Saturday, 6 June 2009

Hungary - Budapest

5 June 2009 – 7 June 2009

Friday 5 June 2009
As I wasn’t working on Friday I decided to use it as an opportunity for a long weekend away and with a bargain Budapest tour going I decided to jump on board. So at 3.30am I got up grabbed my bags and headed to the bus stop to catch my two night buses to Baker Street (normally 20 mins on the tube – but too early for that) by 5am.

The bus came and picked us up and we were on our way to Luton Airport. The tour should have had about 40 people but, I am assuming, due to the economic crisis there were only 19 of us.

Once at the airport I meet my roomie and another single girl who were both really nice and who I spent the weekend with, which was excellent. The tour group was quite diverse we had various nationalities, sexes, ages and races. It worked well, I managed to find another two single girls who I spent most of my time with.

At 8am we boarded our budget Wizz Air flight for the journey to Budapest - Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is considered an important hub in Central Europe. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right-bank Buda with left-bank Pest. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in Europe. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city ranked 3rd (out of 65 cities) on Mastercard's Emerging Markets Index and ranked as the most livable Central/Eastern European city on EIU's quality of life index (2009). . As soon as my head hit the seat I fell asleep and only woke on landing where I saw this ... hmmm.

Once in Budapest the company had organised a driving tour of the city which was really nice as it meant you didn’t have to walk around to all the places but could see them on the bus. We stopped at the top of the hill to get some great pictures of Budapest. Now, I can tell you one thing from that driving tour and thats the Hungarians are not afraid of PDA, there were people snogging everywhere!

After the tour we headed back to our room for a quick rest before heading into town for dinner. We went to this amazing place for dinner the meals were huge and delicious and I love throwing round 1,000’s . £1 = approx 300 Hungarian huff.

After dinner we had organised a boat ride on the river and then a pub crawl. The boat ride was really nice and showed us the beautiful city in lights. After the pub crawl we headed to a bar in Budapest. What I really liked about this pub crawl (if you can call 2 pubs a crawl) is that it took you to places that you probably wouldn’t really go too. At about midnight we headed out to the next pub which was up like 4 flights of stair, phew.
This bar was really cool as well. It had various seating places, and room and even had a roof top bar. We spent most of our night there, drinking, doing jager bombs – three in a row – what were we thinking! – mixing with the group, managed to find another couple of Aussies and dancing the night away.
At 4am (yes because Budapest is open till then, unlike English and American pubs) I got dragged off the dance floor by people more sensible than myself had a kebab and then passed out.
Saturday 6 June 2009
At 8am I dragged my tired (but not hungover) ass out of bed and jumped in the shower for a day of sightseeing around Budapest. You know we were the latest ones out and the first ones to rise – I am proud of this effort!

The morning was spent with me navigating, yes I can do it quite well, to a little market street where I stocked up on tacky souvenirs and the like. After that we decided to head over to the Thermal Baths were we spent a couple of hours laxing about. Once out of the baths one of the girls found a food fair were we spent the afternoon looking around, eating and having a lax before the highlight of my trip...THE CIRCUS.
In that pot is giant horse stew --->

The Circus was right across the road from the baths and once I heard about it knew I had to go and fortunately I found fun friends who agreed to come with me. Even though we looked like shite (no sleep does that) the circus was great. They had everything, a clown who threw spaghetti, type rope walkers – with no harnesses I was more worried and could hardly enjoy it!, lions, huskies, acrobats, 4 Chinese girls we think (the announcement was in Hungarian) who were amazing from Cirque du Soleil, and other way cool acts. If you go to Hungary I would totally recommend it! After the circus we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

The next morning we got up early again and headed to
Margaret Island for an exploration. Hungary has eight various islands that you can go to explore. The day started out in the beautiful sunshine and we enjoyed watching some cute as boys break dancing and then hired a bike thing and went for a bike ride round the island. After the bike ride we had a rest and I indulged in some of the biggest candy floss I have ever seen and then it when the heavens opened up and sent a down pour our way. We got absolutely soaked (my umbrella somehow missed getting into my suitcase) lucky our hotel wasn’t too far away. Once dried off and changed it was time to get back on the bus and head back to the airport for our Wizz Air flight home. I had a really good time in Hungary and would totally recommend it!

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