Pillow Fights, Flash Mobs, and Harmonicas...I Love This City!
Budapest Travel Blog› entry 31 of 98 › view all entries
After braving some rather grungy showers this morning, I headed off to find Laurie and Sonia, the girls I had met in my room in Vienna. Today was to be all about seeing the Buda side of the river, and we couldn't stop snapping photos from the Chain Bridge on our way over to Margerit Island. From there you can see the Parliament, the castle, etc. and it's beautiful. The guide book in the hostel had said it was very nice and lively on the weekends, and it was nice to see locals just enjoying the great weather, but it was nothing special, so soon we were off to see castle hill. With it's crazy tiled roof that appeared to have flowers on it, the main cathedral was beautiful, as was the palace complex. Walking along the river we had been wondering where all the tourists were.
With Laurie's feet killing her, we decided to sit down and get some 'gelato' (which was much more like regular ice cream) near the middle of the hill, close to the finicular. At the bottom, we noticed that there was a very large group of people making a roucus and waving white things around. We couldn't figure out what was going on, and the German couple next to us suggested that it might be a riot about the elections that were the following week. After about 15 minutes of watching this,my face changed and it finally hit me: It's International Pillow Fight Day! I had read about it in Interlaken when Stephen and I were looking up holidays to randomly celebrate.
Getting down the hill as fast as we could, all three of us were suddenly wide awake again, and giddy as little kids. There were feathers flying everywhere, people being hoisted up in the air, and people pummelling each other with pillows of all shapes and colors on all sides of us. It was amazing! I couldn't stop smiling and taking photos, not managing to get a place of the concrete that looked over it all and was filled with people with fancy cameras trying to get in on the action in their own way. As that was winding down, we heard a big Vrrooooomm! All of a sudden the street was filled with a giant procession of motorcycles of all types. What the heck is going on? I don't know, but I like it! Budapest keeps getting better and better by the hour, throwing surprises at us from the left and right.
More surprises still as we headed through town and along the river-there was a festival going on in the middle of a giant square, complete with girls dancing in a circle with crazy dresses, one of them holding a life size doll in the air as she danced. How bizarre. Then we saw Native American looking people (no idea what they were, Native American people dancing and playing in the street might indicate something about America, but we're in Hungary) were playing the harmonica and some other instrument. Finally we made it to the street we were hunting for, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of real Hungarian goulash, and I was satisfied to the bone. I ended up crashing at the apartment they were staying at after some wine, as there was no way I was going to be able to make it from the Pest side to the Buda side of the river. What an amazing day though!