Today started early! 5am type of early. Horrendous seeing as we are two hours ahead of the UK. But it had to be done as it was time to leave Sofia and get our butts to Budapest. We finished packing up our lovely apartment and lugged our suitcases that seemed to be way heavier then when we were doing this the last time. We hopped into the taxi and tipped him for being the first safe driver we have had so far in Bulgaria and got to the airport 2 hours before our flight. This turns out to be a lifetime too early as there is not much to do! So we check out the souvenir shop, grab some water-gotta hydrate, and take our waiting seats. I read, Bobo napped. We boarded the plane and the flight was super short, literally like an hour. We were kept entertained by the Air Steward who turned the safety instructions into a Kylie Minogue dance routine. You work that seatbelt honey!
We landed, and we made it into the centre of Budapest and into apartment number two. It is a little smaller and provides a little less bathroom privacy than the last but it is in another cracking location. We unpacked a little and catch up on some missed sleep from the early start but then hunger set in and we needed to find some breakfast and fast.
We strolled into the Jewish Quarter (which we heard was popping) and found a courtyard- Gosudu Courtyard. It is full of bars, restaurants and cafes. We settled down in The Blue Bird Cafe (not the same as the one on the Kings Rd) and shared a veggie burger and pancake sushi!!! Pancake sushi turns out to be a pancake that has been cut into strips and stuffed with what would normally be the topping. Not quite as thrilling as we had imagined it to be.
Lunch done we decided to go check out what was on offer in Budapest. We passed a vintage clothing store- Szputnyik and Bobo lost her mind and what felt like 6 days later we emerged and made it to the 3D art museum. This is one of the first things that we found whilst we were researching our Pre-Brexit tour and we had completely forgotten what country it was in but it turns out that it was just opposite our apartment here..fate or what? So we enter and are met by a guy who is the fastest talker in the whole wide world. The only thing that I can make out (with a little help from the Bo) is that this is a place where we can live out our fantasies to the absolute max….sign me up!
We first went around by ourselves and it took a while to warm up but once we did we really got into it. And then we went around with the man who really brought it out in us. I think that for every future trip that we need to employ him as our personal photographer. 1,2,3 now snap your head and look surprised my loves! I think this is a place that you let the pictures do the talking. So here you are, welcome to Our Fantasy To The Max photoshoot- Budapest 2017.
We then hopped, skipped and jumped across the road to the Basilica (which is also their cathedral) and explored. We said a prayer and lit a candle for Bobo’s poorly leg as she has an insect bite that has become infected. We also saw St Stephen’s actual dead hand in a glass box. It has been there for millions of years and every year, on St. Stephen’s Day they march it around town. A little weird but I kinda like it.
We make it back to the flat and get into cycling attire as we had booked a 3 hour bike tour. This was a really fab way to orientate us to the city and to learn some of its history. We learnt that Hungary has had a long history of being occupied, that it has some beautifully moving monuments like the bronze shoes on the Danube to remember all those killed during WWII and also some really controversial ones too like the memorial to the German occupation of Hungary during WWII which tried to make out that Hungary had not been active during the persecution of the Jews. There was actually a protest at the moment going on whilst we were there. The Hungarian Parliament won the prize as my most favourite governmental building. Bobo laughed when I asked her what hers was so I guess we will never know!
We were on the tour with a Mexican family and the daughter left one of their bags on the floor and forgot to pick it up, so dad and daughter sped away to go find it which meant our tour guide- Victor, had to go find them and we were left stranded on the Danube, branded a fool, what will they say, Monday at school? They didn’t find the bag and it kind of made the atmosphere a little funky but we livened it up with our non-stop questions.
I would say that as tours go the actual tour information part wasn’t the best that we have had so far this trip but we both loved whizzing around on bikes for a few hours as you get to see so much more then when you are on foot.
We also learnt that the World Swimming Championships are also taking place in Budapest whilst we are here and tonight was the opening ceremony. So we quickly munched some pasta to refuel after our athletic afternoon and headed back to the Danube to watch the celebration and fireworks on the big screens. It quickly became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to see the screens as we needed to be at least 2 foot taller so we settled in at a bar on the river and listened to the music and were able to see the laser and light show going on up at the Palace. For some of you long time blog readers, you may remember that we were in Philadelphia two summers ago for the 4th July and attended a free concert, much like this one, and that the headline act was Ceelo Green. Well guess who had followed us all the way to Budapest to perform- bloody Ceelo Green. He just can’t get enough of us girls. He sang the only two songs that anybody can remember of his (although I have a sneaky suspicion we were the only ones there who knew who he was!) and then the fireworks started- what we had been waiting to see and man they were loud and beautiful!
We headed back home trying our best to avoid requests to join men in clubs and flopped into bed after what has been a very long day. Who would have thought that we were in Sofia this morning? The jury is still out on what we make of Budapest. As we are here over the weekend there are a lot more people around then there were in Sofia- a lot of stags and hens and everything seems a bit more catered for tourists- maybe we can be won over in the next few days!
Tomorrow we are going to explore the Buda side of the river and get our history on at the castle…but let’s not lie. We are mainly going to ride the FUNicular!