Day 7: Hello Budapest

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Part of what I loved about Budapest is how spontaneously we had decided to go there. We had every intention of following up Vienna with a visit to Prague but Budapest was calling.

On a 2-hour train ride from Vienna to Budapest we read up on the city and according to the guides I had read up on, I could expect to be mugged, pick-pocketed, and fall victim to something that looked like the movie Hostel upon my arrival.

Part of our travel strategy was to book cheap hotels close to the train station so that we wouldn’t have to walk far with our backpacks – but the areas around the stations are typically full of hot pavement and a little bit of hustle. Maybe not the most inviting scene to an unfamiliar city. We exchanged our currency, checked into our hotel, showered and studied up on the city map.

It turned out one of the friends we made on the wine & bike tour in Vienna, Suzy, was in Budapest too so we made plans to meet up with her for dinner. We had a gorgeous view of St. Stephen’s Basilica and over beers and dinner we chatted about life, politics and education. Through language barriers we had a fun conversation with a couple of Italian guys sitting next to us. As the sun set we noticed people gathering around the steps of the church with bottles of wine. So we followed suit.

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I mentally added “Drink a bottle of Shiraz on the steps of St. Stepehen’s Basilica in Budapest” to my bucket list while at the same time crossing it off. It was that kind of perfect. We exchanged life stories with Suzy until 1AM. My eyes were growing bleary as the street really started coming to life. We said goodbye to our new friend and grabbed a taxi who drove too fast down narrow streets back to our hotel. I leaned my head against the window and let my tired eyes soak up the gorgeous architecture, dilapidated and covered in graffiti, passing by. I was glad to be in Budapest.

  1. We should totally be able to just drink anywhere outside here in the U.S. I have to ninja-sneak a damn can of beer on the beach while they’re drinking wine on the steps of a dang church. I SAY NO MORE.

  2. Francine – Ha! AGREED. I felt like I was about to get into some serious trouble at any minute from having an “open container” – on the steps of a church, no less! I really enjoyed how little babying there was in Europe. Everything here feels so over-protected in comparison.

  3. Beth

    Oh it looks so beautiful.
    My fella is from Hungary and will occasionally tell me how beautiful some parts of it are! I’m very jealous, but it looks like you had a great time!
    xox

  4. Such beautiful snaps and so well presented – thanks! It makes me want to hop on a plane there right away! 🙂 Cheers from London. Will

  5. I went to Budapest on a class trip when I was 17 and remember thinking it was the most surreal place I had ever experienced. That was 12 years ago so things may have been a bit different then. We stayed in a one star hostel where the showers consisted of a big concrete room that had hoses coming out of the walls, our bus got stormed by police with big guns trying to get bribe money off our bus driver, some homeless people decided to put fresh paint on a park bench and wait for us to sit on it, and we got horribly drunk every night because vodka was so cheap. Ha ha oh to be 17 again. Still I would love to go back there and check it out. I miss drinking wine in the town square too 🙂

  6. Nicole

    Your travel writing is just…BEYOND.

  7. Beth – I really enjoyed Hungary. I’ll post about the rest of our time in Budapest over the week.

    Will – You’re so close! You should absolutely visit Budapest ASAP.

    Dashfield – WOW! What a time you had! It really was a beautiful city – I’ll share more tomorrow.

    Nicole – XO!

  8. So, so lovely! I love the kind of warm light that feels as intoxicating as wine. Bet that church was full of it.

  9. Great photos! Are you feeling better about the trip now that you are feeling healthy again and going through it all?
    totally unrelated but equally important…
    Do I spot a fanny pack? You found one? tell meeee

  10. nicole

    This is so romantic, so magical. xo.

  11. I love that you set “BUDAPEST” in off-white to match the levels of the photos.

  12. I lived and worked in Budapest for a year in 1999 and I absolutely adore this city and the hungarian people. Thank you so much for bringing back some really fond memories with you story . I long to go again soon. LOVE IT!

  13. I lived and worked in Budapest for a year in 1999 and I absolutely adore this city and the hungarian people. Thank you so much for bringing back some really fond memories with you story . I long to go again soon. LOVE IT!

  14. So beautiful! I’m adding this to my places to visit someday! 🙂

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