Tim likes to travel. Follow his adventures as he explores the world.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Budapest, Hungary: Great Place to Take a Bath

Synopsis: Found a pretty good deal on flights to Budapest and Julius found a host on couchsurfing, so nothing left to it but to do it!

Trip Overview:
Day 1: Fly into Budapest and we catch the train into town. Our host, Karolina, won't be home from work until later, so we have a couple of hours before we meet her. So, we hit the gym and get in some reps, while studying our broscience manuals. Afterward, we wipe off the equipment we use, because that's just courteous, and then head over to meet Karolina. We stop by the store for special ingredients, on the way to her place, so that we(I) can share our(my) love of cooking gumbo from my native land of Zataran (Julius didn't do any work). The girls do not like the gumbo but they're trying to be nice about it, excusing themselves to the bathroom after each bite. Julius and I ended up eating it all. 

Now that we are feeling good, we head out into the city and our first stop is a random bar where we try palinka. Wow, that stuff is strong! Then, we go to Szimpla. This bar is really cool. It has two stories and part of the downstairs is outside. There are so many people in here and I am hearing several different accents and languages, but mostly english. Next place we go to is Morrison's 2, which is like 5 clubs and 4 bars all in one big building. We stay there for awhile, hopping to different sections and dancing and having fun.

Thoughts: Karolina seems really nice and friendly. There are a lot of clubs in Budapest, and we actually got carded at a few, which is flattering, except Julius forgot his ID, so we couldn't get in. Plus, the trams were running well after 3am, which is super convenient and should be adopted in more major European cities.


At the train station

First thing we did was find a gym to get our (not so) swol on


Our host, Karolina

video
Sharing my culture with Karolina


Cookin' gumbo in Hungary

Hanging out at the apartment 

Karolina's friend, Alexandra, who hung out with us the first night

This bar was PACKED and had amazing atmosphere


Day 2: Venture out into the city by ourselves today. Jump on the hop on/off tour bus to get the overlay of the city and see all the major points of interest. End up at Hero's Square and ask a stranger to take some photos of us, and it turns into a photo shoot, since we are such photogenic hams. We walk around City Park a bit and check out the thermal baths. We will come back tomorrow for a full day at the baths. Then we head over to the castle/museum and grab some snacks and walk around the gardens.

Then, we jump back on the bus and head over to the Buda side and do the tour there. It is a lot less eventful on this side and seems to be mostly just rich people's houses. We look around for a bit and then take the bus back to the Pest side and go to Karolina's place. On the way, we see about 30 people outside participating in an outdoor pillow fight. Where's my pillow when I need it?

She is studying/working so we go out into the city on our own at night. We are walking around looking for a club, and two Dutch girls, Robin and Ester, stop us and ask us how to get to somewhere, since we are obviously locals. We have no idea, but invite them to the club with us and we all go and end up having a good time. Then, they know of another club on the river, that plays dubstep. I've never been to a dubstep club, I only learned what dubstep was a few weeks ago. It is pretty cool: very intense music, with heavy bass, synthesizer music, and a rock and roll feel. It was a cool new experience for me and the ladies were a lot of fun to hang out with.

Thoughts: How random to meet two strangers on the street and then hang out with them all night. That's the joys of getting out of the house and exploring the world around you.


We dem boyz... has not yet been released at the time of this trip

On the hop on/off bus tour

Art Museum at Hero's Square

GQ photo shoot in Hero's Square in front of the Millenium Monument

Pose #18

Pose #33

Pose #3,947,482


Too cool in front of Jáki kápolna

Julius doing his "Eat the Corn Dance"

Clearly intrigued by the commentary on the hop on/off tour

View of the Pest side from the Buda side


Dubstep Club, A38, on the Danube river

Day 3: We head out toward the Széchenyi Thermal Baths via metro. The metro stop we get off at seems like a cave, and its so small that I can touch the ceilings just standing. We head into the baths and go to the main area first. Everyone had the same idea so there are a lot of people around. The weather isn't really cold, but its quite windy, so when you get out of the water it feels super cold. There is an indoor section with hot tubs and saunas and we just work our way around the complex, trying the different temperature waters, and the ones with aloe or eucalyptus. 

After a few hours, surprisingly not wrinkled, we leave the baths and head to our boat tour on the Danube. We get live commentary about the bridges and buildings along the river. It is a cloudy day, but visibility is still ok.

Following the boat tour, we head downtown. We arranged to meet some other couch surfers at the Hard Rock Cafe, so we head in that direction. There is a market at the square near Hard Rock and we check it out and see some interesting stands. Then we go into the Hard Rock but the surfers never show. So we just talk with the bartender a bit and eat some greasy American food.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed the baths, as it is very relaxing and therapeutic. I really try to avoid eating American food while in other countries, but I just could not bring myself to eat rooster testicle stew!


Széchenyi Thermal Baths


It was pretty crowded, despite being cold when you got out the water
Parliament house from our boat tour

Walking around imitating statues

I'm brave, but not that brave

That's a really really ridiculously big chair

Day 4: Say our goodbyes in the late morning and head back to Brussels.

Thoughts: I'll be back!


Final Thoughts: Saw a lot of the city, particularly at night, but I definitely would like to go back and do a bit more of the cultural activities and museums. There seems to be a wealth of history, waiting to be discovered, but it will have to wait until next time. Maybe Karoline, my super awesome nice and generous hostess, will host me again?

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Location: Budapest, Hungary

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