After a late night I sleep in and don’t head into Budapest city until early afternoon. I arrange to meet with a Norwegian who I met at the bar last night. Not a romantic meet up but just a “two guys visiting a foreign city” meet up. I had planned to go to see some of the “sights” like some of Budapest’s museums but I end up hanging out with the Norwegian guy and walking around the city hanging out.
There’s plenty of random things to see in any city. And Budapest is no exception. There’s this cool motorbike chained up to a lamp post that I would love to ride in real life (sorry to the owner … we did not harm).
And there’s this strange tribute to Michael Jackson that we stumble across while walking through a city park. I doubt you’ll find mention of this in any guide book. There was even a lady at the tribute laying fresh flowers. I never knew Michael Jackson was so popular to Hungarians.
I did go to St Stephens Basilica though. It was amazing! Entry is free but tourists are asked to make a 200HUF ($1) donation to the upkeep of the building. I thought the building looked fantastic from the outside a month ago when I walked through Budapest for the first time. But inside it is even more amazing. The ceiling contains stunning reliefs and frescos. Photos and words cannot do it justice. It’s one of those places you just have to actually visit.
But what I like most is just wandering around seeing random sights, like this old building that is being reclaimed by nature and these rusty old gates.
At night I check out some more of the city’s gay nightlife. The Norwegian joins me on this adventure. We find a quiet lounge bar where a few people are drinking relatively cheap drinks before heading next door to a madcap karaoke bar. The karaoke bar is so camp. Some men can actually sing a bit but most probably shouldn’t apply for their respective nation’s Idol singing contests. I refrain from adding my terrible singing voice to the mix but, instead, enjoy the atmosphere. We also check out another bar with another dark cruising area out the back. In a city where a beer costs about 350-500HUF, beers here cost 600HUF and there is a minimum bar spend of 1000HUF. It’s no surprise that there are probably only about 20-25 men here (it being Sunday is probably another reason).