Sunday, January 26, 2014

Budapest, where we sang our way through the city

 I was on a roll with blogging in December, but then intensives started and suddenly I was really busy. But here we go again!

The next morning/afternoon, we headed out into Budapest again, with the goal of seeing the inside of the Parliament building.

As many of you know, the Clouds and the Hillard families are very musical and we sing a lot. Lilly said it was like traveling in a musical with us, since we are always singing. We all wandered around, laughing and singing. It was great. It feels like we've known their family for forever!

We bought our tickets, then wandered around the area with the Parliament building before our time slot.

The bridge to the right is a statue of a man named Imre Nagy, who was a Hungarian communist, killed by the Soviet communists following a revolution.

Here's the parliament building from afar.

We found a statue of Ronald Reagan, which is relatively new, which is explains why I don't remember it even though I definitely walked through that square in 2009. It was made to honor his role in ending communism in Hungary.
It's 7 feet tall, which for some reason I didn't notice at the time. It's located near the US embassy.

We walked around for a while, looking at the interesting buildings in the vicinity of the Parliament building. I believe one of those buildings is the embassy.
 The Hungarian National bank is located in the square, as well as a tv station.

 This was one of many pictures taken in front of the building because Anna and Adrienne are ridiculous.

 We found a small fountain area.
 Naturally Adrienne and Lilly went through the water.

 We continued walking, then bought some souvenirs and headed back to the Parliament building.

 We found another statue of a moustached man.
 There's St. Peter's.

 The girls and their moustaches.

We walked back and witnessed segways going through the water. That seemed unsafe.
There was a boat on the corner of that building.
 Pizza Eataliano.
 There's the statue of Imre Nagy again.
 Adrienne and Anna and their friend Imre, the communist.
 The street and area around the Parliament building were under construction, which was too bad.
 There were construction workers lingering around the waiting area to go in the building.
 Then we walked through a fenced area to go inside.

There's the Hungarian flag on the Parliament building.

A little history about the building:

It's one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, built in the late 1800's. It's the largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest.

1000 people helped build it, using 40,000 bricks, 500,000 precious stones and 88 pounds of gold.

It's symmetrical and has identical parliament halls inside. Transylvanian leaders and famous military people.
Those items were not permitted. Unfortunately, I brought my assault rifle and was turned away.

The inside was beautiful! I didn't go inside on my first trip to Hungary, so it was great to go inside this time!
 Everything was intricate and ornate.

 There were frescoes on the ceilings that were beautiful.
 Lots of gold inside and interesting designs.

This was the carpet. Quite beautiful.
 Some statues on the inside.

 We saw the Holy Crown of Hungary, which was used in coronations of Hungarian beginning in the 12th century. The kings were not considered legitimate until they were crowned with that crown. It's also known as the Crown of St. Stephen (Stephen I, King of Hungary). It was a very important crown.

Of course we couldn't take a picture of it.

This was, I believe, the conference hall. Look how beautiful it is!

 So beautiful.
 Various family crests.

This was the thing that held the Parliamentary men's cigars. They would smoke cigars after a particularly good speech, saying "That speech is worth a Havana."

They can't do that anymore.

After the Parliament, we headed down to the river (approximately 3 feet away) to catch a boat ride as part of our transportation back.

We missed the boat, so we just walked along the river, which was very nice.

We took a lot of ridiculous pictures, most of which were photobombs and will be in the photobomb blog.
 Here's the view of the area we'd walked around the previous day.

 'Twas quite beautiful

Adrienne happy.

 Adrienne annoyed.
 Lilly and I

 "Ok, I think you got it."

 The girls kind of cooperating, except for Adrienne.
 And Allison.
 Apparently only Allison was trying to whip her hair.

 Look at me in the back...
 And I failed again...
 A normal picture! What a surprise!
 It's a ring wraith!

 Whoever took this did a terrible job...

 We headed back to the subway, then took a bus to the house.

Here is a statue of a dog.
 Adrienne decided to do some ballet since no one was around.

Anna just decided to get in front of all the pictures.
 I love this picture of Anna...

 There were some insanely steep escalators! And fast ones as well!
 This is the neighborhood Lilly and her parents live in. It's very cute!

 I think these pictures were from a different day, but I forgot about them since they're from my phone.

We got back to the house via bus, which bounced us around with hilariously ridiculous violence and we made it back just in time for dinner. Nora and Peter joined us for dinner.
Their house. It's so cute! I love it.
 The stew we had the night before.
The giant pot of stew that we ate. So delicious

We all chatted for a long time and ate BBQ. It was great! We discussed everything, including Rick rolling which I had never heard of. Allison played the song and Peter immediately recognized it as Rick Asley. Adrienne discussed all the people she's rick-rolled. pretty hilarious.

This is the wonderful carrot/garlic/mayo/mustard/cheese bread spread that I cannot even explain to you how wonderful it is.

 This is the subway.

Blurry steep escalator.

Below is more of the neighborhood. The last few pictures got all mixed up, but that's ok.

We had a wonderful day and a wonderful dinner later! It was great.

The Clouds headed home the next morning and we had one more day in Hungary, before heading to Vienna! More to come, soon hopefully. My aunt and uncle will be here this weekend, so there might be a bit of a break again before the next one. I'm trying my best! It's a little overwhelming!

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