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  • Writer's pictureMonica Montanari

Day 5: The Marriot

Driving in Budapest (and Hungary in general) is completely insane. I don’t mind the passing lanes, where a lot of drivers like to play chicken (speeding toward oncoming traffic to see who will turn away first). But most of all, the drivers like to zip around the city as fast as they can, and push other people off the road by tailgating them and flashing their lights. I could never drive here. EVER. But this morning we woke up and had breakfast in the VIP lounge (no big deal or anything…) and I had the besttt toast ever. I ate four pieces. They also had amazing eggs, and an awesome automatic coffee maker that had buttons for cappuccinos, hot chocolate, American coffee, espresso, and lattes. Shane had American coffee and I had a cappuccino- both were amazing.

After, Shane and I went with Zsolt and his wife to Citadel- the statues above Budapest created in 1947 to celebrate Hungary’s successful revolution against the Nazi’s, which ruled Hungary during WWII. Turns out, right next to the Citadel, the Nazi’s had a bunker, which is still open to the public today. So we bought our tickets and went in- it was insane. They had some wax figures and props showing what the rooms were used for- and the escape routes and decrepit escape routes were still intact too. Creepy. It kind of gave us a new perspective on the whole World War, seeing it first hand from behind enemy lines. We headed over to a restaurant called Don Pepe for lunch where I had a salad that had Caesar type lettuce, covered in mayonnaise, and topped with tuna. It was amazing!! Shane had a pizza covered in mushrooms and shredded ham. Hungarians are much more creative with their pizza- they have pizzas with peaches, clams, calamari, pineapple, ham, bacon, shrimp. Anything!

Then we went and saw the statues, which had the best view of the city- panoramic! After that, we went and saw the Basilica- which was having a wedding so we couldn’t walk around as much, but we could still see the gorgeous ceilings and amazing architecture and pictures just don’t do it justice. Later, we saw Parliament-, which desperately needed to be pressure washed on the non-Danube side, and was pretty neat, but is apparently worth seeing inside- which you can’t very often. Shane’s grandma has a friend who could have gotten us VIP passes for Monday, but she didn’t want to stay much longer so we aren’t going to. After that, we saw the statue of Imre Nagy, who was a leader in the Hungarian revolution.

Then, we came back to the hotel and walked to a famous shopping street close to it, where we bought some souvenirs for family and friends, and then we came back to the hotel, had dinner on the patio outside, (mine was a Rucalo salad with pears and cheese and Shane had a Caesar salad). We then came back to the room, took showers, and are now tired and so ready to sleep! Again, the Internet isn’t working so we won’t be able to video chat with our families tonight :/ See you tomorrow in Gyoma!

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