Friday, 11 April 2014

BUDAPEST (part 2)

Continuing on from Tuesday's photo-fest, here's what Friday and Saturday looked like...
On Friday morning we headed away from the river towards City Park and Szechenyi thermal baths. We bought the cheapest ticket available which gave us access to all the pools and a locker. The thermal pools were all inside and, although they were relaxing, many of them were quite busy especially some of the smaller ones. So, we ended up spending the majority of our time in the outside pool (or 'sitting pool' as they call it). Not only was it heated but it also featured jacuzzi-type bubbles and a rapids whirlpool which was You can hire towels at the baths as well as robes to wear whilst walking between the pools. On reflection I think we should have done that because we ended up having to carry our soaking towels back to the apartment on public transport. City Park is home to Vajdahunyad Castle and had we not been super tired and starving (I've no idea why swimming pools do that to me) we would have visited it but alas. It's on my list to see when I come back to Budapest again.
Showered and towel free we descended upon the Book Café, (or Lotz Terem) so called (I presume) because you have to walk through a book shop and up an escalator to get to it. As you can see it has the most amazing ceiling/chandelier thing going on, and the coffee (and cake) is bloody good too! City breaks can get a bit knackering I find - trying to cram as much in as possible - so, I would highly recommend this café. It was the perfect place to relax, gaze at the ceiling, listen to the man playing the piano, drink delicious coffee and stuff my face full of cake.
On a side note, I really wish I'd taken more pictures of the buildings in Budapest. Loads of them were painted the most beautiful colours - yellow, peach, subtle pinks. Plus, the random mix of architecture styles - gothic, turkish influences - was a reeeeally cool.
I was v.aware that this was our last night in Budapest and I still hadn't tried traditional Hungarian goulash so, we hopped on the metro to a pub that had received a hell of a lot of good reviews on trip advisor, For Sale Pub. The goulash soup was a-mazing. Beef, potatoes, carrots, little things which reminded me of suet dumplings all in a spicy soupy with Hungarian chilli flakes sprinkled on top. Luv-er-ly. For Sale Pub isn't just known for its grub though, its decor is pretty sweet too. The walls and ceilings are covered in scraps of paper bearing notes from past patrons. Just like the thousands before us we left our mark :)
3 massive beers later, we took the tram to Kazinczy utca. The city is famous for its ruinpubs and we set our sights on Szimpla kert. It was pretty late when we arrived and the place was super busy. It  was huge - full of lots of bars, seating areas, shisha smoking areas, a large terrace area with a films being projected onto a screen. I sort of wished we'd gone in the day as that would've given us a better chance of exploring the place. Plus, I think there's a lot of food things there during the daytime. Oh well, I'll just put it on the list for next time :) We stayed for a giant beer and then headed back to the apartment but not before purchasing some of their delicious pizza.

We got up early on our last day, packed up all our stuff and went for breakfast at the seriously decadent New York Café. It's actually a hotel too I think. The decor was rather exquisite but the bill, thankfully wasn't. We both ordered poached eggs on toast (and I got mushrooms, tomatoes and sausages too) all washed down with a 'Power Package' smoothie. Not only was it the exact breakfast that I wanted, it tasted amazing and the presentation was awesome - really wished I'd taken a picture of it!

Seriously full, we waddled over to the river to see if we could get a boat ride on the danube. Before our ride disembarked we took a walk along the Pest bank towards the Parliament building (which is stunning btw) and came across the Shoes on the Danube memorial. It commemorates the victims who were shot into the Danube by fascist militiamen during WWII. It's a really moving and poignant sculpture.
The actual boat trip itself was alright, but it got a little chilly. It was nice to sit and look at the scenery but I wouldn't do it again. I think you're probably better off exploring places on foot to be honest.  
We spent our last hour in Budapest back at the Book Café - it really was worth a second visit. Tea, coffee, a couple of sandwiches, some shared dessert and then it was time to leave. 
We used Airbnb and stayed in this apartment - I'd recommend both :) Here's the chilli I brought back for Mitch and this is a little bottle of palinka. Wikipedia describes it as a fruit brandy but I was also told it's like a v.strong (40% alc.) wine... my sis and I each bought a bottle because we didn't get around to trying any, hopefully it'll be tasty. 

Till we meet again Budapest!


  1. Oh man, Budapest has always been on my Bucket List of places to visit. But this post has made me want to go RIGHT NOW. Lovely lovely xx

    1. it is SUCH a cool city - can't recommend it enough :) x


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