Buda and Pest
Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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Where I stayed
The customs queue at Budapest airport was ridiculous, but we eventually found the EU line and I went through swiftly with Phil
Another taxi took us to our hotel. We were on a budget, but were somewhat shocked when we walked into our bright orange room with a bathroom that seemed like we were still on a plane. The bed was shoved up into one corner, and the TV had no remote control. Just like Ryanair, the EasyHotel (an arm of EasyJet) charged for every other thing that most hotel rooms come equipped with. It was a basic room, but for £25 a night we couldn't complain.
We set off in search of food and after a short walk came upon a few terrace eateries. We considered the goulash but decided we weren't ready for such a meal. Instead I got some pasta and Phil a beef stew. Then we were energised and ready to hit the frog and toad.
We spent the afternoon walking around town and having a look at various sights, going up to the top of St Stephen's Cathedral and checking out the view. Having been in some of the biggest churches in the world, I'd never been up to the top of one (the reason being all the bloody stairs). So when I learnt there was a lift to take us to the top I was all up for it. I did have to use the stairs to get back down again, but that was easy.
After a rest back at the hotel (which seems to be part of our holidaying routine now!) we grabbed some dinner and then Phil took me to one of the bars he'd been to when he was in Budapest last year for his stag weekend
On Sunday we'd decided that we'd spend the day cruising around town on some hire bikes. So we grabbed some breakfast and then got ourselves some trendy cycles. It was going to be a warm day so the sunscreen and sunnies went on and then we set off to explore. Phil set the pace, I lagged behind most of the time, but we always met again when the lights turned red. First stop was Heroes Square. We then had a look at a castle in the park and stopped for an icy pole, even though we'd only been riding for about 20 minutes! We contemplated a visit to the beer festival that was happening in the grounds, but thought better of it, opting to have drinks later in the day instead. We cruised on and had a look at a synagogue and then stopped for some lunch in a square near St Stephens. A bit of rest and an ice cream and we had just about had enough. So we returned the bikes and wandered back to the hotel for our ritual afternoon nap.
It had been about 30 degrees during the day so a drink was definitely in order. We got some dinner at a nearby pub and then made our way to another ruin bar which I thought was cooler than the first one we went to. I got on the cocktails and after some navigation mayhem (Phil can't read a map to save himself) we made it back to the pub a few doors down from the hotel.
Monday was yet another warm day, and we'd decided to spend it in the thermal baths. We stopped for a gyros on the way, despite the childhood myth that we shouldn't swim with a full stomach
On Tuesday we'd decided that we'd go over to the Buda side, crossing the Danube river to do so. We had a look at the church on the hill and the surrounding village, but I decided that I was sick of walking around looking at things, so we ended up back on the Pest side. A few pints down and we ended up back at Instant slugging down yet more beer, playing air hockey, and then tripping up a steel step. The bruise is still on my leg over a week later, and still painful. Ouch!
I'd spotted a nearby kebab shop earlier in the afternoon so we grabbed a kebab and wandered back to our hotel, me complaining all the way that my leg hurt
In any case we made it to the airport in plenty of time in the morning and had time to strategise as to which was the best way to approach the Ryanair gate. Should we stand at the front waiting for ages so that we could be first on the plane? Or would we hang back and wait until last, not caring if we had to sit separately. In the end we remembered that when we landed on Saturday we had to get the bus on the tarmac to the arrivals hall, so we would no doubt have to get the bus back out to the plane. This meant that if we got on the bus last, we would be first off, hence getting onto the plane and finding a seat quickly. It worked, and we high-fived when we sat in our seats, ready to take off back to Birmingham.