Time: 6pm. Location: Wien Meidling. Destination: Budapest Keleti Train Station.
Phil and I rushed to meet each other at the Meidling Train Station to pick up our reserved tickets and head to catch our train to Budapest. I was so excited to venture to Hungary and see what it was all about. The train ride was relaxed and a quick two hours-we were there in no time. Finding our accomodation, The Budapest Bubble, was super easy despite it being both of ours first time in Budapest. The Bubble was very welcoming and Olga, who worked the desk was beyond wonderful. After checking in and being served fresh, hot coffee, Olga began to mark up the “must dos” all over our Budapest map. With the inside scoop on everything, we were prepared for what was in store for the weekend. After going up to settle in and put our bags down in our room, we cheerfully made our way downstairs to go out with Olga to Szimpla, the 3rd coolest bar in the world. An Australian girl and a guy studying in Bulgaria from Wisconsin accompanied us as well. Arriving at the ruin bar, I was already impressed-it was beyond cool. The night at Szimpla was fun and perfect for our first night’s arrival.
Whoops! Phil and I slept through the alarm I had set and we had to get ready super quick to be at the walking tour by 10am. With a banana each for breakfast, we speed walked to our meeting point and made it on time only to find several of my friends who were in Budapest from Vienna! Perfect 🙂
The walking tour was awesome and we got to see all of the wonderful sights and do a bit of hiking as well. By the time we learned a few Hungarian words, were given super helpful tips and saw a lot of Buda and Pest-Phil and I were more than ready to get going to find somewhere to eat; we were famished! As we walked, we also took a lot of pictures:
Love Locks (Made in Budapest-first place to start the tradition)
This is Vienna:
Andrew, our awesome tour guide:
This guy posed for five minutes and just wanted to be in my picture:
We Love Budapest:
We walked down a really famous street for restaurants and decided to go with Puder, a hip stylish restaurant with it’s own vibrant personality. Everything we had here was AWESOME…we will definitely be back!
After lunch, we went back to the Bubble to put a few things down then headed out to the shopping area of Budapest where we went into the famous European stores such as Berksha, Pull&Bear and New Yorker. I bought a Budapest pot holder so that I wouldn’t burn my hands when I cook and a really cool hot pink animal print scarf.
After our shopping excursion, we went back to the Bubble and met up with Olga and made a new friend-a guy from Wales. After dropping our bags off, Olga invited us to go to an Irish Pub to watch her friends play live music. It was a packed place but very fun! Phil and I split a nice dinner then made plans with the guy from Wales to create our own pub crawl for our last night. Olga made marks on our map for our “designated pub crawl route” of bars that she handpicked as some of her favorites. She sure did not let us down! We went to a total of 5 bars and stayed the longest at Szimpla, where we found all of the Vienna crew to hang out with at the end of the night! It was a blast 🙂
Olga, Wales Guy, Phil & I
We decided to wake up a little earlier so that we could accomplish our plans for the day: hiking up the Buda side to overlook everything, have a nice lunch, pack up our belongings then head to the Szechenyi Baths for the rest of the day before we had to catch our train that evening. And we were quite successful! Again, we didn’t have breakfast but we had enough energy to hike up the mountain! Since I was wearing exercise clothes and not carrying a bag, I did intermittent sprints the whole way up and Phil thought it would be fun to take a zillion pictures of me in motion-they were funny to look at. I even climbed a tree and did some gymnastic-type poses at the top of our climb. See below:
We decided to head to the Hummus Bar because Olga highly recommended it-and again, she is genius. This was the best falafel, hummus, etc. I have EVER had in my life. They even gave us a free little cup of tea upon arrival and they had GINGER ALE! We were very happy…you can see for yourself:
After fueling up, we had to sadly head back to the Bubble to pack up 😦 We really did not want to leave-we would most definitely had stayed a few more days if time permitted. After packing up, we headed to the underground station to go to the Bath house and relax. We were given wristbands that looked like watches that pressed open the lockers we would use and a cool hanger to hold everything we were wearing. After changing into our swimsuits, we were off to explore and go into the outside heated spa pool! With jets! And fountains! It was pure bliss. After a long time, we ventured to the Sauna which was hotter than you can imagine. I practiced the German Alphabet and the German Numbers which made Phil really happy…Since I would stumble on some pronunciations and it was excruciatingly hot in there, he was prompting me to hurry up! And then we sprinted out to get under the cold water of the showers. We found a freezing cold cool dip pool right by the showers and were determined to submerge into the chilly waters. On the count of 1, 2, not 3…Phil tricked me and pulled both of us under at the same time. It was bone chilling cold and I jumped out of there as fast as I could. We then proceeded to have ice cube fights and walk into a room where a few people were where absolutely nothing was going on…and we could not figure out why people were hanging out in there. We spent the rest of our time in the outdoor heated spa pool before having to unfortunately pack up, change and head to the train station.
On the train home to Vienna, we were relaxed but quite sleepy from all of the sun. It was a fantastic weekend…and we will definitely be headed back 🙂