This summer I had the opportunity to travel to a few countries in Europe with fellow colleague and author Matt Friday. We looked up some flights one night and the next thing we knew we were on an old Soviet style train heading into Budapest.
We arrived in Budapest at Keleti station. After fending off a few gypsies tugging on our shirts, we found our hostel a few blocks down. This place was in an old complex. The owner spoke some English, which was good, because we were now sharing his small apartment with him for two nights, along with some travelers from New Zealand. After a quick bite, we took the metro down to see the Hungarian Parliament. It is a sight for sure. I could only imagine coming up the Danube a hundred years earlier and seeing this building, it calls out for respect.
Budapest is a perfect city. It has the right mix of modern/old world feel. Public transport is easy to navigate. One side is flat, the other rolling hills. The height restriction on buildings gives the city more character than many in the west. I won’t make a boring list of historical sights in the area but just know that it is a great city to see if you ever find yourself in Eastern Europe. We found a couple beautiful overlooks near the Danube that you could sit at for days. I would have to put Budapest on my list of top 5 cities, if I ever make such a list.
I also have to thank Julia Csomor for her hospitality. Julia lives in town and often hosts several travelers at a time. She didn’t have room for us on her couch but we met up with her and some fellow vagabonds from all over and had a great night out. She also emailed us some detailed maps and advice to get around Budapest. Thanks Julia!
While I am at it, here is a link to some of author Matt Friday’s books on Amazon:
Among the Sturdy Pioneers: The Birth of the Cheboygan Area Lumbering Community, 1778-1935
Cheboygan (Postcard History: Michigan)