our first real day

A lot has happened since Wednesday.  Well… that’s kind of true.

Wednesday was spent cramming Hungarian pronunciation into our brains (“sz” = “s”, “s” = “sh”, and so on); then in the late afternoon hours we walked down the main drag to a restaurant called Lugas which was recommended to us by our landlord.  We spoke meekly to our server, laying on the “köszönöm”s once she picked up on the fact that we don’t speak a lick of Hungarian and spoke back to us in English.  We still ordered in Hungarian, which was where the pronunciation crash course came in real handy.  Stuffed cabbage for me, falafel and fried rice for Jim, and whopping pints of Soproni Ászok for both of us.  I didn’t take pictures, sadly, but I think we’ll go back there again, in which case I won’t be so delinquent in my travel blog duties.

Thursday was another lazy day.  We didn’t even make it outside during daylight hours.  Perhaps in recognition of this fact, our Thursday evening priority was to get to a WiFi-enabled café to plan out what to do on Friday so that we didn’t waste another day in our (admittedly adorable) apartment.  After another walk down the main drag, we saw a pizza joint with the WiFi symbol in the window, and decided that we might as well have dinner since we were there.  Dinner was buffalo caprese and pizza with anchovies & capers, since we were feeling adventurous and neither of us had ever had anchovies before.  I can’t speak for Jim, but for myself, once was enough.  They’re very salty.

Friday, we resolved to go to the Museum of Fine Arts, which meant getting out of the apartment by noon.  We made it out by 1pm (baby steps, people).  On our way to the museum, Jim announced that he was suddenly famished and that our planned post-museum lunch outing should be bumped ahead in the schedule.  There was an Indian place nearby, and I love me some Indian food, so that’s what we did.  The first order of business was beer.

Pilsner Urquell tastes better here.

Once the beer was present and accounted for, the real task began.  Budapest is lovely in that, of the restaurants we’ve visited so far, the menus all tend to be in at least four different languages.  Usually one of said languages is English, but the presence of French or Italian guarantees my ability to have some idea of what I’m going for.  I opted for the Vegetable Madras, and Jim went with Vegetable Korma, and they were both amazingly delicious.

We didn't think to take the picture before we'd eaten some of it... sorry.

While we ate, Jim looked up the hours for the museum, and discovered that on Fridays it closes at 2pm.  Since it was already after 3pm at this point, we had to devise a Plan B.  I’d mentioned earlier that I wanted to check out the Ethnographic Museum (because I am a sucker for folk history), and that was open until 6pm, so we headed there.  Bonus: it’s across the street from the Parliament building, one of Budapest’s most recognizable architectural icons (and a personal favorite of mine).

There are better views of it from the river, but it's gorgeous from anywhere.

The “lobby” of the museum is covered in marble, and rather dark, which gave it a sort of haunted feel.  We could hear echoes of voices and footsteps off in the distance somewhere, but could see no one.  The folk history portion was great: lots of examples of primitive tools, beautifully embroidered clothing, archival footage of traditional holiday celebrations, etc.  Additionally we saw exhibits of artifacts from the Amazon and Oceania, as well as rooms upon rooms of handmade rugs.  Definitely worth the 1400 HUF.

A trip to the Spar for mulled wine makings capped off the day.  We’d planned to make more soup for dinner, but the Indian food tided us over for the entire rest of the day, and so we settled into the apartment Friday evening and didn’t do much else.

Can’t wait to see what Saturday will bring! 😀

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