hungary: budapest

Budapest – Not Exactly As Planned

I had big plans for Budapest but unfortunately, most of that involved a fair bit of walking.  As we got closer to our Budapest dates, it became obvious that my ankle situation pretty much guaranteed that all our original plans were getting tossed out the window. Being the brilliant friend that she is, My Aussie Mate said that it didn’t matter much as she wasn’t all that fussed about walking around in the rain anyway.  With a heavy heart, I backed out of our street art tour and purchased tickets for the hop on/off tourist bus.  To top off the rest of the time in Budapest, we opted for other sedentary activities such as the dinner jazz cruise and a day at the thermal baths.  What was too late to rearrange was our hostel which was located on the 2nd floor and required either a walk up a flight of stairs or the use of a very old and rather scary elevator.  Sadly, in my state, we had to opt for the elevator ride each and every time and pray like hell that we didn’t get stuck or drop to our deaths.

That's me, trapped inside a tourist bus!

That’s me, trapped inside a tourist bus!

As each day began and ended with a fright, I think it was safe to say that our time in Budapest went rather well since we’re still alive to tell the tale.  Regardless of all that elevator drama, the tourist bus teamed up with our metro pass enabled us to get to most of the destinations struggle free.  If I had to do it again with a strong sturdy ankle, I’m not sure I would have spent my time doing things in the same manner but to my amazement, the tourist bus provided some interesting moments.  Yes, we made it to all the major attractions and then some without any real hobbling involved but that’s not what I’m talking about.  Other than witnessing a dog touring around with us, it also turned out to have free wifi!  Granted, it didn’t work on all the buses but we got it working on one which allowed My Aussie Mate’s sister to virtually join us on a tour in Budapest.  That one split second of shits and giggles was enough to make the purchase of the tourist bus a worthwhile investment.  Well that and the freebies included with the ticket such as free goulash and a cruise on the Danube River.

The view from the free goulash stop

The view from the free goulash stop

The famous bridge with the tongueless lions

The famous bridge with the tongueless lions

Since we already booked our dinner jazz cruise when we found out about the free cruise extra so we decided to be good Samaritans and gift it over to the people we were sharing our room with.  Fortunately, before we could put our good deed into action, it was time for us to board the boat.  I say fortunately because this dinner jazz cruise was a complete and total bust.  It seemed like everything was happening at the same time so we could either be outside to enjoy the view, or eat/listen to the mediocre band that they had playing.  Trying to do more than this seemed rather difficult or maybe it was that I was being a grouch since the dinner was buffet style thus making it difficult for me to fight the crowds and eat properly.  Thankfully, the horrible experience on the dinner jazz cruise turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  The thing was that neither one of us was full from the meal and decided to salvage the night by finding some drinks and maybe late night munchies and thus, separated from the buzzard group and venture back to where we believed we had seen bars and restaurants earlier in the day.

The view from the free Danube River Cruise

The view from the free Danube River Cruise

Turns out we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way so instead of winding up in a square full of bars, we found ourselves on the outskirts of what turned out to be a wine festival.  So we did what anyone else in there right minds would do – join in.  There was wine, food, and a band playing on stage.  Sure, we had no clue where we were but at that moment, it really didn’t matter.  After this moment, the rest of the trip followed the up swing.  We jumped onboard our free Danube River cruise and got the photos that we were so desperate to snap and then ended our time in Budapest by getting the VIP treatment at the thermal baths.

Free fruit with the VIP package at the thermal baths

Free fruit with the VIP package at the thermal baths

The moment when the sun peaked out at the outdoor pools of the thermal bath

The moment when the sun peaked out at the outdoor pools of the thermal baths

Despite all the factors working against us, there was just something about Budapest that I liked.  I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s enough of a gut feeling to know that I will find my way back here one day and will hopefully be able to do some of those things that were on the original agenda.

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