09.11.2009 20 °C
Budapest is a crazy city. The language is crazy, the people are crazy. When they don't speak English they DON'T want to help you, but when they do they are so friendly! Yesterday I went out exploring the city on the Buda side- the more historic side. Pretty much everything just looked older, not all that much to see I found. Finally found a grocery store though so that was nice. I really appreciate Canadian grocery stores, now that I've seen the Eastern-European ones. There's not much in them, and you can't even find everything you need in a supermarket, let alone a normal sized grocery store. And the normal ones are about as big as our Chevron's... crazy. My hostel is right downtown, literally next to St. George's basilica, so I went in there. It was beautiful! Very colourfuly decorated which was a nice change from all the beige that's normally in churches and cathedrals. I'd put pictures up but they wouldn't upload! I got a few from Berlin on though, so check those out at the bottom.
Today I got up and skyped with Matt and Kristin (wooot!) was SO nice to hear from them! It's been a while since we've chatted, like, since I left Revy! Love you guys
I then went out to the turkish baths, from which I expected a relaxing time... and it was relaxing once I finally got in! The baths were huge, and the menu wasn't in English, and the counter girls didn't speak English either, so I tried using hand-gestures to indicate that I needed a towel. "Inside. Inside towel. Rent." The only room to change in is a little side room right out in the open in front of all the other women! Can I get a Ravensong, old-lady flashback circa '98? Anybody remember those school trips where the old ladies just changed, right there? Ya, I am now that lady, changing in front of everyone. Eeek.. Then I go to rent a towel, and I only brought 300 HUN because that's what the lady said it was for a small towel (around 2 CAD) and I thought that's all I'd need... well a "small towel" to the Hungarians is apparently a very large bedsheet! The lady hands it to me and I was like, "How do you figure I'm supposed to dry myself off with this?!" And she's like, "You can get big towel for 600," Holding up a fairly small-sized beach towel. I was like whatever... and took the sheet with me. The bath's were beautiful though, but there were a TON of old men staring at me which was really creepy until I realized they were just checking out my tattoo lol. There aren't that many tattooed people around, so it wasn't that creepy afterall. I didn't stay too long as all the warm water was making me sleepy, but it was really relaxing.
I then walked around Pest, checking out a few memorials and statues and such, and then went searching for this vegan restaurant that I found on HappyCow that apparently has the best vegan pizza in Europe, and they don't lie. It was unreal, and the "cheese" was even melted! Yum! I also had a salad with a vegan creamy blue-cheese dressing. Ohhhhh ya.
I forgot my map at the restaurant, and of course got lost trying to find the metro. Every corner store pointed me in a different direction, which was so not cool, but it's a good thing "metro" is the same in Hungarian, or else I would have been really screwed. Finally found my way home though!
I'm now sitting in my cute little hostel in Budapest, shaking with excitement as tomorrow I fly to CORFU. Yep, I have 10 nights booked in this tiny little hostel, in basically my own room (2-bed, but apparently they try to put you by yourself), where the beach is an 8-minute walk away, Sidari city is 20 minutes walk, and a little village is 10. I can't wait! I plan on running every morning and night (setting the bar HIGH people), eating fresh greek salad and hummas every meal, and drinking plenty of wine and coolers on the beach all day... so on second though there most likely will not be an evening run happening, but still! There won't be internet I don't think, so I'll probably only be able to get on a couple times while I'm out there, but I'm freaking stoked. Then, on the 22nd, I fly back to Athens and meet my mom and Krystal at the airport! They get in just over 2 hours after me so it's perfect. Can't wait to have some travel buddies! Ones that I can boss around too Just kidding ladies... mostly! But it will be fun. I've had the time of my life, literally, travelling solo, seeing new places, meeting new people, meeting AMAZING people, and experiencing new things, but I'm ready to start sharing my experiences with someone! Ready to have someone to share bottles of wine with, and take pictures of me! Haha. Part 1 of my trip has been awesome, and Part 2's got big shoes to fill, but I think it'll do just fine
Oh! And here are some pics from Berlin, sorry about the lack of photos but it's frustrating for me too when they won't upload!
Brangenburg Gate, famous historical site in Berlin
The holocaust memorial, once you walk in it gets colder and quiter, very well done in my opinion.
Showing how tall it gets once you're inside
Standing in 2 places at once! Standing over the line that marks where the Berlin wall used to seperate East and West Germany
Entering in Sachsenhausen concentration camp was this sign, it says, "Work will set you free"
The neutral zone, where you were shot if you entered. It leads to many other obstacles like barbed wire, dogs, and hugh walls so you can't escape. If you stepped foot into the neutral zone, you were shot by guards who got extra pay and rations if they got a shot in, so often guards would throw a prisoner's hat into the neutral zone and demand that they get it so that they would have to be shot. Sick.
And on a differrent note... a very excited 'walk' man!