Aquiring an Abode in Budapest

16 January 2014

We had an appointment with Gordon Cross of Budapest Lets to look at apartments at 11 am.  Gordon arrived on his BMW motorcycle and after a discussion on what we were looking for in an apartment, what he had available, and what we can afford, we headed out to view apartments. We met up with Gordon at the first apartment, which is currently rented but will be available in April. Not a bad place, but the rent is a little more than we want to pay and it is on the 5th floor. There is a small lift, really small, so small we don’t think the bikes will fit in the lift even if they are held upright.

After checking out the first apartment we walked down the river front to the second apartment. The building is about 200 meters from the river, is next Corvinus University and across from the redone Budapest C.E.T. building (aka the glass whale) which has been converted to shops and restaurants. The apartment building is next to a fairly busy road but the apartment overlooks the side road so hopefully there won’t be too much noise. Gordon warned us that this apartment had not been renovated and might seem a little run down. He was right; however, the apartment is much larger than the first with plenty of room for friends to stay with us when they visit. There is a small lift that oddly enough goes between half floors, but the apartment is only on the second floor (3rd floor in America) and the stairway is wide enough for the bikes. After some discussion, we decided to take this apartment, at least for the short term. The apartment is in 9th district close to the river, it is a little run down (think college apartment furnishings and maintenance level) but it is in an old Victorian building with an open central courtyard, so it has a sort of retro-urban decay feel. We are going to see if something a little nicer, and maybe a little smaller, comes available in our price range over the next few months before we sign a year long lease. The apartment has some water damage they are repairing but we should be able to move in by Wednesday, January 22.

After running around for 2 hours viewing apartments, we headed to the Central Market Hall for some lunch (N47 29.237 E19 03.498). The building is less than a 5 minute walk from the apartment, was designed and built around 1897, and it has a little bit of everything. The market offers a huge variety of stalls on three floors, with the basement featuring the fish mongers and pickle stalls (we figure they decided to bury the aromatic offerings in the basement), the ground floor showcasing meat and vegetable vendors (what does one do with chicken feet), and the top floor presenting a wide variety of tourist chochkies and prepared food stalls. After a lunch os stews featuring various meats with potatoes, we strolled down Raday Utca, an up and coming shopping and entertainment area about 2 blocks from what will be our new apartment. We continued on, meandering our way back to Kapital Inn and according to the GPS our wanderings for the day totaled more than 8 miles. 

We took a break back at the hotel and around 7 pm went back out to find a place for dinner. Rather than turning right on Andrassy Ut (Way.) toward the river, we turned left and headed up the street just to see what we could find. After a short walk we spotted a couple possible options on the far side of the street. Crossing at the light, (never cross in the middle of the block, people here drive even crazier than Marc does), we checked out the menu posted outside the Andrassy Bistro (N47 30.504 E19 04.102). The menu looked good and the atmosphere looked cool. We headed inside and got a table.

The waitress was very nice and spoke good English which is a big help for us. She informed us they only had traditional Hungarian food, which we thought was great so we ordered a couple beers and perused the menu. Julia got the Hofbrau Haus Citron (a Weissbeir with lemon juice), and Marc got a Dreher Bok. Dreher is a local beer, the Bok is their porter. It is pretty good; not as good as a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, but not bad. After sipping the beers, we checked out the menu and decided to order the Andrassy Plate for two. Yeah, right, for two. Anyone who says American portions are too large will reassess their portion scale after visiting the Andrassy Bistro.  The dinner arrived on a massive wooden platter, at least two feet long and one foot wide, covered with at least 4 different meats, fried cheese wedges, mushrooms, paprika’d potato wedges, red onion slices and a pickled cabbage type salads. The platter could easily serve four, and maybe six, hungry lumberjacks. There was no way we could do the platter justice. Fortunately, our friendly waitress boxed up the leftovers for us to take home. 

What a day! Day three of our adventure and it looks like we have a place to live and leftovers for days. So far so good.

© Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS 2013