After a long day of walking I met up with Taylor, a Illinoisan that I met through Couchsurfing, she was nice enough to let me stay at her apartment the two nights I was in Budapest. The next day I went for another long walk, seeing most of Budapest. The Parliament, Hungarian Bath, the Island I napped on, and watching the Spain vs Portugal game in the center Park with my new friends Chris and Taylor were the highlights of the day. Bad for me but good for the people of Hungary I was unable to go inside the Parliament since the government was in session, I was however able to enjoy a long afternoon inside the Hungarian Bath located inside of city park. Inside the bathe there are saunas, steam rooms, whirl pools, and normal pools. Outside there are 3 large pools, each of different temperatures, you go from one pool to the next slowly allowing the different water temperatures to loosen and relax your boday. After the Bathe I headed to the island on the River and watched the large fountain show and took a well deserved nap. After that I met up with Chris, an Australian, and Taylor. The 3 of us went to the central park where there was a big screen to watch the world cup game won by eventual champion Spain. The next morning Chris and I walked more of the city and then I took off and headed to Vienna.
While Budapest wasn't my favorite city I visited this summer it was well worth the visit and a nice place to visit for a few days.
From Budapest I headed by train to my favorite destination of the summer so far- Vienna, Austria. Part of the reason I liked the city so much was that I acted in a movie while I was there. While on the train ride to Vienna, I met Jim and his wife and their daughter. Jim is a film professor in North Dakota and needed someone to play the part of a hired assign in his independent film move based around two C.I.A. agents. After assuring Jim that I was a horrible actor, he convinced me to shoot one scene on the train and several more the next few days. I ended up shooting about 6 scenes with Jim, I will let you guys know when the film can be viewed to see my acting debut (if I didn't get cut out, which I told Jim was perfectly okay). A fun and random experience that helped boost Vienna to the top of my ratings.
Me and my French co-star
Taking a step back, Vienna itself, it was amazing. Having been to the Western part of Austria I figured all of Austria was similar, every city surrounded with Mountains. Quickly realizing my ignorance and not seeing any mountains I found the description of Vienna as the Paris of the East to be pretty accurate. You could really feel the life and culture of the city just from walking around. The city was full of history and old architecture but at the same had so much life and energy from its people and style. The stay was great as well because I was able to stay with friends of a friend the whole time I was there. The first night I stayed with Manuel. Manuel and his friends took me out the first night I was there, down to the beach along the river and then to a University Party in the center courtyard of an old hospital.
The next day couple of days I walked around the whole city. Around and about parks, squares, and old buildings. I first went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum which was located in the Museum Quarters of Vienna. An area with a ton of huge Museum's located inside gorgeous buildings.
The other museum I went to was the Albertina, which ended up being one of my favorites I have ever been to. The Albertina had 4 floors, each with different exhibits and one permanent wing of impressionist art. The exhibits that were really cool and worth checking out are works by American artists Walton Ford and Alex Katz and the photography of Heinrich Kuhn.
I also made it to the Belvedere Palace and the Imperial Palace, which was gorgeous and on the same grounds as the Vienna Zoo. Each had great gardens, the one at the Imperial Palace was impeccable. From the top hill in the distance of the picture you can see all of Vienna.
The other two nights I was in Vienna I stayed with Victoria, an American working and studying in Vienna. Her flat was right in the heart of Vienna, I couldn't have asked for a better location to have a free place to stay for two nights. Right in the center of Vienna there were a ton of churches, parliament, museums, street performers, concerts, and parks. It was amazing just to wander around the small little area and be amazed at how much was going on. The life and feel of it was great.
The two nights I stayed with Tori, she took me out to a fun bar with her boyfriend Tom and her friend Mattia. I finally got to play darts and after not playing for a long time, the four of us quickly realized none of us were dart players but had a great time being awful together. We hung out at an Irish Pub most of the night and met a ton of locals, which was a great way to get a feel for what the city is about. I could not have asked for a better way to experience the night life.
After our second night out together I grabbed a quick night of sleep and sadly with not enough time in Vienna I grabbed a morning train to Prague, a fourth full day in the city could have been used for sure. I will let the excitement and anticipation grow again and I will post part 3 soon. Hope everyone has been doing well, would love to about whats new with you as well.