Tuesday, 21 March 2017

In & Around Budapest! (Summer 2015)

Here's yet another update on what you can do in and around Budapest over a couple of days! And in case you don't find anything useful in this post, check out my other tips here (Gödöllő, Budapest and Pál-völgyi barlang) and here (the Parliament, Sugar! and the circus).

So anyway, here's what we did in June 2015 before heading to Szeged for my third summer in Hungary. We arrived quite late in the evening and checked in to our regular hostel, Lavender Circus. The owner carried our insanely heavy bags all the way up the stairs (there's no lift), and Julcsi managed to get online even though we weren't given the wifi password, so yay! The weather was super hot Hungarian style and we had the fan on all night.

Day 1
On our first full day, we headed to Budapest Zoo. It's a huge place with a lot of different animals, and we ended up staying there from 12:30 pm until 5:30 pm! The animals are placed around the zoo according to the continents where they come from, so basically a day at the zoo is like a trip around the world :D. We were completely exhausted from all the walking in the end, but it was well worth it! The best thing was an orangutan mum with her baby on her back! Just about the cutest thing I have ever seen <3.





Nemo!









Awwwwwwwwww!!

Just look at that little face!! <3

SO ADORABLE!


From the zoo, we went to West End, the shopping mall, for some Hungarian food...



...and then in the evening, we met up with Julcsi's friend and her boyfriend at one of the many ruin pubs of Budapest, Szimpla Kert. Ruin pubs are definitely something unique worth experiencing in Budapest! Szimpla Kert reminds me so much of the original CBGB's in New York with its cool & trashy look:








A really lovely day, all in all!

Day 2
On our second day, we got up quite early, stopped at the nearest Fornetti for breakfast, and then caught the HÉV train to Szentendre, a lovely small town 25 kilometres north of Budapest. Once there, we caught a local bus to Skanzen, which is an open air ethnographic museum. Before that, though, I went to a Chinese shop to by a disgustingly ugly men's hoodie for myself as it was freezing cold all of a sudden and I obviously hadn't brought suitable clothes with me because Hungary = scorching hot...The hoodie has a text with something along the lines of "Forawadr Thinkign"...:D

My Forawadr Thinkign hoodie :D.
Anyway, Skanzen is a nice place because you get to try all kinds of different things, including juices, mézeskalács (Hungarian gingerbread) and  perec (Hungarian pretzel). Julcsi also made a candle and I tried playing some old games. The place also had its own cat, Sanyika, who joined Julcsi and me at one point and walked around the area with us for quite a while :).










Candle-making.



Some kind of concentration camp carriage...


Sanyika joined us :)!
















Once we'd seen everything, we caught a bus back to Szentendre and had some soup before checking out the Szamos Marzipan Museum. What an incredible place with the most amazing things made out of marzipan, such as....





...and Süsü, the one-headed dragon (apparently all "real" dragons have at least three heads...) who's kind of discriminated against because he's different <3.


We then climbed up a hill to a church with our newly purchased marzipan to admire the views over Szentendre.







Yet another lovely day! In the evening, we ate at a kebab place next to our hostel, and did some planning for our final day in Budapest.

Day 3
On our last Budapest day, we left our stuff at the hostel and walked along the Danube to a holocaust memorial called The Shoes on the Danube Bank. It commemorates the people who were shot into the river by the Arrow Cross Party during World War II. Some of them were tied to each other so that one was shot and the other went down with them and drowned. Or at least this is something I've been told. It's all very horrible and disturbing...







We then caught the metro to our next destination, namely Cat Café, where we also met up with Julcsi's friend Flóra. I loved the place! The cats are not that interested in the customers as I guess they get more than enough affection from various people every day, but you could still buy some snacks for them to make them interested in you :D. The coffee shop is really spacious, and the cats that live there are truly lucky! It was also really nice to meet Flóra :)!










We had one more thing to do before getting our stuff and leaving for Szeged. We had booked to do a mini tour of the Opera House, or Opera Ház, which ended up being a hilarious experience as Julcsi got to be a part of a performance :D. The tour included a mini concert where one of the singers of the opera came out to do a couple of songs...and during one of them, he first shook hands with a couple of people and then pulled Julcsi in to play the role of a soldier boy next to him, heh :D! All the British grandmas instantly took out their cameras, so Julcsi is now an international opera star :D! Unfortunately, I only have a video of the event, and Julcsi doesn't want it to be published, so imagining the whole thing will have to suffice.



My next update will be about a crazy road trip through Transylvania in Romania - for this one, you should definitely stay tuned :D!