Riots in Budapest

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
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25
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, September 22, 2006

Ok, we caught some of CNN Europe channel from our hotel in Munich and saw the headlines about the riots in Budapest. (And the military coup-de-taut in Thialand). WE were a bit worried, but remembering the news in Chicago that was all around, yet we never saw it first hand, we figured we would be fine for one day.

Niot much to see on the way in. Some farm land and some remnants that seemed so stereotypical of the cold war era. Everything seemed so industrial... no frills, no ornaments. Even the trains were a blah steel gray. Budapest is actually two cities. Buda, the more historic, hilly side of the Danube river and Pest, (pronounced Pesht) The flat sprawling metropolis. Combined, hold 1.8mm people. From the lookouts in Buda, the city when out farther than the eye could see, over the rolling hills.

The city has the nickname 'Paris of the East'. It is a nice city that appears to be very past its heyday. So far past, that I did not see any comparison to Paris. There are many old ornamental buildings, but most need some sort of restoration. Even the huge old train station which is still a very busy section of town, has much of its yellow plaster missing from its sides showing the bare brick and mortar skeleton.

We took the hop-on/hop-off bus tour which took us all around both sides of the Danube and up to the highest points of Buda. It was a great view from the top and you can see all the bridges and several river cruise ships complete with hot tubs and swimming pools on the upper decks.

Other than the UK this was the only place we have been that does not officially use the Euro. Although you could use the Euro, the local currency of the Florint, or even the US Dollar. (I asked a stranger in the post office what the exchange rate was, and he said that he did not know since the riots that have been going on the past few nights.)
The closest thing we saw were the protestors gathering around the parliament building.

Back to Italia.... Venezia.
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