A Tale of Two Cities: Prague and Budapest

Before I start on writing about my December trip to Prague and Budapest, here are Kevin’s updates about Spain/Portugal (Don’t have enough time to write about those aka I’m too lazy)

Barcelona

**I was able to meet up with Drew from Westlake and Dylan from SB in Barcelona!

Madrid

Lisbon

**Wallet was stolen in Lisbon…

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OK. So after Thanksgiving, which was right after we got back from Portugal, Kevin and I had another month or so of 6 day weekends. So we planned a trip to Prague and Budapest for December 12th-18th.

Prague

We got to Prague pretty late and didn’t really have any energy to do anything so we bought some groceries from a glorified 7-11, took a nap, and waited for Lauren to meet us.

Sleepy friends having a post-midnight snack

December 13th

The next day, we took a guided walking tour of the city and wow, Prague looks like Disneyland. Everything is pretty much straight from a fairy tale. There are castles, towers, and even fireworks at night. Although, instead of the balmy 70+ degrees in Anaheim, this Disneyland came with below freezing temperatures and the need to wear about 15 articles of clothing. We walked around and froze our asses off but the walking tour was AWESOME and I definitely would recommend doing one if you ever visit Prague. Here are some fun facts from the tour!

  • There was a huge Lenin statue that overlooked the city and was torn down sometime in the 60s. Then they replaced it with a huge Michael Jackson statue for one of his tours…silly Czechs.
  • The Czechs invented sugar cubes (my favorite)
  • Hitler kept most of the Jewish quarter in tact because he was planning on making it into a museum for the “extinct race” after the war
  • The famous Old-New Synagogue was named because of a translation error
  • The Czech Revolution was called the “Velvet Revolution” because it was non-violent

Pictures from the day:

Lauren and I cuddled for warmth the first night…

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Charles Bridge

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In the Jewish Quarter

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Powder Tower

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FRIED CHEESE

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Kevin got half of a duck…

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Happy Lauren!

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Traditional Czech dancing

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December 14th

Kevin’s birthday! We had breakfast and this little crepe place and then decided to tackle the Prague castle and all of its surrounding buildings. The weather was still absolutely freezing so we had to wear multiple layers again. Hence why we look like we gained about 50 pounds.

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DAT STAINED GLASS

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Kevin lost feeling in his toes so he started pacing

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Trying to stay warm

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View of Prague

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That night, we went out to a Big Lebowski themed bar (complete with White Russians) and then ended our night by shamefully eating at KFC. Our bad. It was also so cold that I wore my ear warmers to take a nap. And then Kevin woke us up by playing our favorite song, Rack City.

Dancing in the hostel with 15 layers because even the kitchen was cold

White Russians!

December 15th

We said goodbye to Lauren in the morning as she was flying back to Copenhagen and Kevin and I went to the train station to catch our 8 hour train to Budapest. Not much to say about the trip, except the Czech, Slovakian, and Hungarian countrysides are just grey…

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Some of my notes from the journey:

1:57pm

– only 2 hours in

– everything is grey

– things look depressing

– woman next to me is blasting Ricky Martin…might kill her soon

– I hate small children

3:26pm

– it looks like we are in the middle of Siberia

– I just listened to the entire Across the Universe soundtrack

– new discovery: I have no good music on my iPod

4:39pm

– first realized we are in Slovakia

– there’s a guy on here who looks like Mark Hoppus

– it’s getting dark –> more depressing

– there is way too much TI on my iPod

Clearly I was having a lot of fun. We arrived in Budapest around 7 or 8 and it was raining. Hard. Found our way to the hostel, made dinner, and then passed out.

Budapest

December 16th

Some of my friends had been to Budapest earlier in October and all of their pictures were amazing so I was really looking forward to this part of the trip. The rain decided to put a damper on those plans, however. We were able to see the sights but it was cold and wet so we weren’t really able to fully enjoy them.

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Monopoly money

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OOOOOH puppy friends!

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Grand Synagogue

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Parliament

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Chain Bridge at night

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Then we went to an all you can eat, all you can drink buffet. There’s a 3 hour time limit. And we got kicked out at the end of our 3 hours. No regrets.

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Kevin trying shark

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December 17th

Note: Our hostel mates made me consider murder. They woke us up at around 4 and I didn’t fall back asleep until 6:30. Rage.

We held off on going over to the Buda side of the river until the 17th because it was rainy the day before. Big mistake. It was so foggy that we couldn’t see a thing from castle hill. So we just kinda wandered around. And then ate some more. (If you haven’t noticed from my previous blog entries, my friendship with Kevin is centered on our mutual love of eating)

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Sad Kevin is sad that we can’t see anything

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Stellar view – I had to turn my camera on manual focus because there was nothing for it focus on…

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Then it sorta cleared up

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Budapest was absolutely beautiful, despite the rain and fog. But, by the end of the trip, I was getting insanely homesick for Copenhagen. I was missing a lot of my friend’s goodbyes and I was worried I was missing out on everyone’s last weekends in town. Going to Prague and Budapest was a great decision, don’t get me wrong. It was just bad timing, I guess. I just missed Copenhagen wayyy too much.

Miscellaneous notes:

– The architecture of the cities of Prague and Budapest are absolutely beautiful, but once you get to the city limits, it all turns to grey, Soviet blocks

– I understand literally zero percent of any of the Slavic languages

– I’ve never ever been so cold in my life as I was in Prague

– There need to be more all you can eat/drink buffets

One thought on “A Tale of Two Cities: Prague and Budapest

  1. Pingback: Prague & Budapest « PlanesTrainsAndDanes

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