recap: I got up Buda Hill, and managed to escape the scary lady with the skirt. Took a couple of photos, and found the entry to the OMGSAUSAGEFESTIVAL which was in fact the OMGPALINKAANDSAUSAGEFESTIVAL. OMG.
It cost HUF1700 to get in which was about $12 or 6 Euros. For that, you got a voucher for 500 Forints that you could spend at the festival, as well as a tasting glass with Palinka festival on it. I of course had no idea what I would get for 500 Forints but decided it was worth a go.
Wandering around, I saw sausages, beer and Palinka. Hungarian Spirit. OMG.
I wandered around and really wasn’t hungry at all. There were some quite nice looking sausages (omg I don’t believe I said that) but nothing that tempted me. Food was not something I was ready to face, after my OMGClubSandwich and OMG – well, that thing that I may or may not have eaten.
Gathering my courage, I went up to a booth and ordered a tasting glass (130ml) of Barackpalinka – Apricot Palinka. Sounded good, and I think(but may be confused) that apricot things are kind of a Hungarian specialty.
O.M.G. With eleventy ones to match.
I took a sip, and my eyes started watering. Then all my taste buds burned out. Then I started gasping for breath.
All this in the first millisecond or two.
“I can do this. Surely I’ve drunk worse,” I told myself sternly, and swallowed.
and then a really quite nice apricotty after-taste.
I took a deep breath.
I looked around at all the other people drinking their Palinka, and slapped myself for being a bit pathetic.
I eyed my glass.
3 … 2 … 1.
The second sip was even more astonishing than the first. And astonishing is the most polite word I can think of to use here. There are many other options, trust me. Holy Hungarian Spirit! I confess, dear readers, I was defeated.
And so, I did something that could cause my Australian citizenship to be revoked. I left the sausage festival (handing my remaining 300 Forints in vouchers to a surprised group of people who were just coming in), went out into the courtyard and TIPPED MY PALINKA ONTO THE GRASS.
I am so ashamed.
There will NEVER be grass in that spot again.
But OMG it was completely undrinkable. My respect for Hungarian people has gone up about five THOUSAND percent. It must have been about one million proof. They don’t translate the word palinka because it is illegal in 57 countries and all the world’s armed forces. OMG!!!!!
The way that I thought I wanted to go was blocked by the VIP area of the Sausage Festival, so I had to go out the back way. There was a lovely courtyard, a statue of some people with some dogs (possibly quite an important statue), and, eventually, the Hungarian National Gallery. I snuck through the building to the other side without looking at anything. It was 5pm and I hadn’t given up hope of finding the SECRET MILITARY HOSPITAL IN A BUNKER. Which the australian woman in the shop had said was well worth a visit.
Out the back was a rather lovely courtyard that was nearly deserted, so I amused myself taking photos. Including of some americans who asked if I would take their photo (I should have asked them to do likewise but didn’t think of it at the time). Wandered down some stairs and through a doorway, and eventually found myself on the big driveway up to Buda Castle. Somehow I had completely missed the Fishermen’s Bastion, which I had planned to visit. It is possible that it had fallen into the Danube, but it is more likely that my navigation skills OMGSUCK. With the sun in the wrong place, I keep trying to turn west instead of east.
After some photo stops along the way (my photo skills suck in general, mostly because I get fed up with waiting to get the perfect shot so I settle for the OMGREALLYRATHERCRAPPYINSTEAD shot, but I think some of these are rather beautiful. I guess if you start with somewhere as stunning as Budapest you can’t really go far wrong.), I reached the foot of Buda hill – right near the Siklo, or Funicular. Side note: I’ve only seen two Funiculars ever – one in Graz, to get up the Schlossberg, and the one in Budapest. I suspect, though, that the “lifts” on the Eiffel Tower might work on the same principle.
Right now, though, I was more interested in the toilet. Which cost OMG100 Forints – that’s more than twice what most of the other toilets seemed to cost. I didn’t really want to argue, though.
Wandered back slowly through Budapest, attempting some night photography (with very limited success), stopping to buy some amazing headband thingies for the girls (3,000 Forints, or 5,000 if you buy 2). I suspect that was still way overpriced but they are very pretty and the kids will love them. Unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to get E to model one for posterity. Another time, perhaps.
(wow. It has taken 40 minutes to write this much. I am a bit quicker when I am writing about what happened the same day, but still … oops …)
Met up with E back at the apartment and we nerded for a while (I even did some packing – deciding that I OMGREALLYNEEDED to post some stuff home really soon) before heading out for dinner. He was keen to find some more postcards, and I had more stamps to be used, but we didn’t find anything. We did, however, add to the Parking in Budapest essay. Tram tracks are apparently parking spaces. Go figure.
We ended up back on Raday Utca at the Red Cafe, where most of the blankets were, appropriately, red. Full marks for theme. We, however, sat at a table with green blankets instead.
Dinner was a very Hungarian greek salad. OK, a not even remotely Hungarian except in its deliciousness Greek Salad. In this restaurant, lemonade meant soda water with lemon cordial at the bottom. Yummy. I think perhaps I could make a photo essay of Lemonads I Have Drunk Around The World. But the fruit shop/tree one will always win.
E refused to pose in a blanket. I think he is worried about his professional credibility. I, on the other hand, have no such qualms.
And so ended Sunday.