Quick break away. What to do in Budapest?09:00
Just over a week ago I jetted off to Hungary to visit a friend, a short break away to have fun...instead of studying for exams, why not?
Whilst working at a camp over summer, I made friends from here there and everywhere. But you know how you have those one or two people that just top the lot, just so happens for me that one of those on the top spots was an Aussie and the other Hungarian. Cool people. A few weeks ago, the Aussie popped in to stay with me for just over a week - we climbed Snowdon, wandered round Chester and went to a vegan festival. Then off she went to travel some more, with the plan of ending up in Hungary staying with our other friend and as I had reading week the same week she was off school, we decided it would be a brilliant idea to get together and explore Budapest for a few days.
After flying out on Halloween, they picked me up from the airport and we caught a 3 hour train to her city to stay at hers for a few nights. As it was midnight when we got in, a quick meal of pasta and cabbage (which was surprisingly delicious) we hit the hay. The next day was a public holiday in Hungary called Mindenszentek, which is a day of remembrance for the deceased and families visit and place flowers on the graves of the dead. Aussie and I were very kindly welcomed along to her family home for this day and her mum cooked up a delicious feast for us - with plenty of vegan options. Seriously, I need her recipe for the broccoli soup, stuffed courgette, courgette balls ... everything basically. Then we were welcomed along to the graveyard, which at first I was a bit unsure of but it was a beautiful experience; seeing so many people visiting and remembering passed loved ones and the graveyard looked full of colour and love from all the flowers and candles on all off the graves.
Wednesday was an early start of 5am, to get a lift to Budapest and then the exploring began. After dropping the bags off at the hostel (which was £17.50 for 3 nights?!?), we went over to the Buda side and walked around, visiting the fisherman's bastion, Buda castle, Matthias church and the castle labyrinth. It was beautiful, and the view was so nice. We had quite a lot of fun in the labyrinth...me getting pretty scared at one part (which was optional to walk through) which had no lighting and a sign saying people have experienced paranormal happenings such as temperature drops and whispers in this part. Of course I was like nope, but ended up being guided through with arms around me as my eyes remained shut and I covered my ears (I know...I'm silly).
The 5am start meant we were pretty tired fairly early, so headed to get food and luckily a vegan restaurant was just down the street from the hostel, called Napfenyes, and we all got pizzas. Oh wow, they were just fab! A 30 inch vegan spelt based pizza topped with vegan cheesy goodness...it cost me about £6?! I am getting hungry just thinking about it...I even had it again on Saturday before I left.
That night back at the hostel, we made buddies with two American guys who were solo travelling Europe, so spent a few hours just chatting to them.
The next day was kind of a history day as we walked to the parliament building, went to view the shoes on the banking of the river and our Hungarian friend explained the terribly sad story behind them. Then we continued to learn more about the sad history of the country in the House of Terror. As we don't tend to learn too much about other countries histories during school, it was a complete shock to me what had happened throughout history there. I didn't even know about the revolution that was only 60 years ago! I will admit that I rarely retain the political information about anything, but it's the individual stories that always interest me and remain with me.
That evening we hung out with the Americans, went to an escape room which I am really no good in, but ah well, it was fun. Then headed out for a few drinks in which I froze...seriously outside bar areas are not a good idea when it's around 2 degrees out. But luckily warming up in the next bar made me more cheery.
Friday was our last full day together so we all headed to the szechenyi thermal baths, with a brief stop to view Vajdahunyad castle - which sadly had no water surrounding it so it wasn't the same as in photos. As well as hero's square. But oh wow, the baths were such a nice end to the trip. We stayed outside watching the sun set, the sky changing from orange to pink to purple and night. Then headed into the saunas inside, which resulted in us hopping between the outside bath and saunas which was freezing on the feet as we all forgot flip flops! Then we ended the many hours in the warmer outside pool. Oh how I wish I could go back there.
Saturday came and a 5:30 wake up to say goodbye to Aussie, which was pretty sad seeing as we most likely won't see each other till next summer. When morning came, and we checked out, we headed up to the liberty monument which was a beautiful view. Then the time came for us two to go our separate ways, so I spent the afternoon wandering round alone. Then, almost as if pathetic fallacy happened, as it started raining, so starbucks (because you know it'll have wifi) and then back to the vegan pizza.
It was one lovely trip to hang out with my summer buddies and a nice little break from uni.