Sunday, February 1, 2009

Budapest Badges

Let's imagine that the Boy/Girl Scouts decided to create a Budapest line of badges. This is your guide to earning the complete set (The Budapest Triumvirate):

Badge #1: Culinary
To earn this Budapest badge, you should first begin with an empty stomach. Begin at any restaurant on Vaci Utca, the tourist drag. Order Goulash. Do not expect the thick stew of non-Hungarian Goulash. Here in Hungary it is a light broth flavored with paprika, a few chunks of meat and vegetables swimming inside. Next, proceed to the upper floor of the Grand Central Market, to a stand labeled "Langos." Order one of the flat circular griddle cakes with your choice of toppings: garlic, cheese, or something even more daring. Enjoy this crisp savory doughnut for as long as you can, but feel free to throw away one half or less, as it is incredibly large. Finally, proceed to the adorable dining mecca of Radday Utca. Choose any restaurant you wish, though if you want the best pizza you've ever eaten,  try Trattoria or Mojito. You will escape tourist central here in the friendly environs of Radday, enjoy listening to the Hungarian being spoken around you.

Badge #2: Outdoor
To earn this Budapest badge, begin at the edge of the Chain Bridge. This bridge was completely destroyed by bombing in the 20th century, but rapidly re-built into the delightful statue-covered walkway you now see before you. Walk it. Admire the view of the multi-spired parliament building across the way and watch the ducks diving into the Danube. When you reach the other side, avoid the Funicular. Instead take the switchbacks up castle hill. When you reach the top, snap a photo for proof and then gaze across the urban wilderness of Pest from the Buda hills. Marvel at just how big Budapest really is, and be glad you're not in charge of writing a new guidebook for the city.

Badge #3: Cultural
To earn this Budapest Badge, begin at the bus stop for the Communist Statue Park. Ha ha. Just kidding. We would never put you through a visit to this underfunded and frigid museum. Instead, begin with a stroll down Andrassy Avenue, enjoying views of St. Stephen's Basilica and the National Opera House. Watch the young skateboarders doing tricks on benches and the wealthiest tourists strolling through Gucci. Take at least one silly photo with a statue - this is mandatory. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA underfunded, frigid, communist statue park with gooey clay paths and NO WAY OUT until one hour and 22 minutes after taking Tour and not reading informative background materials because there weren't any. Enjoyed yesterday's conversation a lot. Still no phones.
love, mom