Wednesday, 17 April 2013: Wednesday morning, we had a tour of the National Opera House of Hungary. It was such an amazing tour and building! Fun fact: when the opera house originally opened, it had one of the first “air conditioning” systems in Europe, had the most advanced opera scenery system in the world, and was created by only Hungarian workers.
After we finished our tour of the opera house, we walked to the House of Terror Museum, where we learned about the Hungarian Jews in World War II and the Soviet occupation of Hungary. It was fascinating and heart-breaking to learn about all of the horrors that occurred in this country during those years. One thing that was really interesting was that the museum is housed in the old building that was used as headquarters by the Soviets and Nazis, and the basement was used as a prison and torture chambers.
After the House of Terror, we ventured to lunch and Heroes Square. At Heroes Square, we decided to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, where I was delighted to see works by some of my favorite artists, including: Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Durer, Corot, Pissarro and many more.
After our museum exploration for the day, we grabbed tea at a cafe across the street, re-boosted our energy and walked toward home, stopping at one of the best gift shops in Budapest. That evening we went out for some delicious pizza and then ventured to the original “ruin bar,” Szimpla Kert for a night out. Szimpla Kert is definitely a place to add to a list when visiting Budapest–it was so cool!
Thursday, 18 April 2013: My last day in Budapest was a more relaxed adventure, but still very fun! We started the day off by purchasing tickets to go to Athens this summer, which is going to be absolutely awesome! After our flights were purchased, we headed through Budapest to the Great Market Hall to see what cool local things we could find. We definitely struck gold on souvenirs! I got an absolutely beautiful hand-made lace table runner (and I cannot begin to tell anyone HOW excited I am about my purchase–it’s awesome!). We then ate lunch at some of the local stalls in the market hall–I had the best goose leg a girl could ask for!