Hungary for Budapest

Here we go again with those Eastern European vibes. But honestly, after a great trip to Prague I was excited to see what Budapest had to offer. Let’s start off with a little 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, it’s one city now, but back in the day they developed completely on their own, only separated by the Danube river. Even though both cities together form Budapest, each side has a history pf it’s own.

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We heard that Pest is where all the fun goes down, so naturally we found a hostel in that area. One of my friends took a little Euro trip last summer and had only great things to say about a party hostel he stayed at, called Retox. We immediately booked the last private room and were ready to get weird. The hostel was awesome because it was run by people around our age from all over the world. There were people from Australia to Croatia, even from Israel, (Represent). Most of them were backpackers who stumbled upon Budapest and liked it so much they decided to stay. A few years later, and those tourists are now our guides.

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After settling in, we went to the top of the Basilica for a view of the city. Three euros, and about 300 stairs later, we had an incredible view and hopefully a little booty lift. On our way back, we passed by a local market and naturally my nose fell victim to the foreign smells. After settling our hunger with some Hungary delights, we wandered through the outskirts of Pest until making it back to the hostel.

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When we woke up the next day, we 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 no complaints. Our friends Harry and Annie finally landed and we immediately set out to see what all the Buda buzz was about. We walked around the entire city of Buda in awe at all the beautiful architecture. Not as fairy-tale as Prague, but definitely magical.

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On our way to the Buda Castle, we saw a woman deep frying dough, layering mounds of Nutella on top. This caught everyone’s attention. When we got a closer look, we saw there was a sweet and savory option, the savory layered with sour cream and cheese. Emily and I couldn’t resist trying both because when in Buda? Apparently these giant elephant ears are called Langos, and they were definitely worth the thousands of calories.

After eating our entire daily calorie intake in one meal , we were ready to walk it off by hiking up the Citadella for a view that made the Basilica look like a lame preview. You could see Buda and Pest from every angle and made it feel like you’re on top of the world. In the great words of Miley, “Life’s a climb, but the views great.”

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All the walking up hill got us hungry for more. We headed back to Pest to show our friends the amazing market we walked through the day before. My mouth was watering and I knew exactly what to get. I refused to leave without, Goulash a traditional Hungarian stew with beef, potato, carrots and onion in a BREAD BOWL. I would say goulash is like a Panera bread bowl, but that would be putting my goulash to shame. I was so happy.

After eating our way through Hungary, we wanted to splish splash in the Buda baths. So we bought tickets for a party that night at Szechenyi bath. Most of Budapest is built on top of naturally heated springs so many places have turned these springs into relaxing spa pools during the day, and crazy heated pool parties by night. We were pumped to dive into the action. I’m not going to lie, it was basically just a public pool party with warm water, but still fun nonetheless.

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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 ended the trip the way I started, with my last traditional goulash and something sweet for the ride. It’s crazy to think that this is one of the last trips I’d be taking abroad and I’m still not sure how these four months already flew by, but this trip was one for the books and a perfect way to end our semester.

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