Time is flying by way too fast and I realized tonight that I am leaving for Tunisia tomorrow without even writing about Budapest where I went last weekend. Haha too much traveling? Never!
Anyway, Budapest was great and the flight there and back was really cheap! 9,99 euro there and 30 on the way back! I went with my new friends Katie and Sarah. As soon as we got there though it was clear we were very far away from Rome event hough it was only a two hour flight. I never thought I would ever travel to Budapest, Hungary of all places but I am very glad I did. Besides, I wanted to go somewhere off the usual European path although apparently Budapest is more popular than I thought it was.
When we got to the airport and were trying to find a cab this man who said he was a cab driver tried to get us in his car. Right away we could see that it was not a licensed cab and so we refused thankfully. The next minute this other man tried to get us into his van. Soon enough though we were at our hostel which was actually kind of creepy at first. The hallway we entered was really dark until the lights came on and it looked like an old corridor that had not been used in a long time. However, Sarah had some courage and went up the stairs to find our real hostel--I Love Budapest. It turned out to be a really nice hostel, but I will never forget the look on her face the first time that door opened! Haha
So the money in Budapest is in HUFs and everything goes by 100s. If you wanted to buy a Starbucks (cause there is one there!) it would cost about 950. Crazy huh? We found that 10,000 HUF was about equal to 50 Euro. It was really hard to use the money and everything seemed so much more expensive.
Anyway, on Saturday we took the metro to Hero's Square where there is a famous monument. Then we went to the Budapest baths, which was basically a spa. It was so nice and the bath waters are suppose to be really good for you. There were a lot of old Hungarian men in their speedos and this old women wearing a blue do-rag. Haha. Everyone spoke very good English except at the baths.
Afterwards, we had a great lunch. I think it's one of the best meals I've had so far! We had the Hungarian specialty of Goulash which was a great soup made of beef and vegetables and then this chicken and dumpling dish with paprika sauce. Paprika happens to be a Hungarian specialty as well. It was delicious! After, we went to Starbucks (gulity!). Then we went to St. Stevens' Basilica where we saw the "The Holy Right Hand" of St. Steven, a relic from centuries ago. That night we walked tot he Parliament building which is gorgeous and walked by the lake. Then we met some Argentineans and students from Chile. They were really nice! Then we left for some clubs and they were fun.
This week in Rome I traveled a lot with my onsite classes and went in the Pantheon finally as well as a bunch of other churches.
Now off to Tunisia!!! We leave tomorrow at 6:45 am and will be spending ten days in Africa including a night in the Sahara Desert and camel rides!