I took another overnight train through Vienna to Budapest, Hungary. A lot of backpackers had told me how great Budapest was and I was intrigued. I had decided on 2 days in Budapest. Best idea ever.This train out of Vienna was so nice. I took this time to tentatively figure out the rest of my trip. And in Krakow I had made a big decision: I was going skydiving over the Swiss Alps!! I reserved and booked it and was so excited! But before I finished my trip up in Switzerland, I had a few other countries to hit first.
I really liked these buildings.I quickly learned by one glance at a map that Budapest was broken into two sections: Buda and Pest separated by the Danube. I stayed on the Pest side for my first day. I started my Rick Steves walking tour at the Gresham Palace. It was recently renovated into a Four Season Hotel. Fancy. I never would have gone in had it not been for my guidebook. The Chain Bridge and Buda Castle.BudaA pretty great place to lounge. I’ve never seen an outdoor cafe like this.Central Hall Market. This place is huge! Budapest is famous for their peppers and spices. Who knew?I love this lady shopping with her real baskets.It was very crowded upstairs and very hot.My food options. Not very appetizing. What I ended up getting:Fried dough covered in sugar!! Yayy!They like to pickle everything. And draw faces on it. My general rule is I don’t like to eat anything with a face on it.The view from the market. I love their architecture in Europe. Mundane buildings are beautiful.The Holocaust memorial at the Great Synagogue. Each “leaf” has a victim’s name on it.
What a great way to make a playground look better. This is my hostel! I found another Wombat’s Hostel and was so happy. This time I got a room for 4 girls. It was the best hostel experience of the whole trip. I already knew I liked the hostel from Vienna, but this one was even nicer.My room. Or my part of the room. I was on the bottom bunk. The whole floor was only girls! It was really nice and so safe. I came back to the hostel in the afternoon to change into my bathing suit to hit the Hungarian baths!So very true.A walk down Andrassy Avenue. This is an elegant avenue with fancy stores similar to Parisian boulevards. It connects the inner city with Hero’s Square and City Park.The Opera House on Andrassy Avenue.A side street off Andrassy Ave.I knew I could trust an American fast food chain to deliver on large sodas with ice!! Mmmmboy! Thank you, Burger King!! I refused to eat at any fast food chains, but fountain sodas make me happy so I will absolutely partake in that. Beautiful Hero’s Square.I would trade off taking pictures with people if they were young travelers like me.Rick Steves had a funny quip about this statue. Something along the lines that she was so tired because she over-packed for her vacation.Before entering City Park.I officially adore Budapest. Corn and cotton candy at the same place?!!? My dream came true!It’s a real life Disneyland!!! Cotton candy in front of Vajdahunyad Castle! I am the happiest person! Oh. My. God. I died. I was laughing out loud at this bride. There are so many things wrong with this. She looks like an over-tanned, highly inappropriate bride wearing far too much makeup. AND then her husband is gay and they’re posing by a statue of the Grim Reaper. Nothing says, “I Do” like the Grim Reaper. Perfect. I wish someone was there to laugh at this with me. A festival in the park.I had finally arrived at what I was looking forward to most in Budapest: the Szechenyi Baths. This was Rick Steves’ favorite baths and I was super excited to relax in them! It was naturally heated by hot springs. There were 15 indoor very hot pools and 3 outdoor pools: this heated one, a lap pool, and a “fun” pool. It really was fun! This isn’t my picture but I didn’t get my own picture of the fun pool. There were jets in the floor and the walls that would massage you and then that C in the middle is a swirlpool!! Every 5 minutes or so it would blast you with current and you swirl in a circle really quickly! It was so so fun. I stayed in there for so long. I had the best evening here. I stayed in those pools for hours until I was a prune. The only bad thing was since I was alone and I didn’t have my camera to look like a tourist, people would come up and talk to me in Hungarian. One guy was really bothering me though. He kept following me around trying to talk to me. I moved pools and he followed me. I finally had to get a little loud and put my hand out saying, “No! Go away!” After that he left me alone. Even with that situation, I had a fabulous day in Budapest. I really loved it there!
And when I got back from my day, the other 3 girls staying in the hostel with me were fantastic! Two of them were together and the other was traveling alone as well. They were all from Scotland which is a big coincidence. It was the only time I really talked to hostel roommates. We were all staying the next night together too! It was by far the best hostel experience of the trip and I made some new Scottish friends! Yay Budapest!