Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today was our first full day in Budapest and it we definitely didn't waste any time exploring.  After a very large delicious breakfast buffet, compliments of our hotel, we were out the door and on the next bus.  Our first stop was a beautiful Jewish synagogue called the Dohány Street Synagogue.  It's the largest synagogue in all of Europe and the second largest in the whole world!  As we were walking to our next destination I noticed how cheap all of the food prices are.  We saw big slices of pizza for 200 forints which is equivalent to 88 cents! Also, an egg mcmuffin at Mcdonalds is 44 cents....how crazy!  Our next stop was Hero Square which was full of former Hungarian leaders and, at the time, people setting up for a festival. This festival is celebrated annually due to the freedom from the communist leaders.  After we left Hero Square we traveled to what's known as Budapest's largest "bath" which is kind of like our swimming pools but much more extravagant and includes a castle-like building with indoor baths as well.  In my opinion this was the most beautiful building we've seen so far!  After visiting the bath we went to an indoor market which I thought was really fascinating.  They had everything from their famous paprika (I bought some to take home!) to handmade lace table runners.  It was very cool seeing all of the handmade items that the Hungarians were selling and also seeing the different types of food they eat on a daily basis.  Last but not least, we hopped on a bus to the outskirts of Budapest to Memento Park.  There we got to tour through the park full of the old communist-era statues that used to be on Hero square.  I'm not usually one for history but I was actually very intrigued by the story, mostly the ending, of Joseph Stalin.  His boots, and his boots only, were the most monumental statue in Momento Park.  The reason being that the boots are all that remains is because over one hundred-thousand Hungarians tore the statue down from the knees up in celebration of their freedom from the communists!  Eventually everything was removed but the boots and they also put a Hungarian flag in them.  What a victory :)
We have the rest of the night to do as we please so we plan to eat dinner down by the Danube River.  Thanks for following along with us on this amazing journey!


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