Saturday, September 16, 2023

Hungary: Swimming, Arting, and Eating

We were all hungry for more Hungarian adventures.

I think our Budapest airbnb was the first time Ernie sat in a highchair. He's a very big boy.

Before the two cities combined, Buda was on the west bank of the Danube and Pest on the east. Sitting smack between the two is Margaret Island which was our first destination of the day.

"The island was called Insula leporum before being named after Saint Margaret (1242–1270) in the 14th century. Margaret was the daughter of Béla IV of Hungary, and she lived in the Dominican convent on the island."

Budapest is known for its thermal baths. Most of them didn't seem to allow children and Ernie wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. So we visited the Palatinus Baths.

We were laughing about how many things seemed to be out of order.

Ernie's first pool experience went pretty well. He wasn't quite sure what to think of it at first but he started to get into the spirit of things.

They had the langos fry bread with cheese on top things that we tried yesterday.

There were a lot of soviet propaganda-looking statues around.

He was sad.

But then he was happy again.

There were hair dryers in the locker room which were fun to play with.

The elevator was broken as well.

The Palatinus Baths were opened in 1919 so they have a lot of history and cool posters to show for it.

Margitsziget is Hungarian for Margaret Island.

Other country's seem to think that ketchup is an acceptable flavor for snacks. They are wrong.

We stopped at this Bem Étterem joint because we read it had Hungarian food. It's like nightmare fuel when I look up "best local restaurants" and I see sushi joints and pizza parlors. I'm not going out like that.

It was hard to choose from such classics as "pork spare rib Gypsy style" and "knuckle of pork baker's wife".

I have developed a chemical and psychological dependency on Hungarian fruit soup and I don't care who knows that I eat it for every meal now.

I got pork goulash because I keeps it real and I keeps it goulash.

I put the fun in funicular.

The Buda Castle Funicular was nice and classy wooden inside.

There were a lot of stairs up and down which to carry a certain heavy individual who I suspect is only pretending that he can't walk.

Buda Castle was full of treasures.

In Hungary I refer to Lydia as my baba-mama.


This sign read "for the victims of communist terror".

I don't like to brag but I'm an excellent driver in many languages.

Our restaurant for dinner seems to be adjacent to a zoo.

It was a bit confusing because the restaurant was also elephant themed.

Gundel Cafe Patisserie bills itself as the world's most famous Hungarian restaurant. It's a pretty low bar from my point of view so I'm not going to argue. 

The menu was pretty fancy looking. So far so good.

For 12 Euro I couldn't pass up the 1894 Smoky Night. In general this is one of my favorite things about Eastern Europe. I feel like even pretty fancy things are reasonably priced.

I don't think I've ever had a cocktail so aristocratic that it had little flower petals interspersed with the ice cubes.

Lydia got a Gundel Espresso Martini:

Legendario elixir banana liquor, cocoa liquor vanilla, espresso

Goose liver pate marinated with Tokaji Aszú and poppy seed barches

Saddle of venison with sweet corn and marinated sweet cherry

There was a fun band playing. Early on we were like the only people in the room so the violin man came over and asked us for requests. I suggested Disney partially to torture him and he went with it like a trooper.

The guy sitting with the table looking thing is playing a cimbalom. It is a "type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box on legs with metal strings stretched across its top and a damping pedal underneath. It was designed and created by V. Josef Schunda in 1874 in Budapest."

We grabbed a somloi sponge cake for dessert.

"Award-winning cake from the 1958 Brussels World’s Exhibition"

This was a nice way to wrap up our trip as we had some somloi with our first meal in Hungary at the goulash food truck. No, that airport McDonald's doesn't count as our first meal in Hungary. Forget that happened.

Ernie is a very good boy but his patience is not without its limit.

I picked up a bag of these candy coated peanuts that our food tour guide pointed out at the market. It was a good investment. They tasted like rock candy with a nut inside but I like the fun colors.

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