Monday, 4 August 2014

In the middle of Buda & Pest

So I have returned to the Emerald Isle with an overflowing load of memories experienced within the past ten days as I went on an interrailling trip with Athiei across several countries in Europe.

So this post is dedicated to

First of all, I had to travel from Lublin to Krakow in Poland where I was supposed to meet Athiei at the end of our teaching adventure. I made a new friend, Mateusz, who made the 5 hour journey seem much shorter. We chatted about random topics and he introduced me to various types of Polish music which were on his phone. The train, however, stopped abruptly mid journey and didn't move for a considerable amount of time which made me worry if I could catch my next train to Budapest. Thankfully, he offered to take me straight to the next platform as he knew the works of the Krakow train station at the back of his hand. He helped to carry my bag as we ran towards the next platform just as the train pulled in.

Our train ride from Krakow to Budapest took more than 10 hours and it wasn't a great period of rest as the ride was pretty bumpy and rough. Although we each had a bunk bed within the train, we probably just got a slight sliver of rest. But, that didn't matter as we raced off to the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath "Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda" (which is the biggest medicinal bath in all of Europe).

The place was absolutely beautiful and the water was deliciously warm. We also booked a 30 minute massage which was delightful after the full month of nonstop business in Poland. Interestingly, I received the massage from a blind masseuse who was absolutely excellent and friendly. 

One thing I learnt from that massage,

tie up your hair beforehand 

We were absolutely starving after spending hours at the bath and indulged into the nearest eatery to the baths. Got ourselves some good ol' burgers - this one in particular was the Philly Cheese Steak.

Walked alongside the river where there were car-boats floating along.

Vajdahunjad Castle 

We continued to wander the area without any agenda which added to all the magic as we began to discover more and more interesting monuments.

Palace of Arts

The Heroes Square (Hősök tere)

The Budapest-Nyugati Train Station

The Danube River and the Szechenyi Bridge leading towards Margaret Island which stands between Buda and Pest.

Margaret Island itself was spectacular. Athiei and I had a lovely time just sitting by the stairs near the waters while watching joggers pass by. The sun was shining, the wind was cool. And all made sense.

We discovered some happy looking pickles at the giant Central Market which we also happened to stumble across.

Here's a glimpse of the shops at the market which sold every possible thing. Meat, vegetables, fruit, trinkets, jewellery, souvenirs, hot food, cold food, sweets, ANYTHING!

Freedom/Liberty Bridge on the left and the view from the Cross situated above the church within the cave in Buda (Gellért Hill Cave). We decided to walk up the hill under the hot sun and took a well deserved break on the bench by the cross. We were tempted to climb up to the top of the citadel but we were about to melt into puddles of ourselves.

However, we did return to climb to the top of the Citadella later during the evening when it was no longer as hot. We got a splendid view of the city and it was extremely beautiful..and crowded with tourists.

The Statue of Liberty in Budapest.

We had our lunch along Vaci street in Pest after being successfully reeled in by the hostess of the cafe.

Some delicious beef goulash soup with potatoes and chunks of bread

Chicken schnitzel with potatoes and a side of salad.

Chicken paprika with noodle dumplings which was absolutely delicious.

the sponge cake dessert with cream drizzled with chocolate and nuts...
which meant I had to eat it all because Athiei is allergic to the nuts.
We forgot to ask if there were nuts on the dessert.
Oh well.

We then decided to go to an ice bar for the first time which was an interesting experience.
Wearing fluffy santarina-like capes while drinking cocktails out of ice glasses.
I think I began to eat my glass too as you can see its uneven surface at the top.

That's a short summary of what we did in Budapest over the 3 days and 2 nights.
More to come more to come! :)

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