On account of my raging until 4am on Wednesday, I slept until about noon on Thursday. My room at the hostel doesn’t have an exterior window, the windows we have look at a covered courtyard that is part of a bar/club so it’s pretty dark in my room even during the middle of the day. Which in this case was nice. When I finally woke up and decided to join the world, I walked to a street that reception had told me was full of young people and restaurants (honestly, that’s what she told me). I don’t know what she meant by that, because I definitely wouldn’t have said it was FULL of either of those. There were a few restaurants but I didn’t get the impression it was a particularly young area. Oh well though, I found a Creole restaurant where the employees were very nice and the food was good. After that I decided to walk around some more to try to get myself oriented with the city. I was in the Jewish quarter so I found the 2nd largest synagogue in the world (2nd only to New York’s) and through the fence I could see one of the several monuments dedicated to Hungarian Jews who lost their lives during the holocaust throughout the city. It’s called the tree of life and every leaf has a name of someone who died. Names of those who tried to hide and protect the Jews are written on the trunk. It’s a pretty moving statue. The Synagogue Explanation of the Tree of Life
Tree of Life
After this, I explored the Jewish quarter a bit more and then headed back to the hostel and did some research on where to go after Budapest (coming here was as far as I got in my planning while at home). I have decided on the town of Balatonfüred on Lake Balaton. It is the largest lake in central Europe and a popular vacation destination for Hungarians. It’s also a major wine producing region so I’m hoping to get some wine tasting in. I’m only spending 2 nights there (in my own apartment! there were no hostels there and when searching for hotels, the cheapest option were little hotels where you get your own apartment! I’m pretty excited) and then I will be heading to Novi Sad, Serbia. Serbia is neither part of the Schengen agreement or the EU so I’m interested to see how that is. And get another stamp in my passport 🙂 It seems hard to get from Balatonfüred to Novi Sad so I may end up spending another night in Budapest as a layover, but I still have to figure that out!
Tomorrow I’m planning on going on the walking tour of the city and then exploring some more before going on a cruise on the Danube at night. I’m quite excited!