16 hours ago
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Hungary - around Budapest
In Budapest, I stayed at the same hotel on Friday and Sunday nights. On Sunday, I was on the fifth floor, so I had fantastic views across the city. The hotel is on the Pest side of the city and located on an avenue with some interesting architectural details -
On Monday morning, I followed some internet information and visited the patchwork shop Meesebolt and also a craft shop next door (where I bought some wooden nesting boxes, perfect for using at shows!).
From there, I walked down towards the Danube. I didn't really have alot of time to be able to see very much as I wanted to be at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Also, the museums are closed on Mondays. There has been some very bad flooding recently in Hungary (I could see large areas of water in the fields across the countryside as we flew in and again as we drove to and from Miskolc). Look closely at the panorama below (click on it to make it bigger) - the water looks at least 2 metres above the normal level. The boarding jetties for the river cruises were all under water, as was the quayside.
Turning back away from the river and returning to the metro station at Vorosmarty Ter, there was a huge book fair in the square - I looked around to see if any of the booths (publishers I think rather than shops) had craft books, but couldn't spot many.
It was easy to travel into the centre of the city by Metro. My hotel was only a five minute walk from the Metro station (yellow line, I don't know the name!), along avenues where trees gave plenty of shade. Ildik and Zsuzsa had recommended this metro line as a must-see, because the stations are old and interesting. It is also very easy to use (thanks for the user information, Maria!) The line is just below street level, more like parts of the New York subway than the London tube.
My original plan had been to try to go to Szentendre to visit the Kovak family's fabric shop, but with temperatures forecast in the low 30s, I didn't want to make a longer trip on Monday morning. I guessed I could get out fairly early and return to the hotel for lunch on their terrace, before it got really hot (I hadn't packed a hat or sunblock). It was 31 degrees c. when I came back but 34 only an hour later when the taxi came to take me back to the airport. With all the trees around the city and using the metro, I managed to avoid being out in the sun too much. This is the street outside the hotel.
Hopefully someday I'll go back with more time to explore (and maybe when the weather isn't so hot!)