Monday, July 30, 2012

Water Water Everywhere - Margaret Island, Obuda, And Gellert Baths - Budapest

June 10th - Sunday

Since it was Sunday we had to hit up somethings that we knew were open. I wanted to go to church but English speaking churches aren't that easy to come by when you are in a non-English speaking country.  I made sure to set aside some personal time to remember Jesus and how he died for my sins.  It was the best I could do under the situations.  I feel that God understood.

The first place we chose to go was Margaret Island.  It is a real island (they don't just give that name out willy-nilly, now!) in the Danube river in the northern part of Budapest.  On the way we came across this statue.  I say it is a man, Frankie says women.  All I could find out about it was where it was located, Boráros square.  So, I guess we are allowed to make our own guess.

Boráros tér statue Budapest
Once we got off the tram (or was it a bus? I can't remember now) we were treated to a great view of Parliament and Liberty Statue (way back on the hill).
Parliament from Margaret Island Budapest
We also saw this huge (think size of a Smart car) concrete replica of the Hungarian crown.  Notice that the cross on top is crooked.  The crown has been hidden, stolen, lost, and found, so basically it has been abused.  Somewhere along the way the cross got bent and they just kept that way.  Gives it character!
Gaint cement Hungarian crown Margaret Island Budapest
Margaret Island is very beautiful.  It is basically a huge park.  It is green, quiet when compared to the city, and peaceful.
Green green Margaret Island Budapest
We rented an electric car for an hour and went exploring.
Jennifer and Frankie in electric car Margaret Island Budapest
I am sure you can buy lángos (Hungarian fried bread) all over Budapest, but we happened to find a place selling them on Margaret Island so we partook!  There are many different toppings you can chose from but we opted for the traditional sour cream and cheese.  It was greasy so of course it was good!
Sour cream and cheese Langos Margaret Island Budapest
One of the things I wanted to see on Margaret Island was the musical fountain.  It plays every hour and we found it just as it started.  It played for a good 5 to 10 minutes!  I apologize in advance for the shaky video.  I try to be still, but it just doesn't happen.
I am not sure if it was suppose to have water in it or not, I mean it is called a fountain.   It was bone dry and in need of some repairs, but the music was pretty!
Musical fountain Margaret Island Budapest
Our hour was up for the electric car, so we returned it.  Of course, the warning of, after an hour the car will stop running, did make us get it back a little earlier than needed.  Talk about motivation!  An hour was really all we needed for Margaret Island.  It is a very pretty park, what more can I say?
We made our way to our next stop, the part of Budapest called Óbuda (which means Old Buda).  Budapest is actually made up of Buda, Pest, and Old Buda.  There were two museums I wanted to visit in Óbuda.  One was the Vasarely Museum.
Vasarely Museum Entrance Obuda Budapest
Inside the lobby of the museum we encountered the following.
Only time I saw Noi and Ferfi-Woman and Man- marked on restroom in Vasarely Museum Obuda Budapest
These were the bathrooms and I know the male/female symbols are understood by most, but I get them mixed up.  I am glad that I had studied a few words of Hungarian because I knew noi meant female and ferfi meant male.  It meant that I wasn't going to get a surprise or give one!
Then I went in the correct bathroom and was presented with this.
Lots of contraptions in one bathroom Vasarely Museum Obuda Budapest
Holy cow!  The thing on the wall in the middle was the hand dryer, that I know because I used it.  The things on either side, well, I am still wondering.  The water heaters?  This had to be an older building/bathroom because then I found this.
Shelf toilet Vasarely Museum Obuda Budapest
The toilet has a shelf.  Yes, I said a shelf.  What ever comes out of you, for lack of a better way of putting it, sits on that shelf for your viewing pleasure until you can figure out how to flush it.  Fun times at the Vasarely museum and we haven't even gotten to the paintings!
Now, normally, I am not much into paintings.  Yes, they are beautiful.  Yes, they are amazing.  But they tend to blend all together when you are art-stupid like me.  So, when I read about Vasarely and how he used geometry to make op art, (optical art, like optical illusions), I wanted to see them!
As we walked around there were these older women in each room and on each floor who followed us, watching us.  It was so unnerving! I had to pay extra to take pictures but then I felt weird taking them because this older lady just kept watching and following.  There weren't very many people at the museum when we went so we were the only ones she had to watch.  I tried to ignore the older women and just did what I paid to do!
It is hard to tell in this picture because of the glass, the glare, and the angle, but each of those red squares are the same shade of red.  Vasarely showed how different the red squares looked when the background was a different color.  How cool is that!  
Vasarely-same red on different colored background Obuda Budapest
Another painting that I really liked is this one of the spheres. This is not a three-dimensional piece of art, it is flat!  I love that!
Vasarely-all straight lines Obuda Budapest
And what is even more amazing is the fact that there is not one curved line in that entire painting!  Here is a close up for proof.
Vasarely-all straight lines close Obuda Budapest
Here is one more op art piece for you.  Flat as flat can be!  I promise!  I saw it in person!  The question I have for you is this:  Do you see both the tunnel going inwards AND the pyramid like object (with top cut off) coming out towards you?
Vasarely-tunnel effect Obuda Budapest
After the op art loveliness we continued on through Óbuda to the Holy Trinity Statue.  Note the statue closest to the bike in the picture.
The Holy Trinity Statue at Szentlélek tér Obuda Budapest
Here is a close-up of his hand.  Pobrecito!  That had to hurt!
Broken finger on The Holy Trinity Statue at Szentlélek tér Obuda Budapest
Continuing on, is it just me or does this building creep you out too?  Lazy-eyed little bugger!
The house sees all Obuda Budapest
The other museum I wanted to see was the Imre Varga Museum.  He is mainly a sculptor but also paints. He is the one who created the Holocaust memorial called Tree of Life that is behind the Dohány Street Jewish synagogue. 
Before actually getting to the door of the museum you get a taste of his work.  These life-size women with umbrellas were made by Varga.  I loved them!  And guess what, it was actually raining some when we saw them.  How fitting!  I read that replicas are in the gardens of wealthy summer homes on Lake Balaton (about 85 miles southwest of Budapest).
Women with Umbrellas close Obuda Budapest
Frankie took this picture just goofing around and it turned out to be one of my favorites.
Windows flowers and Woman with Umbrella Obuda Budapest
Once inside the museum it is almost overwhelming with all the pieces that are in there (all by one man!).   I don't know what it is about older ladies in museums in this area but there was another one in here.  She didn't just follow me around though.  Oh no!  She showed us into all the rooms and explained what most of the pieces were, what they were called, and if there was a larger production of it somewhere in Budapest, she told me where it was.  At least I think that is what she said, because most if not all of it was in Hungarian.
Frankie thought that was the funniest thing.  He wasn't really into it so he went kind of fast through it then sat down at the end to wait for me.  We (me and my new best friend/tour guide) would go into a room and she would say something and point to something and I would nod my head and smile.  Occasionally, there would be something I recognized an I was able to say, "Oh, yes!"   Also on occasion, my new best friend/tour guide would know the word in English and would say it and then I was able to say, "Oh, yes!"
It was a very different experience, but I liked it.  Again we were the only ones there, so I am not sure what they do if there are more people.  Maybe I got a special privilege?  I sort of wanted to go to this museum on Saturday at 10 AM because that is when Imre Varga who is in his 80's goes to the museum to meet and greet people visiting.  He speaks very good English and loves to explain his works.  How cool is that!
Speaking of his works here are some.
This is a small replica of the Tree of Life that is at behind the Dohány Street Jewish synagogue. I was able to say, "Oh, yes!", at this one!
Small Tree of Life Imre Varga Museum Budapest
This one is called, Partisan.  I couldn't find any information on it and my new best friend/tour guide didn't know enough English for this, but based on the name and what I saw, I knew it had to do with the Holocaust. Some Jews who managed to escape from ghettos and camps formed their own fighting units and were called partisans.
Partisan sculpture Imre Varga Museum Budapest
When communism reigned there were basically three type of artists: banned, tolerated, and supported.  Varga was in the tolerated category and the work below carefully commented on life under the Soviets. The medals attached to the sculpture belongs to Varga, himself.  They are from his military life in the pre-communist era and anyone who had them ended up persecuted (yes, persecuted, not prosecuted!) by the communist in the 1950's.  This is how Varga "got rid" of his.
Solider sculptures Imre Varga Museum Budapest
Did I mention there were was an outside section too?  Here we have a ballerina.  I am not sure what makes it a ballerina but that is what it was called.
Ballerina Imre Varga Museum Budapest
Here is the smaller, more colorful version inside.
Small Ballerina Imre Varga Museum Budapest
And we have the prostitutes.  Again, I am not familiar with such topics, but that is what they were called.
Prostitute statues Imre Varga Museum Budapest
Here is the smaller inside version.
Small version of prositutes Imre Varga Museum Budapest
And since we started with the big version of the women with umbrellas, let's end the museum tour with the small version that is inside the museum.
Small version of Women with Umbrellas Imre Varga Museum Budapest
I enjoy sculptures so going is something that I would recommend.
Our trip to Margaret Island and Óbuda was over but we still had time left in our day.  We opted for a trip to a different bath.  We already had gone to Szechenyi Baths, so now it was time to hit up one called Gellért Baths.  Szechenyi is more a locals bath where as Gellért is a more tourist bath. Of course, anyone can go to either one.
Gellert Hotel and Baths Budapest
Gellért is prettier than Szechenyi but it is also more expensive.  Gellért is also segregated by gender except on Sunday.  We went on a Sunday, but it was still nerve racking walking into a doorway marked Men Only! 
I guess in my quest to make up for not taking any pictures inside Szechenyi, I managed to not take any outside pictures of Gellért.  Go figure!  One of the cool things that Gellért did have outside was a wave pool.  You have to be careful in it though.  Frankie managed to bang his leg very badly on something and you have to watch out that the waves don't pull your swimsuit off!
Here are some pictures of the inside of Gellért.  
This is one of the main pools.  As you can see, it was not very crowded.  I think it was because the water was 80 degrees, which is cold, I don't care what anyone else says!  I got in and swam a little while but never really did get use to the water temperature.  I did have to wear a swim cap, which of course, I didn't have.  But you can buy, what is really just a shower cap, there for 50 cents.
Inside pool - 27 C Gellert Baths  Budapest
Details of the water spouts that fed into the cold pool.
Inside pool spouts Gellert Baths  Budapest
We also went into the baths where the water temperature was 100 degrees.  Much better and pretty too!

37 C pool decor Gellert Baths Budapest
Let me tell you about the  next two pictures.  As soon as we walked into the room that had the 100 degree waters my camera fogged up.  I was so disappointed because this room was stunning!  I took the picture below and then used my photo editing software to try to fix it. The first one has been "fixed" and the second one is what it looked like with a fogged up lens.
Angels in the 37 C pool Gellert Baths Budapest
Original Angels in the 37 C pool Gellert Baths Budapest
We had to leave Gellért before we were ready because they were closing.  But that is ok, it had been a long day and we needed to head back to the hotel. We decided to walk a little way instead of getting on the tram.  We crossed the Liberty bridge and I took some pictures along the way. (I know you are sooo surprised.)
Liberty Bridge Budapest
The top of the bridge up close.
Liberty Bridge Crown Budapest 
View from the bridge.
View from Liberty Bridge Budapest
I just thought this was funny.  The dark bricks are a bicycle lane and in the bicycle lane there are zebra stripes for pedestrians.
Crosswalk in the bicycle lane Budapest
We swam, we walked, we needed a snack before going back to the hotel.  Neither one of use chose the freshly squizzed juices.  If it isn't a typo then I have no clue what it was.  
Squizzed Juices Budapest
Here is what we did decide on.  Check out that coffee!  It was called melange and at this place it meant that it had:  espresso, frothed milk, honey, and in this case whipped cream.  It is a Viennese type coffee, but I don't know how close it is to a real melange.  I do know that it and the chocolate croissant were delicious!
Tea Chocolate Crossiant and Melange Coffee Budapest
Frankie, being the red blooded American that he is, ordered good old New York cheesecake.  It tasted nothing like any kind of cheesecake either of us have ever had.  He ate it and I tasted it, but I don't think either one of us really cared for it too much.  
Hungarian style New York Cheesecake Budapest
We only have one day left in Budapest and we planned on making the most of it.  So stay tuned for our trip to the Great Market Hall, a tour of the Hungarian Opera House, and a pit stop at the famous New York Cafe!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day Tripping To Bratislava Slovakia

June 9th - Saturday

It's going to be a long one, people.  But well worth it, because you see, we left Budapest.  We even left Hungary and it wasn't to go home!  Frankie had been wanting to take a train to somewhere, anywhere, ever since the first time we went to Europe. Now was the time!  Rick Steves (have I mentioned how much we like him?), mentioned several day trips from Budapest and we looked at them all and decided we would add a trip to another capital city to our growing list.

We decided to hop on a train and travel to Bratislava, Slovakia!  Don't worry if you don't know where that is.  Honestly, I didn't even know Slovakia was a country before we decided to go there.  Yes, that was embarrassing to admit, but hey, as I told many people, a lot of Americas are really really bad at geography!  Let me help you out some by showing you a map and it may even help you see where Budapest is located as well. (I was surprised at the number of people that thought it was in South America or Africa!) I still have to search to find it on a map, but now I know the general direction to start looking!

We knew we needed the Keleti Metro station which was also the railway station.  We were almost too late in getting there and almost missed the train!  We stood in line to buy tickets and when it was our turn we walk up and the lady said we needed to get a number and she pointed to the corner of the room.

There were no signs (at least not in English) telling us we needed a number.  Ugh!  So we get a number and get back in line.  Luckily, there were not very many people there or we would have missed the train for sure. 

We bought our tickets and got on a train. There were no indications we were on the right train.  We went to the correct platform and got the train there, but there is always that nagging feeling.  There was no one around to ask, either.  There were only a handful of people on the train.  We were not sure if we were in 2nd class, which is what we paid for.  Here is what it looked like inside the train.

2nd class train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

We sat there just hoping we were in the right place.  The train schedule said this train was going to leave at a certain time and they were not kidding.  At exactly that time it left.  There were no shouts of "all aboard" or shouts of anything, it just started moving!  So be aware of the time and have your behind on it or you are out of luck!

Eventually, a ticket conductor came along and we were apparently on the right train because they didn't say anything.  We made the ticket conductor mad though.  It wasn't on purpose, I promise.  Frankie asked him where the dining car was (his main concern) and the conductor mumbled something we think in English, pointed, barely made eye contact and then continued checking tickets of the people in front of us.

We didn't really understand what he said to begin with and then his mumbled I-hate-you-and-everything-else-around-me attitude cracked us up.  We both started laughing! We couldn't help it.  It was funny!  

Well, he didn't appreciate us laughing and he whipped his head around to give us the stare down.  I will never forget those icy blue eyes starting me down.  It was still hilarious and we tried to cover up our laughing by pointing to the direction he pointed and saying, "That way?"  He turned back around and continued his job as we sat there like children in church trying to keep our laughter from seeping out.

After we were sure the coast was clear of the mean man we headed to the dining car for breakfast and coffee.  It was much more colorful than the rest of the train!

Dining car on  train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia

Frankie liked his "fine dining" on the train in Europe!  (Hey look it's Rick Steves!)

Frankie drinking coffee on  train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

We stayed along the Danube river for awhile.

Danube river seen on train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia  

I feel that I take a lot of pictures of toilets on our trips, but I can't help it.  When confronted with something new, I find it very interested and want to share!  So you are going to learn about the toilet on the train!  I think the cartoon was saying to not put trash in the toilet.  Ok, fine I won't but can you please tell me how to flush it....

Toilet  on train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

Turns out the green buttons on the wall between the toilet and the sink are what control the toilet and the sink.  But, when the button was pushed there was a few seconds before anything actually happened.  It was weird to not really know what to do so you just start pushing buttons and it takes it awhile for anything to happen making you think that the wrong thing was pushed.

Then there was the toilet paper that looked like an ace bandage.  It was more like a paper towel and I will not go into the why it could be like that.  Let's just move on....

Toilet paper  on train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

Two and half hours is a rather long travel time. It is good we were able to get up and walk around but you tend to get bored.  We walked all the way to the back of the train where we could see the tracks.  I was surprised we could go that far. It was really strange walking between the cars, it was blocked off so we couldn't fall, but it was still a strange feeling.

Train tracks from back car  on train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

Like I said, you have to find things to do to keep occupied, so I take pictures.  I even have time to do "artsy" shots of myself!

Jennifers reflection on  train ride from Budapest to Bratislava Slovakia 

We made it and Slovakia was very welcoming to the English speaking people!

Welcome to Slovakia sign Bratislava Slovakia 

We followed Rick Steves' Bratislava walk and started on our way to the city center called Old Town.  Along the way we walked right by the Slovakian president's residence called Grassalkovich Palace.  It was so strange that you could get so close to it and go into the park that is behind the residence.  In America you practically  need binoculars to see the White House and here you could go almost right up to it!  It was a beautiful place.

Back view of Grassalkovich Palace the Presidents residence Bratislava Slovakia 

Here is an example of what the language Slovak looks like.  I had no idea what it said. So I checked on and got a general idea: "In the countryside and public parks in the Bratislava Old Town prohibits: Access to venues that are not reserved for visitors" and so on.

Slovak sign in Bratislava Slovakia 

This one needed no translation, they don't allow basset hounds in the park behind the president's residence.  He must have had a bad experience with one once.  (How could you not love them?  Just look at these faces!)

No basset hounds are allowed in Grassalkovich Palaces garden in Bratislava Slovakia 

If you can get past the fact that the Slovakian president hates basset hounds and continue on your way to the front of his palace you will see this fountain.  It is called Earth - planet of peace, but in Rick Steves' book it is just called Big Fountain.

Close up of fountain in front of Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava Slovakia 

I think that Czech Republic-Slovakia has a different definition of talent than America might have.  Just an observation.

Czech Republic Slovakia's Got Talent sign in Bratislava Slovakia 

Once you get to this cathedral you know that you are close to the city gate.  Do no go in front of the church you want to go towards the small street, alleyway, walkway between buildings that forks in the left direction. (I don't know if that made any sense, but I can see it perfectly in my head.) This cathedral has the longest name I have ever seen.  Are you ready? This is the Cathedral of St. John of Matha and Felix of Valois in Hurban Square, also know as Trinity Church.  I like the longer name but could probably only remember the shorter one.

Cathedral of St. John of Matha and Felix of Valois in Hurban Square in Bratislava Slovakia 

Finally, we made it to the city gate!  How awesome is that!  It is St. Michael's Gate and is the last surviving tower of the city wall.

City Gate in in Bratislava Slovakia 

Here is another view of the gate with a extremely European man in the picture.  His name has to Marco,  Jacques, or Philippe.

European man at City Gate in Bratislava Slovakia 

As you walk through the gate, Slovakia has its version of the zero kilometer marker.  This is where they start measuring all the distances in Slovakia.

Zero Kilometer marker in Bratislava Slovakia 

This is as close to Texas as I could find.  It is far no matter what!

Closest marker to Texas at the zero km marker in Bratislava Slovakia 

If you have crossed through the gate you are on Michalská Street and in the beginnings of the tourist center.  You will know.  There will be no questioning where you are.  There will be souvenir shops.

I heart Bratislava store in Bratislava Slovakia 

There will be WAY overpriced food that is foreign to even Slovakia.  Take for example this quesadilla.  Now, I am from Texas and we have Mexican food.  It is Tex-Mex, which is different from Mexican food in Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, and California in some ways.  But this quesadilla offering just messes it all up.  They put blue cheese in it.  They put bacon in it.  That's just WRONG!  To top it all off they were charging 11.59 Euros!  That is $14!!!  Someone asked me if they shipped the ingredients from Mexico to justify that price.  I doubt it.

12 dollar quesadilla with strange ingredients in Bratislava Slovakia 

We didn't eat there and kept on walking to see more sights.  I love this little gremlin!  He is just as cute as a little grouchy gremlin can be!

Grimlin statue up close above door in Bratislava Slovakia 

Take a look at you see it?  Do you see the cannonball?  It is a cannonball from the Napoleonic Wars. In 1809, Napoleon's army hit the city with cannon fire from the Danube river.  I had no idea a cannonball could travel that far!  It is almost a full mile and it is really stuck in there good!  This one is above a chocolate shop.

Cannonball from Napoleon above chocolate shop in Bratislava Slovakia 

We continued further into the depths of Bratislava and came to the Main square.  It is as cute as cute can be!

Main Square 1 in Bratislava Slovakia 

One of my favorite things in this square was the statue of Napoleon.  Are you thinking, "Why would they have a statue of some French dude who caused so much destruction in their city?"  No? Well, you should have, but now take a look at the statue, which just happens to be in front of the French Embassy.

Napoleon statue in front of French embassy in Bratislava Slovakia 

Napoleon's hat is pulled down over his head and he is barefoot.

Barefoot Napoleon statue in Bratislava Slovakia

It was Slovakia's final revenge to this man, a lifetime of people laughing at him.  By this time we were hungry again.  Didn't we just eat on the train??  We decided to eat at Roland Restaurant Cafe in the Main Square.  This was taken from inside the cafe through they window we sat at.

Looking out window at Roland Cafe  in Bratislava Slovakia 

We ordered an appetizer of a traditional Slovakian dish called bryndzové halušky.  It is potato dumplings with sheep's cheese and bacon.  It was excellent! I ordered a pasta dish and Frankie ordered fish and chips but those aren't as exciting as a brand new food.

National dish bryndzove halusky-potato dumplings with sheeps cheese and bacon at Roland Cafe  in Bratislava Slovakia 

After lunch we continued on with our exploration of Bratislava.  Notice another cannonball embedded into the wall?  This is Old Town Hall and we walked through the gate to head towards Primate's Square.  (No, it didn't mean monkeys, it has something to do with the size and power of the city compared to the other towns in that country.  I found this link that might help explain because all I kept thinking about was monkeys, too.)

Cannonball from Napoleon in Main Square in Bratislava Slovakia 

A few pictures of things we saw in Primate's Square.

Winged dragon in Old Town Hall courtyard  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Full view of three headed dragon statue in Primates Square  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Frankie looking through statue in Primates Square  in Bratislava Slovakia 

It started sprinkling/raining and it was time for a coffee break.  Understand that there was more time between eating and this snack than it seems.  I have left out a lot of our wondering around.  I just don't want anyone to think that all we do is look at a city item then eat, look at something and then eat again, and so on.  It does seem that way now that I look back, but I promise we did more than eat!  But man, when we did eat, it was GOOD!  Catty-corner to Roland Restaurant Cafe where we ate lunch was Kaffe Mayer, which has been serving coffee and cake since the year 1873!  We chose two coffees and a slice of sissi karamelova torta (caramel cake) to share.

Coffee break  at Kaffe Mayer in Bratislava Slovakia 

The rain let up and we continued on our way.  Bratislava has some really fun statues in it.  You saw the Napoleon one, now let me show you this one.  This is Schöner Náci, he was a real man who lived in Bratislava in the 1960's. He would dress up in his one suit and top hat and stroll the streets flirting with the women he found beautiful.  He would often tell them they were schön (pretty in German) and that is how he got his nickname.

Schoner Naci statue in Bratislava Slovakia 

Just down the street is another statue called Čumil (the Peeper).  This was the first fun statue in Bratislava and there is no story behind him.  He is just a man sticking up from a manhole in the ground.  He has been run over a few times though.

Cumil statue  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Nearby there is yet another fun statue.  This one is called Paparazzo, which is the singular form of paparazzi. Do you see him?

Paparazzo statue from far  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Here is a closer view.

Paparazzo statue from side  in Bratislava Slovakia 

One thing that Rick Steves did not mention in his book but the website Trip Advisor did was something called the Blue church.  This was something we had to investigate!  So off the beaten path we went!

Once you get out of the main tourist area, it is very apparent. This town took a beating from Napoleon, then the World Wars broke out, and then the Soviets took over.  After WWII the city was just a shell of its former self and the communist didn't care about the past only the future.  They even sold the medieval original cobblestones from the roads to German towns who were rebuilding after the war.  With the fall of communism in the 1989, the new government tried to return property to the original owners who then rebuilt.   This took years and there are still some buildings under dispute.

Building tht has not been restored  in Bratislava Slovakia 

We found the Blue Church whose real name is church of St. Elisabeth and let me tell you, the pictures do not do it justice.  It is so beautiful!  I have never seen a church like this!

Full view at church of St Elisabeth aka Blue church  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Many of the reviews on Trip Advisor said that when they went to the church it was closed and they could only see the outside.  As it so happened, it seemed as if a wedding was about to take place there and it was open.  No one had gone inside yet to sit down, so Frankie and I snuck in and I took some pictures.  The inside is just a beautiful as the outside!

Inside at church of St Elisabeth aka Blue church  in Bratislava Slovakia 

Red velvet seats at church of St Elisabeth aka Blue church  in Bratislava Slovakia 

We just knew that the wedding was going to start any moment with the people who were outside starting to come inside.  Frankie was telling me to hurry and take my pictures and then we would sneak out the side door.  So being goofy, he made the face of terror as he exited the side door.

Frankie sneaking out at church of St Elisabeth aka Blue church  in Bratislava Slovakia

We got out before anyone was the wiser! Along our path we managed to find a grocery store to go in and look around.  I was happy to find the tortillas (I do worry about places where there are no tortillas) and found it hilarious that they were with the other "ethnic" food.

Tortillas with other ethnic food in grocery store in Bratislava Slovakia

We started back towards the main tourist area of town and Frankie decided to share some of his Red Bull he bought at the grocery store with a random statue.  I think the statue appreciated it!  She even got the buzzed look from all the caffeine of the Red Bull!

Frankie sharing his Red Bull in Bratislava Slovakia 

One of the strangest things we saw was what everyone calls the UFO.  It was part of a bridge built by the Soviets.  It is now an expensive restaurant with great views of the city.  We didn't go to it.  By this time we were getting tired and ready to head back to the train station to wait for the train.

UFO on New Bridge in Bratislava Slovakia 

We still found some interesting things along the way.  I love this picture of the manhole.  I am not sure why; I think it might be the symmetry of it.

Manhole cover in Bratislava Slovakia 

Then there was this.  What is it?  Why it is nothing more than a mailbox drop.  Of course!

Interesting mailbox in Bratislava Slovakia 

We had to backtrack a little and then Frankie tried to get us lost.  The map we had was not the best, but somehow we managed to make it back to the train station.  I don't remember waiting too long for the train and I think it was another case of almost missing the train back.  If we had missed it, it would not have been awful.  It would have meant finding something to do for two hours while we waited for the next train.  We didn't want to wait so I am glad we made it.

We ate supper on the train.  It was not much to write home about except for the dessert.  We both chose a Hungarian dessert called Gesztenyepüré.  It is a chestnut puree.  It was so good, but it had this taste that I recognized but couldn't place.  We talked to the waitress (I guess that is what they are called on trains) and she said that it along with the chestnuts it had sugar, whipped cream and rum.  The rum is what I recognized and I cannot even begin to tell you from where.  I don't drink alcohol so this is a mystery to me.  I tasted that rum for the next several hours.  It just doesn't go away!

Gesztenyepüré - chestnut puree dessert train food from Bratislava Slovakia to Budapest 

We arrived in Budapest and headed back to the hotel.  In the metro they have this sign as you exit and that one 14-letter word means goodbye.  It is a mouth full too!  Luckily, they also use a shorter version.  It is szia  (pronounced like see-ya).  

Viszontlatasra-goodbye in Hungarian seen in metro Budapest

So with only two more days left in our trip to Budapest for me to blog about that is what I will say to you now, szia!