Published: February 24th 2012February 23rd 2012
Hello Blogreaders! Nice to have you back
Right now I am in Vienna, Austria so I have some catching up to do. After being home for a few weeks, I went to London, England to spend my 30th birthday with Nicci. All of that will be blogged about later cause I am returning to London next week and will just do one post covering it all.
So on Feb 19th I flew to Budapest, Hungary from London on EasyJet, one of Europe’s low cost airlines. Actually had no problems! Well no problems till I got to Hungary. Really it was only a small thing at the time so please try to contain your excitement. I had the directions to my hostel written down which was basically catching two trains and walking five minutes. When I landed I went to the ATM to take out 20,000 forint (about $100). The ATM gave it to me in two 10,000. I walked 15 minutes in the freezing cold and light snow to the train station which only accepted coins and small bills and nobody there could give me change for it and the next train is in 20
minutes. I ran back to the airport with my pack on, bought a water for 200 forint and ran back. I ended up buying the ticket as the train was pulling up, close call but one of the top stories of my trip I bet.
I did eventually make my hostel, The Groove Hostel. Despite being a top rated hostel, there were only five people there that night. I didn’t wake up and actually get out of bed till about 1pm the next day. Got all my warm clothing on and gave myself a walking tour of the Pest side. I walked down the river to the Parliament building and then continued south to a shopping / backpacker street called Vaci. Next towards the Temple and jewish community area but then it started to rain lightly so I headed back to the hostel. In total i walked about 4 hours. Now there is only one other person at the hostel.
The next day I did about the same thing but walked the Buda side of the city. I crossed the beautiful Szechenyi bridge which took me to a giant hill where the Buda Castle
sits on top of. Halfway up the hill and freezing, I decided to defrost a little indoors while eating some Hungarian Goulash, it was pretty good. I continued on to the Fisherman’s Mathias Church before following the river back, crossing another bridge and back to the hostel and the warmth. Still only one other person here and she doesn’t speak English. So I ended up watching a movie and working on what will be the best blog entry in history, my final blog entry which will be coming in a few weeks time.
My last full day there I walked down the famous Andrassy Street, a UNESCO site but wasn’t that impressed. It is lined with beautiful old buildings but for some reason I wasn’t entertained. Maybe since I have seen all this before in so many cities I am getting a little to used to it, one of the downsides of traveling so much in a year. Well at the end of the street is a park where hundreds of people were ice skating over a frozen pond with loudspeakers playing 80’s American music. A little bit further was the Szechenyi Bath & Spa which is
one of the top attractions in Budapest. I went in and paid what was roughly $15 to enjoy the thermal springs in Europe’s largest bath complex. They have 3 heated outdoor pools and 15 heated indoor pools which I enjoyed for about two hours. I couldn’t believe how many people were there considering it was a weekday in the winter but I did happen to connect to what appeared to be the only other tourist, an American guy on a work holiday. We ended up chatting and switching pools every 10 minutes or so before I started my walk back to the hostel. I did finally get a roommate in my six bunk dorm, a Mexican guy living in England. We ate some dinner together at a nearby Turkish place but I had to go back cause I had a bus at 7am to Vienna the next morning.
In general, I thought Budapest was alright, I think I would have liked it better if it was summer and the weather would be nicer and more tourist there. The local people in Budapest were very nice and helpful and spoke very good English. I did end up going
to McDonalds and they had an amazing burger that basically had a large mozzarella stick on it. I also enjoyed the cars here, they must be doing something right cause in my few days I saw at least 5 ferrari’s, 10 porches and many top end Mercedes. I also noticed the Hungarians love of bronze statues. Every 100 feet you see a different one, they even recently put one up of Steve Jobs! I think I will end up coming back there sometime in the future when the weather is nicer, come on global warming.
There are more photos below