Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Budapest| Things to do...


I promised I'd be back with another post and I must admit after revamping the blog a bit I am 100% excited to be back in the game. My new posting schedule will be every Monday as it is the final year of university I need a super maintainable schedule so I apologise if this is too little, but we'll up the anti once all my exams are over with. 

Whilst we were only in Budapest for three days we crammed as much as we physically could into that time frame. As I mentioned in another post I was exceptionally ill during this time with feeling lethargic and exhausted 24/7. I felt awful, but we powered on and managed to do an awful lot. We arrived super late in the evening so headed to bed ready to start the next day in a good place. We woke up at 12PM as we had about 7 hours sleep by the time we'd managed to settle into our room. We had a lovely breakfast (you can read all about the food we ate here) and headed towards the River. 




The weather in Budapest was a bizarre combination of both freezing and warm... You never quite were warm enough, but then during random occasions you'd be walking around with sunglasses on and a t-shirt! 



The river was the perfect spot for some quick selfies and the sunshine really helped, because at this moment in time we were bloody freezing. 

The walk to BudaCastle

Whilst away myself and Andy tend to walk to most places. We have been incredibly lucky with the locations of our hotels and in the process managed to do an awful lot due to saving money. The walk from our hotel to breakfast was about 5 minutes, but the walk from the cafe to Budacastle was about an hour. There was a lot of steps involved and I honestly thought my legs were about to die. You can take a life in the form of a cable car to the top if you wish for about £3 Euros, but me and Andy thought we'd take in the views and be frugal. 


This was one of my favourite pictures that I took whilst away. Me and Andy never think to take a 'love lock' and I am always super jealous whenever I see them. I just loved how the locks covered every inch of this gate and I couldn't resist snapping a picture.






As you can see the views were breathtaking and there is a lovely viewing platform that you could sit and watch the cars that was the roundabout below. (It looks tranquil during this picture, but rush hour was chaotic!) 

Buda Castle

We didn't get any photographs or videos of Buda Castle as I was far too fascinated with the changing of the guard. We are unsure if the Prime Minister of Hungary lives in Buda Castle or if it is Hungarian royalty or if anyone even lives there, but there were very formal looking cars outside. The same cars that we saw later on in the day parked outside the Hilton with 5 security guards who looked like Secret Service stood outside. It was quite exciting speculating who it was. I am quite glad that I didn't document this part as it shows how important sitting back and enjoying something genuinely is instead of seeing it through the lens of your camera. I think as bloggers we sometimes forget to do this, but I think for this trip I managed to find a good balance. Apologies in advanced if you wanted photographs of this part, but hey ho I'm sure we'll be back to Budapest at some point!

Catacombs


The Catacombs were very well hidden away. We headed up towards Budacastle and headed to the left. We came across this bizarre looking building and after a quick google we found out that these were the cities Catacombs. Entry was approximately £12 (obviously the equivalent in Hungarian Forint). The Catacombs are both creepy and fascinating. You can explore the displays that feature scenes from the opera/ ballet. Further down is a exhibition dedicated to Dracula and depicts the true story. From what I can remember this was rather gruesome and led to where he was supposedly captured and held prisoner until he died. There was a further display with gargoyles that was enshrined in fake smoke and you couldn't actually breathe nor see which added to the creepy feeling. Whilst down in the Catacombs you got the eeriest feeling that you were being watched... There was a 'ghost walk' that was pitch black with guide ropes. As someone who is exceptionally sensitive to the paranormal I was on high alert, because I knew that the last thing either myself or Andy needed was a creepy encounter. Despite my protests I was dragged kicking and screaming into the abyss. This probably didn't help as spirits feed off your energies so my being rather frightened probably contributed to the encounter. The beginning was relatively okay with me clinging to Andy for dear life, but as we were fairly far in I went ice cold. This could have been due to the fact that this Catacomb slopes down so I tried to settle my mind and rationalise things in my head. What I hadn't bargained for was to be shoved on the back... I ran for my life and left Andy in the utter dark on his own (Top GF points I know). I managed to turn the flash on my phone on so I could figure my way out of the dark and I have never felt relief like it once I surfaced on the other side. Safe to say the encounter seriously freaked me the fuck out and I didn't tell Andy as I knew he'd call me crazy, but I know what I experienced... (It creeps me out even now). The rest of the visit was okay and in total it took approximately 1 hour and 30 mins to complete. Please excuse the photo of me below... I was attempting to channel my inner Danerys, but it didn't quite work. 




For those who have asked on Instagram my hair was done using a chopstick curling wand. It looked a mess for a day so I wore it in a bun before it finally dropped and looked super curly and lovely! 

The Nuclear Museum

This was probably one of my favourite parts of the museum. It is called 'Hospital in the Rock' on the map and to be honest I thought this was a restaurant or cafe. Boy was I wrong. Once we googled and found out it was a nuclear museum my inner History nerd was like 'Gurl you gotta take me'. Two sets of puppy dog eyes later and we were queuing up for our tour. You can't take any pictures whilst inside so I have a cute shot of the outside so you know what it looks like. Hospital in the Rock is exactly what it says on the tin a preserved hospital that was in use during WW2. I never realised that during WW2 Budapest was actually under Nazi rule, but the hospital was held by the British Red Cross and treated as many soldiers regardless of nationality and they saved countless lives. If you'd like me to dedicate a whole blog post to this place please let me know as there is SO MUCH I could tell you! Hospital in the Rock was again reused as a hospital whilst Hungarians fought against the USSR for independence and then further reinstated as a nuclear bunker/ hospital during the threat of the Cold War.  She was maintained by two families and kept top secret by the government as only 200 people were approved for survival in the event of a nuclear attack. She was decommissioned in around 2004 and modernised into a museum with all the equipment still in tact. I imagine that almost all countries have a nuclear strike plan in place similar to this, however Budapest is the first place (as far as I know) that openly admitted to having such a place. 


Matthias Church

Right next to BudaCastle is Mathias Church. This is again to the left and around the back of Buda Castle. We saw the Church during both he daytime and nighttime, however it is much more popular during the night due to the views of Budapest and the Church itself being lit up. Although we didn't go inside the pictures that we took were just stunning! 





The architecture was just beautiful on the building itself and I was honestly taken aback by how intricate the Church was. In front of the church are viewing platforms where you could see the whole of Budapest and she is even more beautiful during the nighttime than she is during the day. The last picture depicts Budapest Parliament in her full glory. 

The Baths

Whilst on our way to the baths we stumbled across this square. As you can tell it was a very popular tourist square and had a museum, pictured below, we didn't enter the museum as we wanted to spend as much of the day as possible in the baths. 




The baths was the most expensive single purchase we made during the holiday. About 35 euros each, but it was so worth it. As someone who suffers with a slipped disk in my back all the walking had really taken its toll and I couldn't wait to relax and see if the Bath's water would help cure all my injuries and improve my health. 





I was surprised with just how warm the Baths were at 37'C with was so warm. Getting out was the worst as it was freezing, but we quickly jumped back in and got very warm again. 

A word of warning would be regarding the Sauna rooms. It is a three tier sauna and is tiled... This was a bad combination and I saw a lady slip from the second tier and substantially injure herself. She smacked her head too, but the staff did nothing. We couldn't react fast enough to try and help as in moving we slipped ourselves. It was incredibly dangerous and seemed to be an overpowering sauna. Breathing was very difficult and I last about five minutes before I had to leave, because I couldn't physically cope any longer. Inside they had water aerobics and other pools of different temperatures. The outdoor Bath was the most popular and basking in the sun was more preferable than being inside. I would highly recommend a visit to here as it was by far my favourite place to visit. I think a day relaxing away from all the stresses was needed and the heat certainly helped remove my tension migraines that I had been struggling with for the last couple of weeks. 

Walking around and small quick things to do

Whilst walking around Budapest we came across so many quirky statues and attractions. This is one of the main reasons we like to walk everywhere as you stumble upon hidden gems that you never knew existed. I would also highly recommend using Trip Advisor to pre-plan parts of your trip, because who doesn't like knowing where they need to be and when?


We didn't go on the Ferris Wheel as if you've ever been on the one in Liverpool or anywhere else it is pretty much the same. The only difference being the views that we had already seen from the viewing platforms at Budacastle and there was construction work going on right next to this so it wouldn't have been a peaceful journey anyway. 





As we only had a short last day due to needing to catch our flight we took a stroll along the river and came across this unusual statue. There were others along the river too, but I fell in love with this, because it reminded me of Amber so much. Whilst on our walk we headed towards Parliament and stood over the grid of the busway as this was emanating heat and truthfully we were freezing as can be seen in the below picture. I recommend always packing extra layers as the weather can sometimes throw you a curveball and that is exactly what happened here. 


We only had about two hours to kill and had already eaten so we popped into a small cafe that was just opposite Hard Rock Cafe and stayed there for about an hour and a half. Wr drank tea and had cake and just generally relaxed before the mad panic that was attempting to figure how we got the shuttle bus back to the airport. The staff were lovely and it was nice to be out of the freezing cold.



There are probably some activities I have missed off, but as you can tell this post is already super long and jam packed. If I remember anything else or stumble across the photographs then I will put them in a separate post called part two for you. I hope you've enjoyed the insight into our little trip away and if you have any Budapest or Travel posts please feel free to comment a link below so I can check them out. 

Until Next Time
Tori & Andy
xoxo






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