As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the month of February in Hungary playing for ZTE KK in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary which is about 2.5 hours from Budapest. When I signed the contract I was excited to see the country because I heard only good things about it from former teammates who have played there. I had also heard great things about Budapest. This was interesting to me because I do not normally think of Budapest when I think of great European cities. My mind was completely changed after spending one night there.
I knew I needed to make it to Budapest as soon as possible when I learned that I was going to be leaving Hungary. Unfortunately my team made things a little difficult for me. I needed to receive my money before I left and the guy who was supposed to give it to me never seemed to be around. I had heard he was in Vienna and then I had heard he was skiing in the mountains and then they just didn't know where he was. I was growing extremely frustrated because I wanted to get home and also because I wanted to be able to see Budapest.
I arrived in the city at 3 o'clock, checked into my hotel and immediately took the subway into the center. I am a fan of public transportation when I travel but I always make sure to see if it is safe beforehand. I asked my coach and he told me there would be no problems. Before I left the hotel, I took a city map and asked the concierge which subway stop to get off at. I was a little disappointed that it was cold and snowing but I was determined to make the most out of my trip.
The subway ride into the center was only 20 minutes and I was excited to see another European capital city. After examining my city map, I got off at my subway stop and took a right. Apparently I can not read a map very well because that was the wrong turn to make. As I said earlier, I wanted to walk along the Danube and see all the major sights. If I would have taken a left, then I would have been at the Danube in 5 minutes. Instead, I wandered around downtown Budapest for an hour before I got to the Danube and when I finally got there, I was at the wrong end of it. It was a very frustrating experience because I missed all of the light of day, I was wet from the snow and I had no idea where I was. I spotted a Starbucks on my wandering though and purchased a cup of coffee as well as some cool Starbucks Budapest and Hungary mugs to cheer me up.
|Hungarian Parliament building along the river.|
I spent the next 2 hours walking up and down one side of the river. I wanted to make it to Fisherman's Wharf and see a great view of the city but it was late and I did not have time. Of course the batteries died on my camera after I took 2 pictures but I quickly found a convenience store and took some more pictures.
|Opera House on Andrassy Avenue.|