Budapest

Trip Start Jul 01, 2010
1
15
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Trip End Aug 08, 2011


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Flag of Hungary  , Budapest,
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've had a great time in Budapest, and as I often find, it was the hospitality of my host that was one of the biggest factors in this. Peter was a little ill during my stay, and so gave me a rapid tour of the principal areas of interest of this remarkable city before returning to his bed.

With only one full day to look around, the thing that stood out for me as most unique was the nuclear bunker built into the castle hill. So, after visiting a bike shop and picking up a new pump with a pressure gauge, and being convinced to let them rebuild my rear wheel with a brand new rim and spokes, I went up to the castle hill and took a look around the majestic castle city before heading underground.

The bunker was pretty remarkable, the tour taking us through 1 km of the 10 km of caverns below the castle hill. There are waxwork dummies throughout, and quite a few of them bloody although not too lifelike. The bunker was designed to contain only medical facilities, having first been made for World War II and then upgraded by the Communists during the Cold War. There were also other bunkers in other parts of the city for government and other services to use. Unfortunately for the proles, they'd have been locked out of the bunkers for 3 days, when the doctors would have then began the ugly task of doing what they could for the survivors. Sadly, you won't find any photos of the complex here though, as visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the bunker.

In another section of the cave complex, there is a labyrinth of dwellings dating back to medieval times, and now a maze puzzle as well as historic site for tourists.

In the evening we went out to a pub for a friend of Peter's leaving party, to go to Estonia as part of the Erasmus student exchange programme. I enjoyed the ambience of the open-air pub, although was very miffed I missed the veggie burger and we had to make a midnight stop for a falafel durum on our way home.
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