Mar201230

Mystery Country #3 is Hungary
(not to be confused with Hungry)

City on the Roster: Budapest

On our way to spend 3 nights in Budapest, we will pass through Slovakia and right by Bratislavia.  I would LOVE to stop here, but I do not know if we will have time.  Seems such a shame to drive right past it twice without stopping.  We will see.  Maybe on the way back to Munich.

Hungary has been occupied and invaded by almost everyone at some point in its history. Such as: Romans, Huns, Mongols, Turks, Soviets, Germans, Soviets again until the Hungarian Revolution.  Hungarian Jewish Holocaust victims totaled 600,000 according to Wikipedia.

The curse of Turan

The “curse” manifests itself as inner strife, pessimism, misfortune and several historic catastrophes.

With such a history of invasions and foreign occupancies, it is no wonder they believe in a curse. But things are looking great for Hungary since the revolution.  Budapest is a thriving city today, with amazing sights to see and things to do.  Not to mention, the thermal baths…Budapest is pretty much a giant Spa City.

Budapest

Dreams are coming true here folks.  I have signed us up for….wait for it.  (Sorry Rob) an authentic cooking class in Budapest.  We will go to the famous Great Market Hall to purchase the ingredients we will need for our 3 course meal.  Then we will return to the cooking school and start cooking our lunch.

Our Typical Hungarian menu will consist of:

Creamy potato soup with sausage, Chicken paprikás with “nokedli” (homemade dumplings), Somlói galuska ( chocolate+ vanilla cream sponge cake)

Our traditional Hungarian Menu

Hungary is a land of thermal water, so going to a traditional Hungarian Bath House is definitely on the agenda.

Other Must-Do stops:

  • Great Synagogue – The largest synagogue in Europe and the fifth largest in the world and was built between 1854 and 1859.
  • Old Jewish Quarter – Also known as the Budapest Ghetto.  It was surrounded by a high fence and stone wall that was guarded so that contraband could not be sneaked in, and people could not get out.
  • Heroes’ Square
  • Margaret Island – The island was dominated by nunneries and churches.  Today it is a public park.
  • Labyrinth of Buda Castle – The biggest part of the cave system under the Buda Castle.  It was ranked among the 50 most interesting places of the world and today it is regarded as one of the 7 underground Wonders of the World.
  • Baths
  • Chain Bridge – This was the very first bridge to link the two cities of Buda and Pest. The project was started in 1839 by designer William Tierney Clark and engineer Adam Clark, and it was completed in 1849.
  • Tomb of Gul Baba – This tomb is the northernmost place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Hungary was under Turkish rule for 125 years.
  • Great Market Hall – Built at the end of the 19th century, the Central Market Hall (officially called ‘Központi Vásárcsarnok‘ in Hungarian) is the largest indoor market in Budapest.
  • Statue Park – In 1989, Hungary moved many of the statues and monuments identified with the former Communist regime to this park.  These relics of an unfulfilled dream stand together on top of the hill.
  • House of Terror Museum – The building served as the former headquarter of the Nazi party in 1940.  The basement was used as a prison. The building was taken over by the Hungarian KGB. Hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, were tortured in the House of Terror.

Now, back to Munich…for a few days of drinking and eating before flying home.

If you have ever been to any of these places, I would love to know your thoughts.  Any tips for “must-dos” and “don’t bothers”?

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