a troupe of super serious Hungarians in uniform marching around the square to a single snare drum.

Look at the Imgur albums at the end of the post for some of my other pictures on Castle Hill. After that I wandered around in the downtown area and managed to get very lost for a while. However in doing so I stumbled upon the spring festival that Ariana mentioned in a previous post. Lots of cool things to see there.

Alright, so the next day I went on a sort of self-guided nature tour of Budapest starting with Margaret Island. It’s a 3 km long island in the middle of the Danube river that has been preserved as a natural park. Of course I wasn’t aware that it was 3 km long when I started at one end of it, but by the other end I had been made painfully aware. It was a really nice walk especially with all the spring flowers coming out for the first time.

I also met a couple of awesome people: Bela Bartok and Franz Liszt (not pictured) are both icons of Hungarian classical music.

After walking the length of the island I trammed myself (I enjoy verbing modes of transportation, yes) over to the city park to do some more walking. This is where the Szechenyi baths are (where we went on our bath adventure), as well as where the skating rinks are during the winter. I encountered this bewildering structure

Which is essentially all the different styles of Hungarian architecture combined into one building for the 1896 millennium celebration. I also encountered this image of badassitude:

I’m not exactly sure what his purpose is historically, I just thought he was awesome looking. [Ariana here, ninja editing: I posted about the origins of this awesome statue of Anonymous a little bit ago. Cool, isn’t he?] I finished up my day by visiting Hero’s Square at the other end of the park.

So that was a bit of what I got up to last week. I’m going to try to come back and proofread some of this tomorrow, so I’m sorry if things don’t make sense. I think  I’ve been awake for about 22 straight hours at this point- fun times.

Here are some album links!

Album 1 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Album 2 (Wednesday)