Here we go again with those weird Eastern Europe vibes. But actually, after a great trip to Prague I was excited to see what Budapest had to offer. To begin, let’s have a short history lesson for those of you who think people are messing with you when they ask if you’re staying in Buda or Pest. Technically they are now one city, but back in the day they developed completely individually, only separated by the Danube river.
My best friend took a little Euro trip last summer and had only great things to say about Budapest. He gives us the whole load down front to back. We were told to stay in a dope party hostel in Pest, called Retox. We immediately booked the last private room and were ready to see what was in store. When we showed up to the hostel, it definitely exceeded our expectations. The hostile was run by young adults from all over the world. We got to know a few of them and their stories were incredible. Most of them were backpackers who stumbled upon Budapest and figured since they liked it so much they’d stay. A few years later, those people are now our guides in this crazy town.
After settling in, we went to check out the top of the Basilica for a view of the city. Three euros, and about 300 stairs later, we had the most incredible view and hopefully a more toned bottom too. We decided to take it easy since we were waiting for our friends to arrive for the real action to happen, but still toured around Pest seeing all it had to offer. We passed by some local markets and naturally I had to try a potato dish that was calling my name. I still have no idea how to spell or even pronounce it, but wow was it good.
The next day, we woke up and set out for a traditional Hungarian breakfast. To say the least, it was basically just eggs and sausage with a Hungarian bread on the side, called Kifli, but I love breakfast food, so definitely can’t complain. Our friends Harry and Annie finally landed and we immediately set out to see what all the Buda buzz was about. We walked around gazing at the beautiful architecture, straight out of a Fairytale similarly to Prague. We checked out the Buda Castle then hiked up the Citadella for one of the most incredible views. I thought the Basilica was amazing, until this.
Finally it was time for lunch, and me and Emily knew just where to take Harry and Annie. We went back to the local market with all different types of traditional Hungarian meals. When my friend Hershel told me that Goulash is a must try in Eastern Europe, he meant Budapest. Even though I had my first taste of it in Prague, I gotta say that Budapest is not only bigger, but better too. For those who don’t know, it’s basically beef stew with some carrots and potatoes… in a bread bowl. Literally couldn’t be more up my ally if it tried. Even though it was one of my favorite foreign dishes, I was still Hungary for more. We caught gaze with a woman deep frying dough, layering mounds of Nutella on top, and on others piling it up with a white sauce and cheese. Safe to say, me and Emily had to get one of each and try them both. Apparently these giant elephant ears are called Langos, and they were definitely worth the thousands of calories.
After eating our way through Hungary, we took a little break before the famous bath parties at Szechenyi bath. I had heard stories about these crazy parties that go down in a giant thermally heated pool by hot springs that naturally run right under it. We were pumped to dive into the action. It felt a little like Miami since the pool was warm like the Atlantic Ocean and everyone was up all night. We met up with a few friends and began what turned into one of the best nights abroad. Safe to say, we killed the (bath) tub.
The next day, we had our final Hungarian feast, and packed up to head home. As popular demand from me myself and I, we went back into the market one last time. I got my last traditional goulash and something sweet for the airport. It’s crazy that this is one of my last trips I’d be taking abroad. I’m still not sure how these four months have already flown by, but this trip was definitely one for the books and a perfect way to end our school semester.