Tuesday, March 1, 2016

'Pesty Tourists for a Weekend

Back track to a week and a half ago. Thursday night. February 18th. Our flight to Budapest, Hungary was the next morning at 7:20am. Budapest wasn't on the original list of places that I wanted to go but after hearing that it was cheap and beautiful, I was excited. We had booked flights for this trip about 3 weeks prior and were anticipating the trip for awhile. For the Edinburgh, Scotland trip, our flight left at 6:30am and I had pulled an all-nighter and then boarded the flight, exhausted beyond belief. After that experience, I told myself I was going to be better at handling my sleep schedule before this trip. But I'm a college student; therefore sleep is irrelevant. Well to a certain extent. So instead of sleeping before heading out to Budapest, Hungary, my friends and I went into Dublin to a bar. We got back around 3am and I knew that if I went to sleep, there was a high chance I wouldn't wake up for the flight. So I made some food and talked with a friend for awhile. 4:45am rolls around and the taxi was here. In a mad dash to pack everything and make sure I had the essentials, my 7 friends and I walked briskly to the taxi. We got to the airport and through security with plenty of time to spare and boarded the flight. We landed in Budapest around 11:30am on Friday morning. It was raining when we got there which was a bit of a bummer.


We arrived at the hostel, checked in, and this little enthusiastic Hungarian woman lead us to our accommodation. We were given an apartment for us to live in for the weekend; it exceeded our expectations and we were so excited to have so much space to hangout in. It was probably a gift from above because the 8 of us might have killed each other by the end of the 4 days if we were all in close quarters :). We threw our bags in our rooms, high fived each other because we had successfully made it, and headed for the best part about traveling...FOOD. Lunch specifically at this hour. We found a small café which had an assortment of foods on display but given that we were in another country that doesn't speak English, I didn't really know what anything was. I asked the server for what she recommended and ordered that; it was traditional beef goulash, a traditional Hungarian meal basically like beef stew. I can whole heartedly say it was delicious and I order it two more times on the trip from different places. After lunch, we went back to the hostel and nearly everyone hit a wall; not literally, but a tired wall. NAP TIME.
We felt lame for wasting our time and taking a nap but it was very necessary after the long night we had. In the apartment, there was a lofted area with two queen beds. A few of us were laying there to take a nap and some how, one thing led to another and before we knew it, it was a giant cuddle puddle! We're all friends so we were just having a lot of fun laughing and making jokes about every and anything. It was a ton of fun, a bonding experience (pun intended), although none of us really got any sleep from it.

Later that night, we went on a pub crawl as suggested by the hostel which was a lot of fun and came with a free slice of pizza so no one was complaining. Luckily, I have a very good sense of direction and despite being a bit inebriated in a European city the first day we arrived, I was able to lead a group of us home without a taxi.

The next morning, we woke up and went out to explore the city! We walked by the Parliament building which was enormous and had very impressive architecture. Took a few pictures here and there, even some GoPro videos for my end of the semester movie, and imitated some statues. This photo turned out surprisingly well. Comments at the bottom of this page are much appreciated :).

We then walked to an indoor Hungarian market which was filled with butcher stands every which way you turned. It seemed like they were all selling the same brand of meat but nonetheless was interesting to see all the different types of meats. We then went to St. Stephen's
Cathedral which was, just like all other cathedrals, beautiful with breathtaking architecture. We climbed an insane amount of stairs to get to the top but the view was worth all of the strain on our calves. We continued our adventures by taking a selfie (I've become a master of taking selfies on this trip) next to a bridge, then walked across the steel bridge and climbed another hill to experience the one of a kind views from the top of the mountain.

Finally, after a full day of exploring the city, we headed back to our home base, the hostel. I checked the fitness app on my phone at that point and it said we had walked 26,000 steps and about 12 miles, probably close to the most I've ever walked in a day; well worth it though. That night, we went to the thing that is a big hit in Budapest called a Lukacs Bath Party. Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like....a college frat party in a pool. But BETTER. The pool was heated, the music was popping, and everyone was having a good time. I didn't get any pictures from it because I wasn't allowed but I'll throw in a pic from Google to give you an idea; it was really one of the best parties I've every gone to. Such a unique experience.

On Sunday, we wanted to take a tour of the inside of the Parliament building. To our disappointment, there were no more English tours available when we went there. But we weren't gonna let that stop us. So we opted for the Spanish version of the tour. Each of us knew bits and pieces of Spanish from our parents telling us to take it in high school because of language requirements blah blah blah but who would have known we'd actually use it later in life. Well sort of; the lady spoke so fast that none of us could keep up and honestly, we wanted to take pictures of the inside of the parliament, we didn't care about the history as much. I mean c'mon, as long as you have pictures from the trip, it doesn't really matter what else happened :). That night, we ate a traditional Hungarian restaurant called The Strudel House and you can probably guess what we got for dinner....tasty fresh flaky strudel.

Later that night, we went out again (shocking I know) to a Ruins Bar that we had touched briefly from the pub crawl two nights earlier. It was a fun night filled with shenanigans and laughs and we all made it back to the hostel in one piece. Our flight the next morning was at 11:45am so that we all could make it back in time to go to our Monday classes. Believe it or not, in between all of these adventures I still go to class because after all, the first word  in "study broad" deals with school work. So I work hard and play harder. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time; so much so that we all fell asleep at a table in the airport. This picture describes our trip very well because it consisted of a lot of walking, a little sleep, and a lot of bonding. It was an incredible trip to say the least.
We arrived in Dublin, I went to class for the day, and began to pack again. Another adventure was about to begin as this one was ending....


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