Monday, May 18, 2015

Personal Excursion: Budapest

           Today, I just got back from spending the weekend in Budapest. It was such a fun weekend, so I thought I would share what my experience was there. We were only there for two days, and I can promise that was not enough time, but I am still so glad I had the opportunity to go.

           Friday night, we left Olomouc and took a bus to Brno, which is about an hour away. We wanted to take a night bus to Budapest to save money, and that meant spending about 5 hours in Brno before being able to head to Budapest. So to waste time, our group ended up going to Pitch Perfect 2 at the theater. It was thankfully in English with Czech subtitles, and we all loved the movie. We wandered around Brno for another hour, and then were able to get on our bus. I do not think any of us slept very much on the bus, but we all survived and eventually made it to Budapest. 

           When we got there, we went to our hostel to drop our bags off, and then set out to go explore. We wandered by the Opera House, saw St. Stephen's Basilica, and then went to the river and walked around there for a while. Then we went for lunch and met up again at the hostel so we could officially check in. Some people decided to nap after that, but I went back out with a few other people, and we walked around some more. We walked back to a few of the places we had already been, but it was worth it. For example, we ended up going back the St. Stephen's Basilica, and there apparently was a wedding that was just finishing there and the organ was being played. And then we went back to the hostel and went for supper before getting ready to go to our pub crawl. The pub crawl was a lot of fun, and we were able to meet some other people both from our hostel and from a few other hostels in the city. The best part of it was that we were able to go to a ruin bar, which is one of the things that was recommended that we do in Budapest. A ruin bar is a bar that is built into ruins in the city that were simply built around instead of removed, and they are a really neat thing to visit. We even went and danced for a while before calling it a night and going to bed.

           Sunday morning, we all slept in quite a bit, but of course were able to wake up to eat the free breakfast at the hostel. Then we bought our bath tickets and went to the baths. The one we went to was called Szechenyi, and it was a great experience. The baths in Budapest are built on places where there is thermal water, and the water has a lot of minerals and other things which are supposed to be good for you. We went to both of the outdoor pools there, and then we tried a few of the indoor ones as well. We even tried out one of the saunas, which I thought was slightly terrible, but at least I can say I tried one once. We spent a few hours there, and then most of us returned to the hostel and ate some food. I ended up napping for about 2 hours, and then a few other people and myself went to do an escape room. An escape room is something they have in many major cities in Europe. Basically, you get "locked" in a room for 60 minutes, and have to solve puzzles and find clues to try and figure your way out. It was so much fun, and I hope to do another one while I am in Europe, or even try to find one in the United States. Then we went for a late supper of traditional Hungarian food, which is goulash. We wandered back to the hostel, but not before taking quite a few pictures of the city at night.

           We left this morning to take a bus back to Olomouc. It was barely enough time to even see the city, so if there is anyone interested in going there, I would recommend spending more than two days there. I honestly had no idea what all there was to do there, but I am so glad I was able to see another city in Europe.

Here are a few pictures from the ruin bar.

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