By the time I was leaving for Budapest I was ready for some solo adventures and the moment I landed in Budapest I was elated… This city is wonderful. I easily navigated my way from the airport to Andrassy Ut 27, where I was meeting Djordje (the owner of Tutu). He quickly showed me around the apartment, my room and introduced me to his two adorable little boys (twins) before leaving me with his keys to this gorgeous apartment directly across from the Opera House. The photo below is from my window–where I did a bit of sitting and reading, contemplating, and of course listening to the opera practices and warm-ups. I spent the evening walking around and feeling absolutely high on wanderlust.
That evening I met up with Djordje for a drink and he took me for a ride in Tutu all the way up to the Citadel. The city was so beautiful at night and the photo below shows the Buda Castle and the Szechenyi Bridge from one of the outlooks at the Citadel. It was such a pleasant little trip and it was really fun (and bumpy) riding in the tiny Fiat 500. **I’d like to put a disclaimer that I stopped using my regular camera the whole time I was in Budapest because I had an issue with my adapter and could only charge my iPod, so all of these photos are not great quality…**
I spent the whole next day wandering, bought my train ticket to Prague, relaxed at Szechenyi Bath for several hours (which was unbelievable and I only got slightly sunburnt…), went to see Othello at the Opera house in the evening and hung out at Jokai Ter for dinner at Kiado Kocsma. The next day was my shopping day…where I went on a search for the perfect “purse” (Gah, I hate those things…but the bag I had wasn’t cutting it). I ended up walking along the river, all the way to the central market where I picked up some paprika and other “snacks”. Later in the evening I found some antique stores on the way to dinner and managed to find a few treasures!
Thursday was spent with Helene and Piotr, from Vienna! I couch surfed with them when I visited Vienna two years ago and have stayed in contact because they are the loveliest of people. They took the train in to see me and we spent the day exploring Buda Castle area, riding the funicular up and then walking back down, walking across the Szechenyi Bridge and having dinner; then I had to rush to the Ballet (Romeo and Juliet). I didn’t have super awesome seats for this one, but I still truly enjoy ballet performance over opera. After the ballet I met Djordje for a drink again and got a very nice walking tour of the interesting bars in Budapest. We stopped and had a drink at one of them; it was huge and mostly outdoors with some quirky rooms and bars scattered around, old cars as seats/tables, a theatre screen and a full house. It actually thunderstormed while we were there and since Portland does not HAVE thunderstorms I was pretty excited and unbothered when I got rained on. (as I said my outlet adapter was giving me issues so I couldn’t blow dry my hair and had to give up anyways…) It was a very full and wonderful day!
My very last day in Budapest was Friday and I spent the day at Szechenyi Baths again since I just wanted to relax. I also bought some books and hung out at a coffee shop in the book store for several hours, listening to the piano player, eating a salad, and reading my books. The Last Window-Giraffe and the Little Prince were the two books that I was most excited about–I didn’t put The Last Window-Giraffe down until I finished it and the Little Prince is a famous children’s book I’ve been meaning to get since it will aid in the process of a writing project I’m going to do once I have free time…. It was exactly what I needed after the full day before. It amazes me how much this portion of my trip meant to me and how refreshing it was to be back in Budapest. I think the next step is just moving there….if only.