Alessandra in Denmark

Alessandra is a junior finance major with an economics and French minor. She will be spending Spring 2009 in Denmark with SMU-in-Copenhagen.

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Hungary for Budapest

I just spent this weekend in BUDAPEST! It is SUCH an amazing city with so much culture and beauty. We had two jampacked days of sightseeing.

Monica and I left Friday night. We got to the airport, and when we went to check in, the Malev Airline attendant made me check my backpack. She said it was too long. I have a midsize camping backpack that is definitely carry-on size. I was not happy about having to check my bag, especially because it’s a soft-sided backpack and I didn’t want it getting dirty or smooshed. Not to mention when we made it on the airplane, it was empty! We had six rows to ourselves with three open overhead bins … annoying.

We arrived at the airport around 10:15 p.m. and got an airport shuttle to our hostel. When we got to the place, the driver simply dumped our bags on the street and said bye. We had NO idea where the hostel was because he dropped us in front of a random door. Thank goodness a young guy walked up to the door and helped us figure out where the hostel was.

The place was nice with a kitchen and large living room. We had a private double with a bathroom down the hall.

We met up with Max, Susanne, Jenni, Jeff and James at the flat that Max, Susanne and Jenni were staying in. We hung out for awhile and then ventured out into the city.

A day in Buda

The next morning we all met up around 10:30 for a fun-filled day of culture. We were staying in Pest so we headed over the bridge to Buda. We walked all over the mountains and took some great pictures. The city is so beautiful and the buildings are all ornate and unique.

We hiked up to the Citadel, which is the highest point in Budapest, and you can see the statue on top of the mountain from almost any point in Budapest. It was quite an accomplishment when we got to the top. We were lucky to have nice weather because originally it was supposed to rain all weekend. We had sun and relatively warm temperatures.

After our hike we headed down the mountain and in search of the thermal baths. With James’ and Jenni’s expert navigation, we found our way to the metro and arrived at the baths. Unfortunately, Monica and I were stupid and didn’t bring bathing suits, so we were forced to rent one from the baths.

The baths were so interesting. It’s like two huge hot tubs filled with all kinds of people. There are massages and spas you can go to as well.

After our baths, we were starving and craving kebabs. We headed back to our hostels to rest up for our night.

Back to Pest

That night we explored Pest and ended up at a club called Alkatraz. It was themed after the prison! We had a good time just sitting and hanging out there for the night.

Sunday we headed out for some more culture. Captain James led us to the Great Synagogue and we got a really great tour and learned how the temple was a huge part of the Holocaust. It was all very relevant to the Holocaust class I am taking.

It was a super cold day and really windy, but we made our way to the basilica and the House of Terror after we had a gourmet lunch that cost all of $8.

We took a break after all the sightseeing to rest up before dinner. The boys picked a street and we started exploring restaurants for our last meal in Budapest. We found a Hungarian/Italian place that had great pizza and interesting Hungarian food.

We turned in pretty early after getting some pics of Buda at night.

We were supposed to get a taxi at 5 a.m. to head to the airport, but my alarm never went off and we were a bit late for our taxi, but we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

I was sad to leave the city but glad that I went. It was such an amazing place, and I learned so much about the city and its role in the Holocaust.

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