Friday, December 9, 2011

The Statue Park

From Mar 28, 2010

I'm back from a jaunt to Europe. My friend and I accidentally almost became fugitives from Hungarian law, tried our darndest not to laugh at a guy who kept tripping on blocks on the Charles Bridge because he was smoking and not paying attention (we failed miserably at not laughing), walked miles and miles, made a music video about sinkholes in Prague sidewalks, and had a great time.

Before the trip, I had been ruminating over getting to the Communist Statue Park in Budapest. The directions we researched, while technically correct, lacked sufficient detail. They said ride to the end of the line, turn left, and walk through the woods. Um, yeah. Ride the tram to the end of the line, turn left, walk about 2-3 blocks, turn left into the woods, take the middle trail which is probably about 2 miles or so (walk about 30-45 minutes, depending on the length of your travel partner's legs/stride and the degree of your jetlag), chug up the last hill (again, only as difficult as your jetlag is), and turn right toward the giant mushroom, as the pleasant, helpful Hungarians call it. By mushroom, they mean the water tower that looks like a UFO or a mushroom (again, depending on the degree of your jetlag). Turn left onto the road that deadends on the trail and stagger another 1/4 mile to the park. You can see it right after the garden store. You can see the arms of Communists poking above the walls of the garden store. Look around at the statues, make the YMCA sign (backwards) with one of the statues, and stagger back to your hotel.The park isn't wildly entertaining, but you can say that you possess the fortitude to get there.

The Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora is about as fun to get to, but it involves multiple buses and a test of willpower of how badly you want to see it. If you want to test the fortitude of your stomach, try out the "charming" bathrooms at the Kutna Hora bus stop. By the way, the ossuary in Rome trumps that one and is far easier to get to, so if it's a tossup if you'd like to see Czech or Roman bones, I'd say go for the Roman ones. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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