Rained on in Budapest
Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
76Trip End Aug 17, 2011
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Where I stayed
Once we left the bus we found an ATM and Fabian got some Hungarian Florins for us. Then, we had to find the metro to get to our hostel. The metro was definitely an experience! I wasn't prepared for the old, old trains, or the unbelievably fast escalators! The trains made lovely squeak noises when they came grinding to a halt, and they were SO fast!! And blue. And the escalators? I can’t explain how terrifying it was to hop on to this particular escalator with my big back pack on
When we found the hostel, we had to ring the bell to get inside, and we waited for five minutes until other guests were leaving and we could get inside. When we were inside and at the reception desk, we had to wait another five minutes for the receptionist man to come check us in. When he finally came to the desk, he introduced himself, then took a painstakingly long time… It was okay though, he was a friendly old man. When we got to our room (a dorm for six) we were the only people there.
About an hour and a half later, after we decompressed from a day on the bus, made more couch requests, and figured out our plans, we went for a walk around the neighborhood and got falafel sandwiches for dinner. It was a very good falafel sandwich, nice and fresh. After dinner, we continued our walk then headed back to the hostel for some much needed sleep.
The next day we got off to a late start even though we woke up early. Neither of us was moving very fast to get anything done to get ready for the day (like taking a shower, etc.)
Fabian had done some research for things to do in Budapest, and on this one website, spottedbylocals.com, he read about some “cool backyards” and a café and bar that served cheap wine. First, we went to see the backyards. We went into the courtyard of this one building and took some pictures, and it was cool, but it wasn’t totally spectacular. Then we went in the direction of the bar with the cheap wine, and saw some street drama (there were about five cops standing around a woman who looked dead or passed out) along the way. When we got to the bar, it was very empty, but it did look cool. Because it was only noon, we decided on cappuccinos instead of wine, and sat inside for a little while drinking our bad coffee.
It was very amusing, because everyone I’ve talked to has said how amazing Budapest is, and that it is the most enchanting city ever. However, our first impressions were not so enthusiastic. After our coffee, we went to the train station to get tickets to Belgrade, and then walked in the direction of Old Town to see if we could figure out what everyone loved about the city.
We didn’t get too far before we decided to eat again… :D We walked along this one street that looked like a nice boulevard with lots of big trees and restaurants, and we stopped at the Square Café for the €4 lunch special (pea soup, goulash, and watermelon). The food was excellent, the beer was decent. We sat at the restaurant for about an hour and a half which was much needed recuperation time
After lunch we made our way farther into the center, and saw the Old Town and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Eventually we made our way to the river, got rained on, then decided to go back to the hostel. On the way back to the hostel we found this nifty ice shop where they scooped your ice cream into your cone and shaped it like a rose! It was cool, pretty good ice, but a very tiny portion for the price. It was worth it though! :)
We didn’t do much for the rest of the evening except relax and figure out hostel/couch surfing details for the next few weeks.
The next day, we just did lots of walking around the center. We got rained on, it was cold, and the sun was hiding from us. :( Toward the end of the day we did stop at a Jewish bakery and had a slice of flódni, a sour cherry dumpling, and cappuccino’s. When we ordered, it hadn’t quite started raining, but during the time we sat there, it down poured epic style. We sat out the rain for a little while, then went to see the big famous synagogue.
After we saw the outside of the synagogue, we walked in the direction of a bar that Fabian read about, and on the way, we happened across a free concert! It was a ragtime band and they were awesome! Listening to the music made me want to have a ragtime party, unfortunately I don’t see a good opportunity/excuse to throw a ragtime party in the near future. :( After the short concert in the rain, we went to the bar.
This bar was probably the coolest bar in Budapest. It was in a courtyard, and the whole thing was outside, but with a tarp-like ceiling. The atmosphere was really nifty, we had a beer and a shot of cherry brandy, palinka, that is traditional in Hungary. Once again, we made our way back to the hostel to pack and relax for our last night in Budapest.