Aaron Spelling Memorial Kert Crawl & The Columbian Connection
Bit of a long title but it's been a bit of a long weekend. Kicked off around 1pm when I went to Keleti train station to pick up a friend we met while travelling in South America. We met James (from Boston but family from somewhere in Colombia) at happy hour in the Mosquito Bar in Rurrenebaque, Bolivia back in October last year. He hasn't really stopped travelling since.
James is on the European part of his tour now and managed to find a spare weekend to pop over to Budapest. My challenge was to pack it full with stuff to do. I think it went okay.
To jump right into it we took part in the Aaron Spelling Memorial Kert Crawl (formerly the Marlon Brando, James Doohan and Elmer Bernstein Memorial Kert Crawls). Starting 7.30pm at Szoda Udvar we also sampled the beery delights (and perhaps an Unicum oddity) at the Kiraly Kert aka the old Szimpla Kiskert, Szimpla Kert, Pixel aka that damn place that's far out, I've never been to and is now closed so let's take taxis to the next place kert, Old West Balkan the one behind Corvin that's about to close down, New West Balkan just a bit further along the road that's already open, Tuzrakter Tuzrakter.
It was a fine evening and the gang waxed and waned but there was a pretty decent crowd out that night. There had been ideas, when planning the route, to carry on to Margit Sziget to the relocated Hold Udvar (used to be in the university courtyards at Astoria) and Cha Cha Cha Terasz (the original underground one is still in place) but it was too far and too late.
So after a Saturday of sightseeing (Castle, Matthias church, labyrinth, Chain Bridge, a closed Vasarcsarnok etc) we Meafed it up at Menza and headed to the island to carry on the crawl. Hold Udvar is a great place with cool tunes and a vibe that can hook you. Not sure why we moved on to Cha Cha Cha which was terrible (though I've only heard good things about Cha Cha Cha Underground at Kalvin ter).
Distraught that the night might be dying in front of us we took a taxi to Rom Kert. A place that I haven't been to for years. Our clubbing contact told us it's a bit of a meat market that doesn't get going until a bit after midnight then carrys on bouncing till around 3am. We arrived at the jam-packed place just after 12 and had great fun partying away until the sun started to lift his head.
Sunday came with avengence so we hid from it until aroun noon then hopped into the car (ooh, haven't written about the replacement for the Opi yet) and made our way out to the Communist scrapyard (in a good way) that is the Statue Park. Very impressive. Then back into town and up Gellerthegy to the Freedom Statue and the fabulous views to the city from the Citadella. Back on the Pest side, we went into the Basilica and up to the outside of the dome to look around town from a slightly different perspective while the orchestra played on beneath us as they were rehearsing for one of the Budafest concerts in Szent Istvan ter.
We chanced upon another friend who was listening into the classical music and then all headed off for a meal at Karma in Liszt Ferenc ter. A fine evening but our stamina was running out so after the food it was just a stroll back to the flat where the lovely lady and I collapsed. James used the opportunity to call his family on Skype and get ready for his next stop in Vienna and beyond.
Definitely the fullest weekend we've had in a while and it's been great. I wish James good fortune as he continues his round-the-world trip. If you're interested you can read about his exploits on his blog. As for me, I'll get some rest before the next visitor turns up and try to get back into the swing of blogging again on The Hungary Years.
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