Monday, December 8, 2008

Budapest

Continuing on with the Eastern European exploration, my latest adventure was to the capital of Hungary. There is something charming with these countries that is hard to quantify, but always leaves me with a thirst for more. Maybe I've gotten used to going to all the touristy areas with my parents, but it feels refreshing to being in a place where you feel like you are walking amongst "their" world, rather than a world that has been retrofitted for tourists.

Okay so Budapest has its fair share of tourist shops selling a plethora of scarfs, Russian dolls, magical boxes and bottles of the local beverages, but on the whole, most of the restaurants, pubs and parks seem to be tailored for and used by the locals. Which is what I want when I'm on holiday - I want to have my beer in an authentic Hungarian cellar bar, not an English bar!

Authentic Cellar Bar

And conveniently, such a bar was right on our doorstep, which is where we ended up on quite a few occasions! Ever since returning from Prague I've been longing to having more of the Bavarian style dark lager, and Hungary certainly didn't disappoint. And to my delight, this delicious malty drink was served in whopping one litre Maßkrüge glasses.

Maßkrug and signs of Palinka

Traditionally, Hungary is perhaps the least vegan friendly city imaginable, and it really was a struggle to find something to eat in a regular restaurant. I had come prepared with a piece of paper describing exactly what I could and couldn't eat, in Hungarian, and it helped to drive the point home. However, I wouldn't stake my life on everything I ate being entirely suitable for vegans. Good thing I'm not allergic to anything.

Food at Regular Restaurant

Luckily the abundance of tearooms made up for the lack of restaurants, I think I must've drank my body weight in tea! And there were a few vegan restaurants that I got to try during our stay, Darshan Biopont being the most memorable, where I had a sampled some extremely delicious cake!

Tearoom
Cake

So, I will now reveal what my new toy was: A camera! My purple friend was actually "Pain" from Hercules, but I've had him for years - he was simply modelling for me. So I've finally managed to get my hands on an awesome photo-taking machine in time for this holiday, allowing me to take much better photos than my mobile phone would allow. I just have to learn how to use it now!

The Danube at Night
The Danube at Night
The Danube at Night

2 comments:

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I'm glad to see you posting! Yay for your camera -- how exciting! I've wondered about traveling abroad before and trying to get vegan food in restaurants where they wouldn't understand English...good that you prepared with the vegan description in Hungarian! I guess you just have to do the best you can in these situations. I know if I travel out of country again I'm going to bring a suitcase stuffed full of food!

Hannah said...

Wow, what gorgeous photos from your new camera! The colors are so vibrant... Beautiful!