Friday, February 11, 2011

Budapest Christmas Market

Sorry you guys are all pumped for Valentine's Day this week, and we have a Christmas post! We are still catching up on all the heaps of photos we have yet to share from our travels.

I thought we were saying goodbye to Christmas markets and hot wine in Vienna, but I was pleasantly surprised to see them when we arrived in Budapest! The temperature outside was so incredibly cold, but the place was still packed with people. Little wooden booths were lined up in rows, selling gifts, ornaments, and all sorts of hand crafted things. More booths had freshly cooked Hungarian food, smoked meats/sausages, and baked desserts like chimney cakes. Gluhwein (hot, spiced wine) was served all over the place to warm up cold fingers. The building next door was a giant advent calendar--a window is opened every day leading up to Christmas. Trees and buildings were decked with lights and decorations.

This Christmas Market may have been even better that Vienna's, just because of all the delicious food for sale! Wooden picnic tables were stuffed with visitors taking a snack break. Yuriy and I soon joined them with giant sausages and mustard, shish-kabobs, and yummy homey potatoes. There is something about Hungarian food that just hits the spot. Every meal we had was so hearty. Some tastes reminded us of something our Ukrainian moms would cook. Later we learned during a tour that the typical Hungarian meal has 2000 calories-- it's no wonder everything tasted so good! Hungarians deep fry everything, even fruit. The "fast food" of the Communist Era in Budapest was a sausage with mustard and bread--filling, yummy, and cheap. I found myself craving sausage with mustard all the days we were in Budapest and we came back to the market just for that.

You only have 10 months to wait until next Christmas season. If you can, venture over to Budapest's Christmas markets and you will thank me, even if you gain a few pounds. 

- Julia

P.S. This is the last post for Budapest. Next is Ukraine!