|The Széchenyi Chain Bridge connecting Buda to Pest|
We were so excited when our good friends Adam and Kirsten came to visit us just days after announcing their engagement (congrats!) and they were willing to explore eastern Europe with us. Budapest was not at all what I had expected. We had just been to Vienna a few months prior, so I was worried that we would just compare the two constantly since they are only a few hours apart and used to be politically tied (formerly known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire). However, the two cities might as well be located on different planets. Apples and oranges, these two cities are nothing alike due, in most part, to the devastation caused by WWII.
My first impression of Budapest was that it was hot. We had just came from cool/coldish Stockholm and entered into an 84F apartment without AC. The sun was hot and the air was thick. I was very glad that I had brought blousy tops and billow dresses because I did not want any clothing to actually touch my skin. The second impression was that the parts outside of the city could pass for rural Georgia. We had passed geography very similar on our drive to Tallahassee so it had an odd feeling of home. Are we in Europe or the deep south? I was unsure. Fortunately, the Slavic-based language sounds absolutely nothing like a Southern drawl, so it kept me rooted in the Hungarian geography.
|View of Pest|
Right around the corner was the extremely picturesque Fisherman's Bastion. I'm still not sure what the purpose of the bastion was but it had the most incredible views of Budapest (well, Pest really). Maybe its only purpose is to serve as a beautiful location for pictures and tourists. Good enough for me.
|Looking beautiful at the Fisherman's Bastion|
We also made a playground stop to let off some steam from being cooped up in the hot stroller.
Jon really wanted to see Budapest's House of Terror, which, as the name implies, isn't really a fun destination.
|This photo of House of Terror is courtesy of TripAdvisor|
After the House of Terror, we wanted to completely change our perspectives and leave the darkness behind for a lot of SUN. It was really hot in the city so we headed to the famous baths and pools. Apparently, everyone else in Budapest decided that the baths would be a good idea as well so we ended up waiting in a long line that wrapped around the building. However, instead of chanting "let us in! let us in!" and shaking our fists and floaties in the air, we found a shady spot and a few tall beers. The boys decided to go to the other entrance to find tickets and voila, they came back with entrance bracelets! It was awesome because Calvin was still sleeping and let us relax in the pool while he snoozed in the shade. The baths are thermal and are believed to have healing qualities. Simmons was hoping it had anti-hangover properties.
|Not sure Calvin appreciated the speedo as much as I did|
|Calvin and his Godfather being super adorable|
Next -- more to come -- a story about our weekend trip within Sweden to a beautiful place called Jönköping (sounds like yonshopeing) where directions are based on the age of the birch trees.