May 26, 2008

final day in hungary

to end our time in budapest, nate and i used the hostel's two cruiser bikes for a great last day around town. we biked along the buda side of the danube to the city limits, passing along the way lots of sunbathers and boat rental places and fish fry restaurants. the path extends from germany to the black sea, so we only did a small section. we saw lots of weekend warriors in full road bike gear and riding highly expensive bikes - all quite overkill given the pancake flatness of the path and the leisurely pace of most riders. from that path we stopped at a restaurant for lunch, explored margaret island, and stopped at a square hosting a wine tasting where we watched a wedding party, and purchased dried fruit and candies from a booth for a snack.

after the danube path, we biked to the pest side and up andrassy utca. our goal was to visit the house of terror - a testimonial to the nazi and communist regimes that oppressed budapest for decades. the terror house website has the right feel and look of the museum, but doesn't do the exhibits justice. no cameras were allowed inside, which is too bad because i would have loved to share some of the powerful displays. this may be the best exhibit i have seen that used various technologies and medias to express content. almost none of the displays had english, though there is an audio guide in english, which we didn't use, and informative handout sheets in hungarian and english in each of the rooms. (a brief description here.)

we ended the day by going into the park area behind heroes' square, and then stopping back at the square to watch a few kids doing tricks on bmx bikes. nate tried to teach me how to pop a wheelie, but i don't have the timing right yet.

we're not too much about the souvenirs, but nate and i both brought home a lot of freckles and plenty of pink scalp. we did spend a lot of time with cameras in hand, so we'll post shots at some point.

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