Buzzing City + Mercury hitting 40+ degrees C

Trip Start Jul 12, 2013
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Trip End Aug 23, 2013

Flag of Hungary  ,
Sunday, July 28, 2013

We had a wonderful time in Budapest! Here we had a little apartment so got a chance to do some much needed washing and our own cooking which was amazing!

To our horror, the train trip to Budapest (3 hours) was even more excruciating than getting to Bratislava. With temperatures soaring above 40 oC (local reading in Budapest was 45 oC!) Again there was no air conditioning in the train, stifling heat, very hard to breathe, lots of sweaty people in wet clothes. Fortunately this time we were prepared with several litres of water! So glad to get off (when we finally did, it was cooler outside than in!) Again, we arrived late in the day so did a little bit of shopping, cooked and ate in on our first night. We also started what was to be the first of four loads of washing which we did in our apartment!

The next morning we headed straight down to the Danube to go on a River cruise. We saw some of the main sights from the boat and were treated to complimentary cold drinks on board. We saw lots of the famous buildings on the banks of old Buda and Pest (the name Budapest is actually pronounced Budapesht - anyone know that!? it is made by combining the names of the two cities from either bank of the Danube). We got off the boat at St Margaret's island where we hired an awesome two person bike/carriage type thing and spent an hour cycling around admiring the historical buildings and beautiful gardens. Tom (steering) had to keep being reminded to stay on the right hand side of the road! After successfully overtaking a small child, (boyracer) we found a great fountain that had a shallow (about 40cm deep) moat around it that you could walk through to cool down! It was another very hot day, out hotel said 45 degrees. It felt hotter than I remember being in Jordan, which was mid forties! While we were waiting for the boat to come back and pick us up we had a much needed icecream! (One of the perks of travelling in hot weather!)

After our trip on the river we decided to go back to the hotel as it was too hot to do anything! Even walking a few metres in the sunlight was very hard work (we are still under the red-spot heat warning on the weather map!). We made the rest of our pasta that we had brought the previous evening and began planning the rest of the afternoon

Since our time in Budapest was quite limited and the weather was so hot, we decided that getting tickets for the hop-on-hop-off bus was the best way forward as we didn't really feel we would cope well with walking around Buda and climbing up the hills in the heat! It also allowed us to see all of the main sights quickly so we could choose what to come back to. The bus tour was very informative, it came with headsets that told you about the history of the city and its sights as you were driving around. The view from the Citadel hill looking over the Danube when you can see both sides of the river with the historic cities of Buda and Pest was one of my favourite views of the trip so far. 

In the evening we undertook to experience one of Hungary's more traditional leisure activities: public baths! We went to the Szechenyi Baths and Pool for an hour or so to cool off - it was so refreshing and a very enjoyable experience!

On our second day we headed off early in the morning for a tour of the Parliament buildings that we had booked before leaving the UK. The buildings are huge, grand and rival some of the palaces that we have seen so far. It was interesting to hear about the architectural features and the political history of the country. We then jumped back on our bus (ticket still valid) and saw a bit more of the city. We got off at the famous Central Market Hall which was full of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and cheeses - it smelt amazing! Sadly, there were not as many 'tasters' offered here as in the Copenhagen Market Hall!

Since we had cooked all our meals in the room so far we decided to treat ourselves to lunch out - Hungarian style! We tried traditional Goulash Soup (yum) and Emma had a Paprika chicken and egg noodle dish which was delicious. (Tom opted for the safer choice of grilled chicken and fries). We then headed back to the station to catch our train to Vienna - very excited and with fingers and toes crossed for air-conditioning in the train!

Lots of Love, 

T&E



PS: Tom's gag for Budapest: 'Emma, you put the 'pest' in Budapest!'.

 

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Comments

SJ on

Sounds like you're having an amazing time, all the food sounds delicious too. Will send you a proper email soon with all the goss! Xx

Jessica Shields on

Firstly, Tom's joke is officially cringe and worthy of a new entrants' classroom, I'll try work it into my first day at school :)

As I was looking through all the photos I kept thinking "I've been there! That was cool!!". Did you see anyone playing chess in the water at the baths?
So great to see and read that you enjoyed the city as much as I did :)

And yes!, yes *hand going up and bouncing in my seat* I knew about the Buda and Pesht thing :)

such an interesting city huh. did you enjoy all the sculptures and monuments everywhere? My favourite was a red dude on a scooter, he was kind of stylised.

Hope you're managing a tan as a perk of all the sweat and heat!

and Tom: you're going to LOVE the food in Vienna (i.e. cakes!!) I recommend finding Hundertwasser's House in Vienna - he's a funky artist and is really into colour and organic shapes so nothing in the house is straight. But you'll be busy with the huge music scene there anyway I imagine :)

this blog is truly fantastic in that it not only tells friends what you're up to, but is a record for you as well - truly a brilliant idea :)

bye guys, keep having fun exploring!!

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