Published: May 10th 2012May 10th 2012
Picture taken from the train around Zamardi-Siofok way
...we just don't see each other as often as I see Bratislava.
This has been my 5th time in Budapest by my count, my 3rd and 4th I didn't bother writing about here, one was one of the craziest DJing trips of my life and the other was a trip with a friend. This was actually the first time I'd ever been in this city alone, so I was looking forward to exploring it without any limits.
The train journey from Zagreb was made a bit more bearable by being thrown off because of engineering works for one stop before the border, which meant we got to stretch our legs and break the painfully slow 7 hour journey up a bit. I chatted up until the border with a New Zealander and a Croat, the latter of whom got off at the border station, and the former followed me into my compartment and fell asleep while I worked on making synth patches ready for my studio work in Manchester this weekend.
I hopped off the train at Kelenföld station again, went for another beer in the same bar to freshen my mind up, then got on a deliciously
one of my favourite hungarian dishes!
oldskool tram to Kalvin Tér to my usual spot at Maxim Hostel. Their hostel cat had been replaced by a pretty excitable bulldog this time, and I was quite sore it hadn't said that on the hostelbookers page since I'm not fond of dogs. The dog and the hostel staff also occupied the kitchen, so it wasn't really possible to make breakfast. But I lived it out, it was only two nights and for the second I'd hardly be at home. My friend who I was supposed to be meeting up with on the Tuesday cancelled (again!), so I went for one beer alone in a place called "Szimpla Kért Mozi", which looked cool, but avoid the beer at all costs, it was clearly fake beer with water in it and made me feel sick.
The next day I hired a bike for half a day and set off up the Buda side of the Danube towards the town of Szentendre. This was quite a distance away, so I wasn't sure if I would make it all the way, but the ride on the west side of the river was wonderful. The island "Margit Sziget" leads from one bridge
to the next, taking you through a lovely park past an interesting zoo and some old ruins. From thereon you have a little diversion through housing estates and business parks before joining the river path, lined with cafés and bistros and incredibly peaceful. I made it as far as the enormous bridge on the ring road, which is possible to cross via a footpath, and came back on the Pest side, which wasn't so glamorous, but it was an interesting ride in that it took me through every possible colour of the city. Budapest is a good city for cycling anyway, it's very flat and there are a lot of cycle lanes around the centre.
That evening I went over to my friends' flat to play on their radio station, which was crazy swag, it was a video stream and they were filming it with a proper video camera while drinking Burn energy out of one of their branded fridges. After I closed the stream off we went to a club called Corvintető, which is basically an abandoned townhouse whose top floor has been converted to a club, with a massive open air space on the roof and everything.
It was great, but I don't understand how they manage to get people in the dancefloor area in Summer, it's too nice up on the top!
This morning I woke up, packed my stuff and checked out of the hostel and headed for Széchenyi fürdő, an old thermal spa located in the middle of the city park, which even has its own station on Metro line 1 (the lovely creaky old one which is a UNESCO world heritage site). I'd come here last year with my friend, but we were so satisfied with the three baths in the room as you walk in that we hadn't even bothered to explore, and find that there are also two outside baths and many other inside ones with many different mineral contents! The outside one with the swimming lane was too cold for me, especially after having soaked in 38°C mineral water inside for a while. I spent about an hour freshening up after the previous night before going off for something to eat then heading where I am now, in a bar outside Nyugati station, waiting for a train to take me to the airport, and then it's off to Manchester airport and then Wigan for a long weekend of making, playing and appreciating good heavy bass music.