Hungary trip report, things to do and see in Hungary

 

Hungary



Hungary is a central European country with a troubled past. Foreign domination, first by the Ottoman Turks, followed by Austria, then after World War II by the Soviet Union, lasted almost five centuries, with Hungary properly emerging only in late 1990s as a fully independent country. It has enjoyed somewhat of a rebirth after joining the EU.


 

Budapest

The capital city was formed when Buda and Pest were joined together to create a capital for the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1873. The width of the not-so-blue Danube river separates hilly, residential Buda from its flatter, industrial counterpart Pest opposite. It's a city of historic squares/buildings, rattling trams and countless thermal Turkish baths, that were built in the 16th and 17th century, when the Ottomans ruled over Hungary for over 150 years.
Hungarian people are blunt, self-expressed and to-the-point. Whatever they're thinking, they will tell you without sugar coating it. Their language is also one of the hardest in the world, and the most interesting fact I learned is that Hungarians are required to name their children from a pre-approved list of names. If they insist on an unlisted name, they must submit an application to a government agency and hope it gets approved.


 

Shooting club

The Cold War era is long gone but the weapons of the former Soviet Union still live on in the Hungarian gun clubs, where you can pose and shoot just about any weapon. Having seen them in old war films, and played them on Playstation games, I got to feel what it's really like to let rip with an AK47, and few other classic Iron Curtain weapons. There were also sessions with more modern pistols, revolvers and rifles, which were all heavy and not as easy to fire as in the movies.
The shooting range I went to was originally a large Cold War bomb shelter just outside the centre of Budapest. Being underground means we could go nuts with powerful guns like the AK47 without upsetting the neighbours with the noise.


 

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