We think we're hilarious- Budapest, Hungary
     And the adventure continues! From Praha my friends and I took a (miserable) overnight train to Budapest. To paraphrase the Beastie Boys, you gotta fight for your right to cultural enlightenment and travel. We arrived in Budapest on a cold, wet miserable morning, bleary eyed and exhausted from not sleeping on the train ride. Because it was so early- we’re college students and it was eight in the morning, could you imagine?- we allowed ourselves a little time to shower and rest. Once we felt we could take on the sights, we hopped on the subway and made it to the center of the city in five minutes. The first thing we did was, of course, eat. I had a chicken paprika dish with a delightful strawberry beer; it was good and not really what I expected of Hungarian food. After, we got lost. For hours. 
     Eventually, we found our way. First we walked from Buda to Pest over a modern day, not so special bridge. From here we took the LONGEST and most cockamamie way up to Buda Castle. It was absolutely worth it though because the castle, finished in 1265, afforded the most gorgeous view of Pest and the Danube River. The castle itself is stunning as well. It operates as a museum now but the castle grounds don’t close until relatively late. None of the pictures I took of the sunset we saw do any sort of justice to what it actually looked like. Beautiful isn’t a strong enough word. From the castle we saw the skyline of the entire city- Szechenyi Chain Bridge (on which we walked back over), Matthias Church, the Parliament and the Danube Promenade. We took a slightly less impractical way to get back down to the bottom of the hill the castle is on. I use the phrase “slightly less” because, being thrifty college kids, we opted to take the tiny, wet, vertical, winding path that was covered in slippery leaves instead of the tram. The tiny, wet, vertical, winding path was free. We survived. 

In front of Il Duomo, Milano, Italy
     After our exploration of Budapest, it was time to go to Milano. I don’t think I’ve ever been colder in my life than I was while waiting on an airstrip in Budapest at 5:30 AM. And I did the Polar Plunge into the Hudson in NY in December while it was snowing. The plan for Milano was to land, grab a bus to the train station and then take a train to Legnano where we would stay with Bethany’s friend from college who graduated and was now living and teaching in Italy. What happened was we landed in Milano, grabbed a bus to the train station, and then got surprised by a train strike. I don’t know why we were so surprised, to be honest. We struggled for an hour, throwing out mixes of English, French and Spanish, desperate for a solution. None of us wanted to shell out over 100 euro for a taxi to Legnano. Figuring out what to do from here, most importantly finding a place to spend the night, was made more difficult from the lack of wifi available. We finally managed to find a cheap hostel for the night that actually had the PERFECT location for us as it was walking distance from everything we wanted to see and do and obviously eat. Thanks to my sassy attitude, we also got ten euro off the nightly price. There was a large price difference between the advertised price and what they actually charged, so they deserved the sass. From there it was practically smooth sailing. 
     We went to a museum near Il Duomo that featured early Renaissance Christian art. It was fascinating. It only took an hour and a half; it was a very small gallery. When we were finally done with the museum, we scoured the local area for a place to eat and landed on a small, cozy restaurant. We all ordered pizza and we ate all of it. The wait staff was a little scared. We slept very well that night. The next day we saw Il Duomo, which was elegant and stunning and everything I was expecting in more. To deal with all the beauty, we treated ourselves to some panzerottis from Luigi’s, an almost 200-year-old food establishment. It was filled with spicy salami and cheese and was amazing. After our lunch we ventured to Castello Sforzesco and wandered the grounds a bit. Then, of course, we shopped. That night we finally made it to Legnano, which is much smaller and quite charming. The next day, our last day in Milano, we saw the Vittoria Galleria and took an overnight bus to Marseille, France, about 40 minutes from my beloved Aix. Lauren and I downed a bottle of wine to help us sleep through the ride. The only thing that accomplished was a close call with our bladders. Once we finished that nine hour bus ride, we took a 40 minute bus ride to Centre Ville in Aix and then walked zombie-style to our respective homes. The rest of break I slept and did homework.
            And now you’re caught up on my break! Applause all around!



12/05/2012 8:36am

WWII done!


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