Category: Budapest

Budapest 16/04/2010

I’ve been pretty busy with either uni, work or travelling so have had no time to really update my travels around Europe. As you can see im about a fortnight behind but I got my Lomo roll developed so I can finally make my Buda(post)!

To provide some context into the weekend I left for Budapest, it was a little birthday present for myself but was also timed with the eruption of the volcano in Iceland. I don’t know the extent that affected travel in Australia but in Europe.. it was chaos. There were so many stranded tourists everywhere and because they couldn’t board their planes the second best option was the train. I boarded my train at 11:30pm as I had booked the night train into Budapest thinking i was saving a night’s worth of accommodation. It was really difficult to tell the classes so I jumped on one carriage only to be told it was the ‘1st class’ carriage and that my ticket was for the 2nd class. It was depressing moving along the train because I quickly ┬árealised the differences in classes.

Whilst 1st class had their own private room, the next class down had shared beds within a compartment. I put my bag down but realised the carriage was empty so asked if i was in the right class. The attendant told me I was 3 carriages down – little did I know, each carriage would be significantly worse as I went down. I finally reached my carriage to realise I hadn’t booked a seat so was seated on this tiny little pull out seat in the aisle. The carriage was completely packed and disgusting – you could easily have thought we were in India there were so many people squashed inside. As i had 8 hours to go on this hellish train ride, I decided that the seat was not going to work and instead fell asleep stretched out on the floor.

Out of context I know sleeping on the floor, in particular in the aisle of a train sounds gross but there was no way I was going to get sleep sitting upright on a chair which was literally about 20cm small! Luckily, 90% of the passengers left the train at Vienna so for 3 hours I was able to get some sleep in an empty carriage into Budapest. While there I befriended a Hungarian guy who had shared the traumatic experience with me. When we arrived in Budapest he ended up helping me catch my train to the apartment I was couchsurfing at.

I have to say, I’ve been lucky to have 2 great couchsurfing experiences so far! The apartment I was staying at was a French student on his Erasmus exchange in Budapest so I quickly put my bags down before venturing out into the city.
The city of Budapest is incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t really tell you why or what made it so beautiful but being there was so refreshing, It was the first city on this whole trip that i was able to sit down and really take in my surroundings!

I really can’t explain it, but something about being in that city – the experience of just walking around and absorbing it really stood out for me. There were a lot of little charms I want to share with you rather than running through every single thing I did.

A lot of the buildings in Budapest were in the Art Nouveau style which was really nice to be around whilst exploring the city.

There are 3 major bridges connecting the two sides of the city (Buda and Pest) together. I was couchsurfing on the Buda side which is where a lot of the tourist attractions are, whereas the Pest side was where the city was located (shops,restaurants etc:) So each morning I would across the bridge into the city and then cross back to go home. It was incredible to walk over the Danube river constantly.

The street lights in Budapest were really beautiful as they all still had the aesthetic as above.

I came across this trio twice in Budapest, as they played great Hungarian folk music on the street. The second time I saw them was at around 7pm inside this underground tunnel which was completely empty, yet they still had the same energy as they did playing in the main forum.

On the Buda side there is a great spot at the top which overlooks the entire city and the river. There is a ledge which you can sit on and have this 180 degree view of Budapest for free. Absolutely serene.

Sometimes when you’re exploring cities your head can be buried deep in the map. This is an example of when sometimes you have to look up – it was a flock of birds flying just above me

What i came to notice about Budapest was it was a really romantic city. I had noticed a lot of couples who would just stop on the street and kiss each other and I guess this sign just reflects the ability to do that.

This was my absolute favourite photo from the trip. I had just finished walking around the entire city by foot (including going on both sides of the city as well as up and down the hill) and wanted to sit down. It was about 6pm in the evening and clouds were brewing and it was starting to sprinkle. I was situated above a road beside the Danube river and to the left of this photo was a bicycle track which had cyclists going past me. There was just something so perfect about that moment and it was also the very last frame on my roll of film.