I knew it, I knew dogs were a big deal here! I just read an article that said that Hungarians are famous for being dog lovers, and that Budapest is the dog capital of Europe, with the most dogs per capita or something!
This weekend has been really good. Saturday morning me and 3 girls from my course went here:
The Szechenyi Baths. They were really cool, you go in and inside there are about 15 different pools of various temperatures, some swirly ones, some normal ones, jacuzzis. I even went from a 40 degree heated pool to an ice bath! I did swear very loudly though! And they had three different temperature saunas, one was so hot I went in and literally ran straight out, I thought my eyes were going to melt! After you’ve done all the indoor stuff you get to the outside baths, there’s one normal one, one for doing laps, and one heated one that’s 38 degrees, SO nice!
After this the other girls went back to do their assignments, I didn’t have to resubmit mine so I went on a lonesome adventure. I walked up Andrassy Ut, a really famous avenue with lots of foreign embassies, I stopped in a eco-organic-cafe and had a smoothie. I sat down and heard that they were playing Ingrid Michaelson, one of my favourite singers who I’ve never heard anywhere else! How strange and amazing!
After this I went to the House of Terror, a museum about the fascist and communist occupations of Budapest and Hungary. It’s in the house where the Arrowcross (Hungarian fascists) and then later the Communist Hungarian secret police had their headquarters. It’s got different rooms dedicated to each stage of history and was so interesting and harrowing. I think the saddest part was the room dedicated to Hungarian’s sent to Gulags, they had videos of people who’d been and survived or lost relatives. It was so interesting and shocking to see what life was like behind the Iron Curtain. I spent about 2 hours in there by myself looking around, in each room you got an information sheet, I was difficult to digest all the Hungarian history I’ve never studied but it made me really want to go away and look it up.
After this I walked to the Oktogon and got the tram home. In the evening we went round to someone’s house for a party and then we went to Szimpla Kert, a very famous ‘ruin club’. Kert means garden and ruin clubs are sort of like, well, massive beer gardens in really funky/run down/quirky surroundings with art on the walls and graffiti and stuff hanging off the walls and ceilings. They’re also quite hidden and have inconspicuous entrances. Szimpla is the most famous, it’s also got a recording studio on it! I didn’t take my camera cause I didn’t want to lose it but there’s some photos on their website http://www.szimpla.hu/budapest/pictures I’d definitely recommend it to anybody going to Budapest, I met lots of people travelling from Australia, France, Germany. I even met a guy from Tavistock, a town just outside Plymouth!!
When szimpla closed at 4am we walked for half hour through the Jewish Quarter to find a karaoke bar that had closed by the time we got there! Eventually we just got the tram back across the bridge and walked the rest of the way home, so much walking for one night out!