And so what a beautiful city Budapest is! 6 of us left from Florenc station on Friday afternoon, and it took us 8 hours by coach to get there- stopping off at Brno, Gyor (?) and Bratislava along the way. We arrived at Budapest around 11pm, and when we eventually found our hostel it was a dump- the guy was high off his face and hadn’t been expecting us, we’d booked 8 beds but there were only 6 (luckily 2 of us couldn’t make it) and the beds had just been left since the last person to sleep there. So we dumped our stuff, went out for a drink, then returned a few hours later. The guy had given us sheets and stuff but no bedsheets, and it was just all so…. grim. It was probably the second worst hostel I’ve ever stayed in- the worst still has to be from Qingdao, where rubbish including condoms had been swept under the bed and there was blood on my sheets! And sand in the half-a-door bathroom, no wifi, no anything really… but I did make 2 awesome friends there and we travelled on together to the next hostel which was far better haha. Anyway, back to Budapest! We got chatting to the American girls in our dorm the next morning, so again bad hostels can be good for making friends haha, and the hostel guy apparantly didn’t usually turn up until 2pm. So we packed our stuff, left a note with our key and scarpered!
Thank the lord for Hannah because she discovered an apartment for our stay, which was double the price but it was in a better location, and just generally a really nice place! So on the Saturday we had a nice mooch- we visited Heroes Square, then we stumbled across a Hungarian market, so we sat down with our market-bought food and watched the Hungarian traditional dancing. Afterwards, we crossed the Chain Bridge and walked/climbed to the top of the castle, which had an amazing view of the city and Danube river. That evening, we headed out to a ruin pub- pubs in really old buildings, and the one we went to (mind is hazy) was really good! I remember sitting on a car. Then we went to a few other bars, one called Jellyfish, another called Kerplunk, and then some sort of basement club afterwards. I ended the night being given a kebab so it was perfect really! Needless to say we all slept heavily that night and woke up the next morning feeling much cleaner and generally better compared to the hostel. On the Sunday we all fluttered off to do our own things after a Thai lunch- Laura and Zeynep visited the baths, Christopher and Hannah met their friends, and me and Chris went on a walking tour we saw advertised. And it was so much fun! We started the tour at St Stephens Basilica, where after a quick spell of rain/snow we learnt that no kings or traditionally celebrated people are buried there, but a famous multiple-goal-scoring Hungarian footballer is! Naturally I don’t know the names, as football is certainly not my forte. We worked our way around the main part of the city, around 30 in our group with a great tour guide (I was total Woman Crush Sunday-ing over her), where we walked through a park, saw The Little Princess, crossed the Chain Bridge and… visited the castle again! However this time we were there to see the changing of the guards which was pretty cool… men in uniform and all that. Oh, and the tradition/history behind it too 🙂
The tour ended at the Fishermans Bastilion (I think that’s what it’s called…) and we decided to visit Elizabeth Island afterwards. It’s supposed to be a simple bus trip but we missed the stop on the bridge so we caught the bus back but there wasn’t a stop on the other side AHH so when we eventually got off the bus we just walked it! Oh well!!! The island was really nice, also it had a 5k running track which seemed like a good idea.
Anyway we had a restaurant booking for that night but we were all shattered and went for dinner nearby before sleeping the night away! On the final day, Monday, we went for breakfast which was delicious, then went for another wander round passing the Parliament Building and dedication of Jewish shoes lined along the river, before catching our bus back to Prague. We got back at 1.15am, ran for our nightbus which we successfully made (the next one wasn’t for another half an hour) and I was up at 6.30am ready for a full day at primary school and pre-school!
I had a great time in Budapest and I’d love to go back- I really liked the scene, it seemed like a very backpackery type of place. I’d never been there before, so that’s another city ticked off my list now!