The Blue Fox is a hotel bar. I point this out because hotels are places where all kinds of people go. Including the kinds of people who would order a Cosmopolitan, or a Midori Sour. Which is all to say that from the get-go, hotel bars are a little bit hamstrung by the need to pander to a broad range of clientele used to sucking down syrupy abominations.
Does the Blue Fox succeed in rising above in the face of this adversity? Read on to find out.
In Budapest we visited Memento Park, which is a collection of Soviet monuments that were built during Hungary’s Communist period. Ian has already demonstrated that Soviets knew how to make a statement, and the monuments here were just as impressive in size and theme. Observe:
Tiara for scale
There are a lot of pictures I’ve earmarked for blog posts that just don’t have enough meat to stand on their own. Here’s a photo dump of quirky things we’ve seen across our trip.
Water Bus – Budapest
I could have used one of these on my last trip when the bridges were washed out from the floods
Pretty sure a strong wind would blow this thing on its side. It looks amazing though. (more…)
Visiting the thermal baths is one of those things you have to do in Budapest. There are countless spas to choose from, and swayed by its pretty yellow buildings, we chose Széchenyi. Also, it’s the largest medicinal bath in Europe, so there’s that. (more…)
OK, truth time: We were really not feeling Budapest at first. We’ve learned that during long-term travel it’s important to have a few places where we spend extended periods of time. This helps us re-establish routines for exercise, cooking at home, etc. During our Asia trip, we rented apartments and spent a month each in Bangkok and Hong Kong. Here, we’ve taken longer stays in Paris and Berlin, and we also decided that Budapest would be a good place to slow down, so we booked two weeks there.
However, when we arrived in Budapest we were disappointed. The heat wave still hadn’t broken so it was too hot to explore for most of the day. All the food we had was heavy and really not good. And, this was the first time our research had led us astray in terms of location. The neighborhood we chose, Terézváros, was full of touristy restaurants and bars, and just seemed like a place people went to party. Somewhere along the way, we realize, we got old. Also, we’d travel to a destination only to find this sort of thing happen…constantly:
Fortunately, Budapest started what Ian called its “win back” campaign about 5 days into our stay, and we started to change our minds about the city, so much so that by the time we had to leave we had grown really fond of it. (more…)
Budapest is really, really pretty. Here is some eye candy:
In Hungary, August 20th is St. Stephen’s Day (also known as Hungary’s birthday), and we were in Budapest to see all the festivities. St. Stephen became Hungary’s first king in 1000 AD when he was appointed by the pope. His great accomplishment was converting the nation to Roman Catholicism. We learned that celebrating St. Stephen’s Day was prohibited from 1945-1990 while Hungary was under communism. So, now it’s back in full force and Catholics abound and everyone loves a party.
This is St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s nice!
To make up for all the dumplings and waffles, I have found myself gravitating toward soups lately. I started strong in Warsaw with a two-course soup dinner, in which Ian and I ordered a chanterelle soup for a starter and I had tomato soup for my main. This thoroughly confused our waitress, who informed me, “you know, that is also soup,” when I ordered.
Chanterelles are in season in Poland right now and they are so cheap and delicious.