Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Our trip to Budapest!

Dear readers,

Well yesterday I got back from my wonderful, romantic vacation to Budapest. I really had a lovely time and since a lot of people have expressed their interest I though it a good idea to write a post on our trip as soon as possible.

Day 1, Thursday: 

We headed to the airport at the 14th of July at around 7 o’clock in the morning. The check in went really smoothly, but I got a full body search at customs, probably because of a button on my pants lol. It surely is a strange experience, but thankfully I was searched by a woman hahah. Eventually they let me through though. The flight was delayed for an hour because of the awful weather here. So we spent quite some time at the airport. When we finally arrived at Budapest at around 1 o’clock we took an airportshuttlebus that took us straight to the hotel, which was located in the Pest side of Budapest. I really recommend those shuttle services; they give you a round trip for 35,- for 2 persons. You do have to give them a call one day before you leave so they know when to pick you up.

It was really hot (more than 35 degrees Celsius!) so when we got at the hotel we were basically just worshipping the shower and the ventilator. Unfortunately, our room did not have air-conditioning. The room itself was quite good value for money otherwise. The bathroom was not huge, but it sufficed ;). After we had cooled off a little we went out to grab dinner at a place around the corner of our hotel called Stex. They really serve great food there; we had a Stex special for two... which might easily have been called Stex special for four hahah. We had a steak with mixed pepper sauce, a gourmet turkey (a crips layer of skin and turkey with some kind of herb/sauce combination) and some kind of spit thingy (which I did not taste since it was waayyy to warm, causing me to lose my appetite). It was really wonderful. Afterwards we returned to the hotel for a (much needed) cold showers and some (also much needed) sleep.

Day 2, Friday:
We decided to go to one of the biggest malls in Budapest, since this was going to be a really hot day as well. The mall we went to was called Mammut. It was a bit smaller than we had expected; as the shops were overall rather small, but it was still nice to roam around as they had a wonderful arco system haha. They also had a subway over there, which is remarkably cheaper than ours. For only 800 ft (about 3 Euros) you could get a sandwich. After having explored the hall we decided to go to the Great Market Hall. And gosh that Markethall sure is great.

The Great Market Hall

On the top floor they have lots of stands which sell souvenirs. I bought a bag for my mother and my fiance also bought some souvenirs for his family. Unfortunately, for some reason, his souvenirs were lost (we found out when we had gotten back to the hotel), we are not sure what happened to them, but that was definitely a bummer. Important to note here is that IF you are ever going to this market hall and see a souvenir that you like, you should look at several other stalls, because prices can vary significantly; even up to more than 5 Euros.
On the ground level they had lots of stores selling foods such as meat, bred and most of all paprika (as that is what Hungary is famous for). In the basement they apparently also sold fish etc., but we did not go there hahha. On the ground level they sold enormous cheese croissants; those thing really were huge (and of course we bought them :P). 

 The world's biggest cheese croissant!

Around dinner time we walked around the neighborhood for some time in search of a decent restaurant. We found one at about 15 mins from the hotel; a small restaurant where we had a steak and fries with some really tasty chili sauce. My fiance, however, had a steak that sinews (I believe is the correct word?) in them, so he had a less enjoyable meal that I did. Afterwards he had two cocktails, a Sex on the Beach and a Mojito, and he bought me a Baily’s, just for fun, since I usually don’t drink hahah. It really is one of the few alcoholic drinks that I actually like. The bartender especially went out to buy a bottle for me since they had run out. Afterwards we had a nice evening walk back to the hotel. It was a bit ruined by the smell though; somehow they seem to be having problems with the drainage or something in the city during the summer... So if you go: go during spring or autumn; hopefully the smell will bother you less then!

Day 3, Saturday:
We were crudely awoken at a quarter past 6 by a garbage truck that was pretty much cleaning out the neighborhood. For the past couple of days people some people had been placing pretty much the entire content of their house on the streets. During the first day I was wondering if this was something like the giant flee market they have here in Holland during Queens day, but these people actually got evicted from their houses. (So we were clearly in a less “well to do” neighborhood in Budapest. When we went out, the streets were completely clean and the people that had been sleeping on their sofa’s that they had placed on the street were gone as well; giving the area a saver feeling than it had done before.

In the afternoon we made our way to Castle Hill in Buda. We took the subway and switched to a small bus that took us up the hill to what is called the Fisherman’s Bastillion. This was unlike anything I had ever seen before; the architecture really is beautiful and the white colour of the brick stands out beautifully against a blue sky. You have to pay when you want to access the top of the Bastillion at the front, but if you walk towards the end of the building you will find a place that gives you a better view that is completely free of charge as a cafĂ© is located there. ;) Definitely a way to save money. The view is absolutely beautiful from up there as you clearly see the Pest side of the river Donau or Dunabe as they call it in Hungary. 

Fisherman's Bastillion: the side wher eyou can get on for free lol!

Afterwards we went up the hill and looked at a small market that was located at the side of the street. I bought a really cute and rather sturdy bag there for about 15,-. As it was another extremely hot day we went to get an ice cream coupe at the saloon that was across the market place. And my gosh those really were huge!

We continued our journey to Buda castle; a really beautiful castle with a nice fountain at the front. If you walk to the side of the castle you will find yourself a beautiful patio/ gardenlike place with a nice view on the Pest side of the River. 

 Buda castle

We then went back to the hotel and again had a wonderful dinner at Stex! This type a different type of meal (consisting of rosemary chicken, steak and a type of pork meat) which was supposed to be for one person, but again impossible to finish lol.

Day 4, Sunday:
This was the day that we were officially engaged for half a year. :D And what a wonderful year it has been! Though time really flew. I had a surprise planned for the evening, but I still had to go buy the tickets, so that is what we did early on in the mourning. I bought tickets for an evening cruise on the Dunabe which included a glass of champagne.

Afterwards we went back to Castle Hill to walk around the Labyrinth under Buda castle. Now THAT is a must see. Not only is the temperature an absolute blessing, it was about 17 degrees as opposed to the 28 degrees above ground, but it is really interesting to roam around there in the dark whilst taking pictures. They have divided the labyrinth in separate parts such as the “pre-historic” labyrinth, the historic labyrinth, etc. Artists really have done a great job at making this labyrinth an interesting visit.
Pre-historic labyrinth
historic labyrinth

The artists were not afraid to include a joke either, such as this extremely historic huge coca cola bottle:

Afterwards we went back to the hotel district for an early dinner at a Chinese. Again I had a lovely dinner, but my fiance was less lucky; apparently the sweet and sour sauce was more like semi-sweet and sour water. So after a visit to the Burger King to make up for it (I stayed clear of any food for my stomach was happily filled), we went back to the hotel to change and set out for the Dunabe evening cruise.

The cruise was a BIG hit. It is a really beautiful boat ride as the most important buildings are illuminated. The glass of champagne really made it perfect. So if you are looking for something romantic in Budapest I would definitely recommend it. 

 Chain Bridge by night 

Buda Castle

House of Parliament

Day 5, Monday:
On this day we set out for another mall since it was going to be above 30 degrees again. This time we went to WestEnd... Now THIS is a mall. We spent most of our day there; I bought some really cute shirts and a souvenir for my best friend (she hasn’t received it yet, so I can’t tell you guys what it is ;)).

In the evening we went to a very special restaurant called Sir Lancelot. It is a type of medieval theme restaurant. This is definitely worth a visit! Not only are the decorations fantastic, you also get entertainment such as a balancing act with swords on glasses, a belly dancer and a sword fight (please note that you do need to get there a little early in the evening, at around 6 or 6, to see most of the entertainment). Also the food is really good and you get more than you could possibly finish by yourself. Fun fact; you also get a bib instead of a napkin which the waiter or waitress ties around your neck for you and they only give you a fork and a spoon to eat with as they did not have forks during the middle ages. 
 Name of the meal: The lance of the red knight

 The decor of Sir Lancelot; a bit overlighted though because of the flash.

Day 6, Tuesday:
We checked out in the morning and went back to the market place to get a souvenir for my dad and my fiance’s mother as those were the only two left that we needed to get a souvenir for. I ended up buying my dad a beer mug, as he did not have one and I kind of liked the pictures on it (yes I was desperate lol!). Afterwards we ate some ice cream and waited for the shuttlebus to arrive at the hotel. We had an entire little van for ourselves, which had airco! I really wish that the ride to the airport had lasted longer... being in that van was heavenly after having been in the heat almost at a constant.

Again checkin went smooth, but now it was my fiance that was searched by customs, probably also because of a button on his pants hahah! We had dinner at the airport (after some stressing with a defect ATM machine) and thankfully the plain left on time so we arrived in Holland at around half past 8. My parents and my fiance’s mother had come to the airport together to pick us up. We went to my fiance’s house for some more food and to talk a little.  

It really was a wonderful vacation although the heat really did get to us. I have never eaten this much ice cream in my life hahaha.

I appologice for the long report, but we just did soooo much! ^__^” I felt bad for leaving anything out, since I had such a great time. I hope you liked to read it and that you liked the pictures I posted up here ;).



Adinda said...

Nu pas de tijd genomen om de hele blog te lezen, maar klinkt als een topvakantie, ondanks de hitte! Fijn joh :).