I know there are many people waiting with bated breath for this blog so I do not want to delay!!!!!!!!!!!
My first stop was Cluj Napoca, Romania. I didn't expect to spend so much time there but due to a bus break down a websites with misinformation about train schedules, I did. Yup, you read it right, my bus broke down. At 6 am, less than 2 hours from Cluj Napoca my bus broke. I was stuck for 4 hours. My host brother (he goes to school in Cluj) waited for me at the bus station starting from 7 am. I didn't arrive until noon. Talk about dedication! We went to the train station and I found out that there is no 2:40 pm train as I had come to believe, instead there is a 1:40 am train...so my host brother and his friends took me around Cluj, which is absolutely gorgous and treated me to dinner. The first 3 pics are from Cluj. I made it to the train with no problems and arrived in Budapest around 9 am.
First I would like to thank everyone for my cards, presents, and donations! All are greatly appreciated. Mom - I hope I manage to save the nativity calendar until December!! So the first of the Budapest pics is of the Chain Bridge. The hotel that aunt Marianne and I stayed at was a 2 minute walk from the bridge. The second pic is of Parliament. It is absolutely mamoth and disgustingly gorgeous. We could see it as soon as we walked out of the hotel. It looks spectacular when it is all lit up. The last pic is of the fenicular which we rode to go up to the Castle District. There we went to the Royal Palace and saw one of the many museums Budapest has to offer. We also went to the Budapest Labyrinth. It was the huge underground cave system.
This picture is of the entrance the courtyard of the Royal Palace.
This picture is from the labyrinth. It is a wine fountain. We walk into the area where it is and I can't figure out why I keep smelling wine until I take a closer look at the fountain and it has wine and not water running through it!!
We also went to the shopping district (of course). Budapest is definitely a city that could do serious damage to someone's check book. If I had a MUCH larger budgest and a house to put everything in I would have spent have my vacation at the post office arrange to ship things back home! I did however manage to buy some pretty sweet stuff even with my limited budget. Budapest is also a city where someone on a limited budget could still do very well there. There is a city market where you could easily buy all the fixings for a good lunch for cheap and then you just go sit somewhere outside and eat. There are a ridiculous number of coffee shops, all with food. I definitly ODed on coffee!! It was nice to be in a place where freeze-dried coffee isn't even an option!
We also went to the Statue Park just outside of Budapest. It has most of the monuments put up in the communist era. That was definitely a cool place to visit. I bought myself a pair of socks that had Lenin's face stitched onto it! Of course I go home and I show my host brother my socks and he asks me why I didn't get him a pair. I didn't think anyone else would like them as much as I did so I didn't get any extra pairs. Actually, I kind of thought that they either just "wouldn't get it" or might actually be insulted. If I had thought he would have found the socks funny I totally would have gotten them. I probably should have known, he's only 18, Lenin socks would be funny to him! Now I know for next time.
So needless to say, my vacation was an awesome time of site seeing and eating. I even got serenaded by a violenist the night before my birthday!
I hope you all are well back home and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Things here are in full swing in preparation for the holidays. Stay warm.