Thursday, September 20, 2007

Opera & Bathing in Budapest

I'm sadly back from the Balkans...what an incredible trip. I'll slowly get to everywhere I travelled through, starting with Budapest. The city has been near the top of my European city destination list for years now and I'm glad that I finally got there, yet remained somewhat underwhelmed by the place. Part of the problem may be that I discovered very quickly that I dislike Hungarian wine, but really, I felt sort of sorry for the city. It's economic situation has been highlighted by the riots of recent years and it shows - so many abandoned and run down buildings that look like they should be prime real estate. But the Hungarians were friendly folk and I spent a great day wandering Castle Hill on the Buda side of the Danube. Walking the Széchenyi Chain Bridge was one of those things I have been waiting to do for years and I also took the funicular railway to the top of the hill, which was cute. The photograph is of the gorgeous Fisherman's Bastion reflected in the window of the seriously ugly Hilton hotel.

The two highlights of my stay in Budapest were going in the Gellért Thermal Baths and then spending the evening at the Hungarian State Opera House seeing La Traviata. How much was my centre balcony ticket? $4.60 Cdn.

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