A few days ago I decided to leave Romania.
I didn’t make a big fuss about it. I just packed my bag, made an arrangement through a car-sharing website and I was off.
If you are wondering how is it that I didn’t hitchhike, I’ll let you know that I chose this option because I wanted to get to Budapest as soon as possible so I can spend a few days there with my girlfriend. Denisa was having her flight to USA on the 17th so I wanted to take advantage of our time, not to waste it with hitchhiking.
That decision was very good because I got there very fast and the driver was great. He took me from my address and drove me all the way to the address provided. He was super cool to do that for me. When he heard that I haven’t been to Budapest before, he decided to help me.
I stayed at the outskirts of Budapest through couchsurfing.
My host was super nice and he tried(and managed) to make my stay as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, he had to leave on the same day I arrived so he just gave me the keys and told me to enjoy my stay. Yes! He is that awesome!
Due to the fact that I was living at approx. 2 hours of walking from the center, I was about to have a nice, loooong walk to the city.
I have no problem with walking so I really enjoyed it.
So, as I reached the center of the city, I met with my girlfriend and we went up to the citadel, as one friend suggested.
As soon as we started walking, I took out my phone and started taking pictures. The scenery was getting better and better and I was thrilled.
Of course the selfies followed and we had a lot of fun with that.
Oh, do you want to hear something funny? Even though both of us have a selfie-stick, both of us forgot it in our rooms. How ironic is that?
But, our hands were good enough and the world didn’t end there.
After we reached the top, we gazed at the city and looked at the storm clouds pouring over the whole city, except the place were we were. I was feeling like a god, moving the clouds with my mind, so I would keep my ass dry. And it worked!(for a while)
When we had enough of weather changing, we started strolling through the old streets on the hill. It was such a pleasant weather. Perfect for walking and looking at impressive, old buildings.
As we were heading back, Denisa spotted a small bazaar, or something. She desperately needed to buy some souvenirs and we entered it. I think it is a small square that now has lots of tables around and everyone sells souvenirs. The prices were acceptable, according to Denisa, and after we spent quite some time there, she picked her favorites.
If you manage to discover that place, I am sure you can buy some really nice souvenirs at decent prices. I wasn’t interested in buying anything, but some of the stuff were nice!
So, with those in hand we got back to the city and started roaming around, aimlessly. After a while we decided to go and check the island. We slowly made our way to it and as we arrived we were surprised to find out that cars are not allowed there, only pedestrians and bicycles.
Kudos for that, Budapest!
As soon as we got there, we heard some loud classical music coming from somewhere. We soon we found out the source of it.
There is a big water fountain next to the entrance, which has choreography for the music it plays. We found that very amusing and we took a seat and watched it for a few songs.
Next, we walked a bit more through the park and we took a lunch break, traveler style. I had with me a box of pasta that I made at home and some plastic forks. The bench was good enough for that and we got our bellies full in no time.
As soon as we finished, a big storm started and we ran for cover. Luckily for us, there were some umbrellas close by from a terrace and they were good enough.
After the storm passed, we started walking back to the city center and then each of us to our places.
Next morning Denisa came over to see the place where I was surfing and that’s when I suggested her a fun thing: “Let’s hitchhike to the center!”
She found it amusing to try that instead of a 2 hour walk and I immediately made 2 signs. One said “center” and the other one “please “
You can imagine which was for whom.
Before we left, we went shopping for some food and we were ready for an adventure.
We followed the main road all the way to an entrance to a factory. I assumed that the small road that acted as an entrance would be enough for a willing driver do park.
With our signs in the hands and with our smiles on our faces we started waiting.
The waiting was not longer than 10 minutes and a great guy pulled over. I noticed that actually he turned around his car for us. He told us that he has some time to spare and he took us to the center!!!
I discovered for the first time that you can hitchhike even inside a city. Hahah! That was really fun!
The driver was nice and he asked us lots of questions. He was really curious about us, our lives and trips. He also gave us a great tip!
He told us that if we want to cruise on the Danube, instead of the expensive boat we can take the public transportation boats.
Yes, you can go on the river for a bit more than 2 euros with the boats that are part of the Budapest’s public transportation.
Denisa and I decided that we will try that!
After we were dropped off in the center, we checked the schedule and made a plan.
That plan was “let’s get lost!”
And that’s what we did! We just said to each other that for the next 2 hours we will just go through random streets of the city, as we feel.
It was marvelous! We just took random left and right turns. We looked at buildings in the distance that we wanted to see, and those were our goals.
We roamed and roamed on the streets until I decided to enter a building.
It was a big food market. It wasn’t a regular one, but an old one that was renovated. It looks like a big room with a rooftop built on metal scaffolding. I started taking lots of pictures and I couldn’t stop telling how amazed I am by it.
I would suggest you to get lost on purpose and maybe you’ll also discover this marvel!
Next thing we ended up in front of St. Istvan Basilica and remembering that a friend told me to visit it, we went inside. There’s no entrance fee, just a donation box.
I am not a big fan of churches, but this basilica was amazing. It is huge and very interesting! I took some photos and just looked at its immensity.
When we got out of it we went straight for the boat.
Probably you are wondering how we managed to get to the boat.
For this I have to thank my brother. Before leaving Romania, he told me about a great app for my phone. It’s called “here” and it’s basically an app with maps.
The cool thing about it is that you can download the maps for the countries you want to visit and you keep them, forever. And on top of that you can get directions and all without a connection to the internet, just though the gps system!
We got there in time for a last ride which took about one hour. It was a nice ride and to see the city from the river was different.
Of course we took lots of pictures and selfies, but this time with my slefie-stick which I took with me this time.
The boat took us all the way to the end of the island, so we had another chance to go on an even longer walk.
We enjoyed our long walk towards the center and we were amazed by how many parks the city has. From this point of view I must say that Budapest is really green!
Next day Denisa had her flight and I went with her, and her friends, to the airport. This time I didn’t hitchhike, but took the buses instead. Hahaha!
After they got checked in, and fixed all their paperwork and luggage we felt the moment was coming.
It was emotional, of course. We said our farewell and “see you soon” and had to leave.
Although we didn’t want to, we had to.
So, after this, I went back home and I stayed in the whole day. I was a bit tired from all the walking I did the previous days; also because I woke up really early in order to go to the airport.
The fact that I rested that day was perfect. I got time to make my plans for the next day, as I was starting my trip “Travelling Stones”.
My next destination was Czech Republic so the fact that I stayed in was great.
After spending some days in Budapest, I must admit that what everyone says about it is true. I didn’t interact with it as most of the people, but I was impressed and I would definitely visit it again.
I hope you’ll discover at least the things I told you about, if not more!
Tell me what you liked about Budapest when you were there. Or if you haven’t been, what would you like to see?
Take care and see you soon!