3 Jan 2016

Brits Abroad: My visit to Budapest.

Terror Haza
When working in America summer 2015 I met some friends for life. These friends live in different corners of the globe now and so upon my return to the UK we were eagerly planning the next opportunity to see each other. And so we planned a trip to Budapest, Hungary. Spending just £98 on return flights with Jet2 from Manchester and only £90.50 each for the apartment for 5 days at the Gozsdu Apartments in the centre of Budapest, we were onto a winner! For 1 British pound we were receiving 400 Hungarian Forint's and the cost of living there is much more reasonable and so it was hardly a costly trip. 

I woke up early in York and headed to the train station.  My train left at 08.09 from York to Manchester airport, it was -2 in the car and covered in ice. Not an ideal start to my journey across Europe. Oh and Sod's law, I'm travelling backwards. All the fields on the train route, the fields were masked by a sheet of ice and fog. It's probably the most picturesque I've ever seen Yorkshire look. Narrated with Ellie Goulding's Delirium album, I'm just 1hr 45 mins away from the airport. I couldn't be more excited to be reunited with Dina & James. 

It suddenly occurs to me that I've never flown anywhere
Hero Square
wearing a coat, scarf and even a bobble hat prepared in my backpack. How bloody exciting! The train briefly stops in Manchester Piccadilly which made me so reminiscent of my university days. It felt foreign to stay on and not take my usual stroll to Piccadilly gardens and catch the 142 magic bus to Rusholme. But this time, I had a plane to catch!

After I had checked in, the process was pretty speedy. Fortunately a member of security helped me pack all of my miniatures into one see-through zip lock bag so that they weren't confiscated from me. After I had cleared security I was straight through to the gate. There was a 35 min delay for take off. Normally this wouldn't bother me but the rather large Hungarian lady who was sat next to me, and basically on me was hogging half of my seat and insulting my nostrils with her smuggled in beef & chicken burger from Burger King, yuck.Less than 3 min after take off, the sky was a meadow of nothingness. Just white for miles and miles. Almost ethereal.  Fortunately despite our delay, we had strong tail winds pushing us all the way. Due to my early rise I slept for most of it.  As we were about to land the pilot announced that it was currently -56 outside whilst God knows how many feet in the air and -1 on the ground. I'm not sure what was worse.
When I arrived at the airport Dina and James were already waiting for me there. Then Totka drove us all into the centre and to our apartment. We were so pleasantly surprised by what we were welcomed with. Hero Square was surrounded by architecture you only see on the movies, or so I thought. The whole walk there we were constantly pointing out buildings we described as a film set. They were so grande looking. We took a short walk to the Parliament building, which was reminiscent of a 3D puzzle. Everything looked so historical, it was not at all what I had anticipated. There was so much we wanted to see and do.
The Shoes of the Danube

We hiked 771ft high (and I almost died on the way) to see the Citadel. A fortress guarded by an angelic statue which is said to protect the city. We learnt all about how Budapest is actually to cities connected by bridges aplenty. Buda is the modern and more developed side to the captial of Hungary, and the other is Pest. (pronounce pesht to those Brtis who are unaware). Pest is the historical and preserved half to the capital. It was beautiful.

We visited the castles and the Fisherman's Bastion, both incredibly overwhelming sights. We also visited The Shoes of the Danube. A memorial where an artist has created a line of beaten copper shoes of all shapes, genders and sizes, some even hanging over the edge of the river in the same spot where Hungarian Jews were ordered to remove their shoes before they fell to their death after being shot during the
Fisherman's Bastion
Second World War. An extremely airy yet humbling place to visit. Keeping this theme, we decided to visit The Terror Haza. A Hungarian memorial for WWII. I felt it would be insulting to visit somewhere and not begin to educate myself on it's history. And i'm so glad we did, although at times we struggled to understand entirely due to the language barrier, it was an extremely eye-opening experience. I learnt things I had never known before. 

The whole city was one big Christmas Market. It was AMAZING. We tried Hungarian delicacy, Langos (pronounced Langosh) which can only be described as a large, fluffy yorkshire pudding topped with sour cream and grated cheese. It was very strange but at least we gave it a
Gozsdu Mission Escape Rooms
whirl! Another Hungarian delicacy we tried was, Unicum and Palinka. Two alcoholic shots which I will never experience again. They were disgusting and my head felt as though i'd been ran over the following morning. One thing we didn't try and these Chimney sugar things locally referred to as, Kürtős kalács. These were huge cakes made from flour and sugar spun on an oven and ended up resembling a chimney. Just looking at them gave me tooth ache. But not eating these gives me reason to return right? There's so much more Hungary has to offer and I'd imagine it's much nicer to walk around when it's not 1 degree celsius.

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg

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