Not that we were bored in Vienna, but we decided to hop on a train to Budapest (only a few hours away). We wanted to see how similar these two capital cities were, since for 50 years (1867-1918) they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in a Dual Monarchy. The Empire included what is now Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and parts of Romania, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Italy. The architecture and majestic buildings of the cities are similar - the landscape was so different. Actually, Prague and Budapest seemed similar to us in terms of geography, layout, and beautiful imposing panoramic views.... (Jeez, I'm sounding like Richard - stop it)
|View of the Parliament (inspired by London's Parliament) from Fisherman's Bastion|
|View of the Parliament across the Duna (Danube) River at sunset|
|View of Pest from Buda Castle|
|Matthias Church at Fisherman's Bastion|
|Modeled after the Vienna Staatsoper, the Hungarian State Opera House is home to operatic traditions from the late 1870's.|
....Not to mention the huge effects of being under Communist rule for so many years. Both Prague and Budapest are rebuilding and beautifying their cities, keeping the old and improving on the neglected aspects of the infrastructure. Driving in either city is laborious and not recommended.
To get started on our food exploration, we try to learn a few local phrases:
Hello - Szia (see ah)
Thank You - Koszonom (kur-sur-nurm)
Excuse Me - Elneze
Can I have another? - lehet nekem van egy másik
and of course the Hungarian Toast - Egeszsegere (e-gee-she-grey!
Getting back to what is near and dear to us (our stomachs!) let's continue.....
|Great Market Hall - The largest and oldest (1897) indoor market in Budapest. |
|Inside of the Great Market Hall. It is 3 stories high - where the stalls for fruits and vegetables are on the bottom and souvenirs and food booths are on the top floors.|
|Paprika Stalls dominate Market Hall, so of course we had to buy. Hot Paprika, Sweet Paprika, and my favorite to use the Smoked Paprika.|
|This translates to "Cheese Cake" (light and airy) and people were buying by the bagfuls and eating like popcorn. So we joined in - we went back to this stall 3 times.|
|Turkey looking for a Christmas Goose|
|Christmas Markets abound! Where do we start....|
|Outdoor cooking booths - Anthony Bourdain worthy!|
|Cooking up Hungarian Goulash|
|Hungarian Langos or Fried Potato Bread- yes we had some of that! (I'm looking for the Tums now)|
|Hungarian Goulash in Bread?? Sinful|
The visit was quick, we didn't get to everything in 2 days - but as usual, we left with a very full stomach!
|Look at the size of this Glogg Pot - always great on a cold day|