Day 3 (2/2)
Back from the steam baths, we all headed back to the hostel common room, where pat and I had sausage sandwiches made from last nights leftovers, and Nathan and tom grabbed burgers. We stopped at the grocery to grab an effective amount of beer, as well as a bottle of Palinka (the Hungarian liquor, made from crushed fruit, ranges from 30-70%, ours was 45). Beer not very good here, Hungarian is a very good wine country, but we were warned that wine does not mix well with palinka.
Once our thirst was quenched, we headed out to a ruin bar. Spent most of the time trying to understand the multi-story, almost jungle gym-like bar. We didn't stay out too late cuz of our 5:20 alarm set for the next days flight to Athens, though this wasn't as bad as tom and Nathan's 430 wake up to catch their train. So we bid the mates farewell, and will hopefully one day exchange trips to each other's homelands!
8 June 2017
Our last day in Budapest we met up with the Aussies and showed them around the city based on what we'd seen and learned on the walking tour. We visited st Stephens basilica, parliament, and the castle district/palace as seen in pictures from the previous post. We stopped for a quick lunch that was a Hungarian specialty - fried dough, sour cream and cheese. It was pretty good! The late afternoon/evening we went to the biggest thermal bath in Budapest and enjoyed the pools (cold, warm, hot) and the steam baths. Hot & sunny, it was perfect weather for the baths - a very cool experience. At night we had a local spirit called Palinjka and headed out to one of the ruin bars. We were told the ruin bars are basically old abandoned buildings that people bought off the government for relatively cheap and didn't do much refurbishing to them, added some odd & funky furniture/decor and they're now a main attraction in Budapest. Great way to end our stay, we're off to Athens, Greece next - wheels up
Day 3 (1/2)
We maintained the same breakfast regime as the previous day, and bid farewell to the couple, who were heading back to London where steph studies. Fortunately however, tom and Nathan, the Australians from Amsterdam were coming into Budapest that day, staying at the same hostel as us.
We walked the castle district with them, and checked out parliament as well as st Stephens basilica, both 96 m tall, as the church did not want the state to be "bigger" than the church (as the church was built first). We grabbed langosh for lunch (basically like cheese on a beaver tail).
After this we went to a Turkish bath. It was sort of like a colossal version of the tremblant fairmont spa area, with a few massive outdoor pools, many indoor, saunas steam baths and cold pools. The spring water however is supposed to have very healing affects for most things.
7 June 2017
Day 2 (2/2)
After that pat and I visited the hospital in the rock museum. Hundreds of years ago a cave system was discovered below Budapest, and mapped out in the 1930's. In preparation for the war, a hospital was built in these caves, which would also serve as a nuclear bunker. The place was shut down post war, but then secretly reopened in preparation for any other potential nuclear attacks, with the soviets occupation and the Cold War. However this was done secretly, with a single family maintaining the place, and this was all the way up until 2002.
Following this, we met back up with the steph and Antoine at the apartment where we made chicken, sausage, gnocchi, and complemented the meal with pita and a salad.
Our first night and the following day in Budapest. We stuck with our walking tours and got a lay of the land. Some friends from back home joined us for a couple nights while we were here - was nice to see some familiar faces. We had some goulash, the Hungarian traditional meal (soup with potatoes, meat, paprika) we walked around the castle district and the palace and hiked to the highest point in Budapest for some fantastic views. Today we're planning on checking out parliament (its cost to build was roughly that of a small town of 40000 people, roads, schools, etc. Quite costly) were also planning on going to the thermal baths - should be cool! Our Aussie friends we met in Amsterdam are meeting up with us around noon for the day/night before we take off to Athens in the morning to meet up with Tim.
Day 2 (1/2)
We woke up and picked up some breakfast stuff to make at Antoine and steph's (eggs, sausages, yogurt etc). After that we went on the city walking tour. Budapest (pronounced pesh) is split into two parts, the west side of the Danube is the more mountainous Buda, while the flat east side is Pest (we were in pest 5 minutes from the water). After that we went on a little hike with Antoine and steph up to the highest point in Budapest, which offered views that even Prague couldn't rival. We grabbed goulash for lunch. Starting to get excited to get out of the meat and potatoes district
6 June 2017
Took a nice easy afternoon bus ride and arrived in Budapest at night. Steph and pigeon came to meet us, renting an air bnb for a few nights. We grabbed a quick burger with them then sat at a terrasse bar close to the Danube river. We headed in early to get ready for tomorrow.
Currency was Hungarian forints. 1 cad is roughly 2 hundred forints. Challenge of pulling out the right amount of cash. Too much and you can't use all of it, not enough and you need to start paying by card, subjecting ourselves to additional charges.