Walking in the rain … again

Another day, another rainy morning. So what to do when the weather leaves a lot to be desired?
How about another long breakfast this time already with a glass of sparkling wine. It was a holiday after all and it set the mood for the day.IMG_9017IMG_9018IMG_9023

And then another bus tour, this time on the yellow line though. When we arrived at our station we found out that the bus would take another 45 min to get there since we were station No. 19 on this line. One of the bus hustlers told us to walk a couple of blocks to get to station No. 4 where buses would go every 5-10 minutes. Was so not true, because we ended up waiting at least 20 minutes again. Never mind, we were in no rush at all, just a bit on the cold side.

Finally on the bus we started another tour with annoying music and little information. At least this time everyone had a window seat.IMG_9064

Another round of sights, again from the bus. Please enjoy.IMG_8928IMG_8935IMG_8937IMG_8942IMG_8946IMG_8947IMG_8952Remember this bridge? We were back at the Chain Bridge below the Buda Castle.
IMG_8968Another train station called the west station or something because the trains are coming in from the east.

Near St. Stephen’s Basilica we got off, having decided on the spur of the moment to visit the basilica. Ok, not true at all. We wanted to lángos at the Christmas market but when we passed the church on the way there we decided to go in. It was beautiful inside, impressive and breathtaking. It also shows in a side room the right hand of the saint. The hand or better the “Holy Right” is in remarkable condition, especially when you consider that he died almost 1000 years ago.IMG_8971IMG_8972IMG_8974IMG_8976IMG_8978IMG_8979IMG_8980

When outside we headed directly to the lángos place to try this real traditional dish. It was a greasy as the Austrian version, maybe a bit better and definitely with less garlic. Still, not something to talk about.IMG_8985IMG_8992IMG_8991IMG_8990

From here on we only had one more stop at the supermarket to buy some provisions for the train ride (prosecco and such things), another one at a stall for chimney cake were we bought two right from the griddle (if you can call it that) and then found out the the locals are buying it cooled off. And with good reason because when you buy it hot, it tastes under baked. Another waste of good calories. Culinary wise Hungary was not really abundant, just rich in calories.

Back at the hotel and after a short discussion on how to get to the train station, we decided on the metro again. Quick and cheap, or “slumming” as my friend Tici likes to call it.IMG_9002IMG_9003IMG_9004IMG_9007

And with two bottles of sparkling wine, sweets, chips from the journey there, water and cold chimney cake we were well supplied for our way home. Traveling in style I call that.
Yours, Pollybert

Food tasting in Budapest

The touring of the castle left us hungry and once we were back down on Danube level we made our way to Horgásztanya, a place that looks as if it has been around for years (which it has) but serves a great Hungarian fish soup. When I put together my restaurant list for this trip I came across the fish soup. Until then I didn’t even know that Hungary had a tradition for fish as well.IMG_8956The restaurant is actually at the other side of the block but I love the sailor on this one! Also I forgot to take a picture while we were there and this on is from the bus tour the next day.

Take a look around the place, it has quite an unique decor.IMG_8850IMG_8852IMG_8853IMG_8854IMG_9025

Poor Susi had to come with us although she doesn’t eat fish. There is not much else to order besides all kinds of fish soup, fish and meat dishes. There is basically nothing for vegetarians. So she ate a cabbage salad while we sampled the soup.IMG_8856

Love the way how it was served and it was super delicious!

And all within walking distance of the Chain Bridge which we crossed right after the meal with another view on the parliament.IMG_8859IMG_8861IMG_8863IMG_8864IMG_8865
Every good meal deserves a dessert, which we wanted to eat at Gerbeaud. The Gerbeaud coffeehouse is well-known for its cakes and has a long history. Coming from a land with a tradition in coffeehouses and cakes, we nonetheless wanted to try what our former “crownland” had to offer.

What they did offer compares with the best! A beautiful coffeehouse, delicious coffee (at least mine, Susi tried the “exclusive” one and it was sour) and mouth-watering cakes.IMG_8880IMG_8881IMG_8867IMG_8868IMG_8869IMG_8870IMG_8871

Cat decided to stay with the beer and got some nuts with it. They seemed to taste especially good!
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When we left the coffeehouse it was already dark outside and we did a little shopping at the Christmas market in front of Gerbeaud.IMG_8882

We also looked on how the traditional Hungarian chimney cake was prepared but at that moment there was just no room to try it.IMG_8890IMG_8892IMG_8894IMG_8883

And then more shopping along the Váci ut which is a super long pedestrian zone. Although it was not so much shopping as stopping at every store to warm up again.IMG_8897

Finally we decided to go for a drink. It was dark after all and we knew if we went back to the hotel for a short siesta, there would be a good chance that we might not leave the place again that evening. The name of the wine bar was Borkonyha – Wine Kitchen, right at the end (or rather beginning) of Váci ut and actually the least tourist looking place although it was a hotel bar. Upon looking at the website now I noticed that it was recommended by Michelin and Gault Millau, no wonder the tourists in the back were making such satisfied noises.IMG_8901IMG_8902IMG_9057IMG_9058

From there it was only a short walk to our next destination that evening. Since it was Sunday night the choice was limited to begin with. The reception had made a reservation that morning for Ruben, a restaurant from a guide book. It had the added advantage of being near the hotel. The walk to it was eerie though since not one light worked in the street of the restaurant and the place was rather at the end. At least the place itself was illuminated.

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Inside it was small with gallery on top for more diners and the kitchen.IMG_8920Quite the cozy dining experience, only the food didn’t live up to it.

We shared as starter Hungary’s best (different meats) which turned out to be good and was quickly devoured.IMG_8911
The second course we shared as well, stuffed meat crepes with red pepper sauce. Definitely the highlight of the meal. So sorry that the picture is blurred, I had to rush to take it before Cat ate all.IMG_8912

Meanwhile Susi had a salad and gave Tici the cold eye. Wonder what had piqued her interest?IMG_8913IMG_8910

I refrained from ordering more (unbelievable I know) and had only a small “Retro” cucumber salad. I kid you not, it was really called retro. But of course you are right, I shared the crepe with Cat.IMG_8914

From then on it was all downhill for me. I had the weekly special of lamb with pumpkin as main course and the lamb was overdone while the pumpkin was more than crunchy, the others had duck with mango, pasta with cheese (and a substantial amount of garlic) and a stuffed cabbage roll.IMG_8915IMG_8916IMG_8918IMG_8919With a good bottle of wine these mountains of food were manageable. Still, the restaurant was nice but only excelled in the typical dishes category.

After dinner we were ready to try another bar, this time the Tip Top Bar. Right around the corner of Ruben’s and on the way to the hotel we were ready for a last round. As it turned out the Wallpaper City Guide has another tip to update, this bar was closed too. Defeated we trudged back to the hotel only to find a large nativity set on our way and the girls had nothing better to do than strike a pose with it. And of course it was still raining, let’s not forget about that.

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In the end we settled for a drink at the hotel bar, after all this one was still open.
Yours, Pollybert
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