Thursday, June 28, 2012

Girls weekend out in Budapest

Chain Bridge

A weekend in a vibrant European city with girlfriends has now become a tradition. This time we've put our minds to Budapest. I have never been here before, but always wanted to visit it.
Budapest seemed to be an ideal city. It's a compact city, full of culture and a interesting nightlife. Perfect for us. In a short time we could get acquainted with the city, see much and enjoy. I must say that I've somewhat underestimated this capital. Budapest is much larger and offers more than expected in all fronts. And it's actually quite positive. Because there is a reason to go back and I'm sure I will see a lot of other places.

We arrived on Friday evening. We took public transportation to our lovely apartment which we found pretty quickly (gone wrong just once). After a quick refreshment, we went to a nice place to eat. Not far away and within walking distance of our apartment we found a cafe with a patio in the middle of a residential district: Pótkulcs
The presence of the big screen with football didn’t spoil the fun. The dinner was good and the drinks even better.
Back in the apartment we toast with the local specialty palinka and do not go to bed too late.

View from our apartment

The weather here is fantastic, so much better than home. For the first time this summer, we dress according to the season. We started our walk towards the chain bridge but first we go to lunch. In the beginning we pass the island of Sziget and then we walked by the impressive Parliament building. It's hard to see the building from this side, but it is still very recognizable.

On the posh Oktober street we stop for a long but nice lunch. And before we cross Danube we stay in the Pest area for some shopping. When we're finally ready to view the opposite of Budapest, we were interrupted by a kind of international parade. Several nations were walking along the river, they stop to show their dance and make room for the following performances. It felt stupid to stand here along with other photographing tourists. But we were genuinely intrigued.

Azerbaijan dancing

At last we reached the chain bridge, crossed the river and took a drink break in a cozy cafe with jazz music on.
From there we took the cable tram to the hills of Buda. The view above is exactly as stunning as I expected.

We understood that near here is the oldest pastry shop of the town: Ruszwurm. We have had no local delicacies yet, so we hurry to the famous patisserie. It's not difficult to find this shop. The street opposite the Matthias church is where our delicious pastries were awaiting. We tasted strudels with poppy seed and cottage cheese filling while drinking champagne. The atmosphere was good, we were enjoying but we wanted to see more of Buda than just pastries. We strolled along the fisherman's bastion, took some pictures of each other and even danced a bit to the music of restaurant musicians. We wanted to return to the Pest area, but make a little circle around the museum first.
It was a long day, but not over yet. With tired feet, we travel by foot and subway to our apartment, where we gather our forces to go out. The plans were to visit one of the ruin bars. Unfortunately it was too late for the subway, so we went to the nearest rock pub. It was not a very special place, but we laughed and danced a lot.
On our way back we find a wallet with money and passes. Once we were back in the apartment we tried to trace the owner via the social media.

Saturday night out - I' wearing a vintage dress and Prada heels

The owner of the wallet had a facebook. We have tried to contact this way, but he has not yet responded. We continued on with our own plans. Sunday was even warmer than the day before. We wanted to swim in one of the baths of Budapest. It was hard to pick one. Eventually we preferred Gellert, the one in the Art Nouveau style.
But first we go to the terrace of the cafe Alibi for a lunch and drinks on the Egyetem square.

Szabadság bridge

Gellert bath is across the river. This time we take the beautiful green Szabadsag bridge. The large building of Gellert is immediately visible. In the same building there is also a hotel. The rooms must be really beautiful!


The entrance alone is very impressive. If you come inside the building, you are in a huge hall with high ceilings, sculptures and fountains. The way to the dressing room is kind of a labyrinth. But we manage to find everything. First we see a large outdoor pool with loungers in the sun everywhere. But we begin with the bath inside. Immediately after we jumped in the first pool a female lifeguard with a dissatisfied face whistled at us. We wore no cap. Instead of picking up one we jumped in another bath with very warm water. The head cover was not required here. We soaked and chatted here for a while.

Then we took a tour along all areas to get a good impression of Gellert. Once outside we found two free loungers. It was already late afternoon and still quite crowded. For many people in Budapest this is an ideal getaway from the hot weather in the city. We were also very pleased with this opportunity.
After having enjoyed swimming, we took the same route back into town. Not far from where we have had our lunch earlier in the day, we took a drink break first. And then finally we went in search of the ruin bars.

A strange thing happened on our way, which totally confused us. One of the streets was decorated with Russian theme. Suddenly there were Russian shops, cafes and street signs everywhere. Well, my Russian is fluent, but when the street names do not match with the map, finding the way is less easy. We asked a guy the way and what was going on here. Apparently they were here to film the movie Die Hard.

Szimpla Kert

Eventually we found the right way and the ruin bar too. It was not the intention to stay very long, because we had to fly home early next day. But it was such an enjoyable evening with cocktails and lots of nice people from different countries. It was a memorable evening and we laugh about it all the way back to home.
To leave Budapest was heavy. We have barely slept and still wanted to stay here a little longer.
It was a great weekend in an amazing city full of sunshine and laughter. Coming home was really contrasting and not easy to adjust to reality.
But as always there are great plans for the future again. 

First day outfit - H&M dress and Burberry sandals
Second day outfit - Zara Tunic and vintage shades

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