Our fifth destination took us to a new country – Hungary. This was one of my favourite places on the whole trip and I would definitely like to go back for a slightly longer stay to experience more of it.
We got our train to Budapest at 01:15 in the morning from a station in the middle of Slovenia, so we had an overnight train again into Budapest. However, even though we did get a cabin to ourselves again, we kept getting woken up by officials wanting to check out tickets and passports – I would understand once or twice but FOUR TIMES?!
Once we arrived in Budapest, we found our way to the hostel – which we found out was a party hostel, but more on that in a bit. Also, we had to have a little sit down on the way due to our shoulders and feet hurting so much because the walk was about 40 minutes and with those rucksacks it felt like much longer! When we did arrive at the hostel it was a lot earlier than check in started, so we left our bags in a locked cabinet and we got advised by a lady nicknamed ‘Glow’ to go and do a free walking tour around Budapest which was starting in about 30 minutes from around the corner.
While on the walking tour we learnt so much (we highly recommend this) about both the history of Budapest and the best things to see at a cheap price. One thing that intrigued us that our tour guide mentioned but didn’t show us was the Shoes on the Danube Bank, so we went there after the tour had finished to eat our food we had picked up when we has first arrived in Budapest. The story behind the shoes is that many of the Jews were sadly killed here during the 1940s and they were told to take their shoes off first before they were shot into the river.
After this we headed back to our hostel to check in and to get ready to go out with the hostel (this is where the party bit comes in) as they were taking us around some on the ruin bars and then we would go to an open mic night. While waiting to go out we met one Canadian girl called Cassidy, who was great and also Chloe’s bunk buddy. As well as Cassidy we met another Canadian girl called Anne-Sophie, who it turned out was also on the same walking tour as us and we spent most on the night together.
While we were out Cal (one of the workers at the hostel) found out that I (Sarah) am quite musical and he roped me into singing ‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay on the open mic night with him. After that we decided to head back to the hostel with Anne-Sophie although it started it rain so we ran back and got ready for bed.
This was what we had been most looking forward to while in Budapest (as well as the ruin bars) – the thermal baths. We headed over to Szechenyi Thermal Bath early in the morning and managed to skip all of the queues because we had bought the tickets at the hostel. When we got in we put our stuff into a locker and headed out to the baths. It was just a sight, there were quite a few people and we managed to find a bench to put our things on while we went into the water. We spent a lot of time in the bath that was closest to us, which was the colder one as we didn’t realise for a while that at the other end of the place there was a far warmer bath. When we did find this out we were in there for a while – be warned it is very warm (roughly 37 degrees Celsius) and when you get back out it is VERY cold!
After finishing in the thermal baths we headed into town to visit some of the shops such as the Hard Rock Café. After a while we went to the market hall that we were recommended on the walking tour the previous day as it wasn’t far, only by the Liberty
Bridge. While we were there we bought some alcohol called Pàlinka which is 50% for our families to try when we got back home. While we were there we also grabbed some food, which we had a Hungarian sausage, called Kolbasz, and all we know is that it had a lot of paprika as Hungarians like their paprika.
We got back to the hostel and bumped into Anne-Sophie again and decided that we weren’t going to go on the party boat (that was the event for the evening) but instead stay in and watch a movie with Anne-Sophie as Chloe wasn’t feeling 100%. We got Anne-Sophie’s iPad to stream it and we got our duvets and pillows on the floor infront of the giant fan. We decided to watch Hot Fuzz as Anne-Sophie had never seen it and the fact it has very British humour made it even better for her to watch. She wondered what was with the British and their model villages – we explained we have a little place near us at home similar to the town in Hot Fuzz – just a lot less murder happens!
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