Travel Diary: Budapest

Last weekend Lizzy, Kayleigh, Jenny, and I went to Budapest, Hungary, which I learned is actually pronounced Budapes(ch)t. We stayed at two different places, so Jenny and I took a different car to our hotel and Lizzy and Kayleigh took one to their hostel with a few other girls from FIT. Our driver somehow mixed up where Jenny and I were going and he took us to some random apartment. He spoke no English, so when we got there, he just said “come come” and so we followed… When we realized it wasn’t the right place, we told him the name of the hotel and he realized his mistake and took us there. We got to our hotel about the same time as the others got to their hostel, so once we got settled, the four of us met up for dinner at a really yummy place below our rooms (our hotel and hostel were right next to one another). After a quick bite, it was off to dinner for us; we were all exhausted.

Saturday morning we got up and did a walking tour of the city. It was not only a nice way to see all of the city but a fun way to get the history of the city itself. We started on the Pest side of the city and finished the tour on the Buda side. Once we were done, we decided to grab some traditional Hungarian food and had goulash for lunch. It was actually a lot better than I had expected and I really liked it. We then toured around the city a little more, saw parliament and the Shoes on the Danube – a memorial to the Jews who were taken from Budapest in WWII. Lizzy, Jenny, and I then met back up and went to dinner at another Hungarian restaurant that was close by, but we all tried other food rather than the traditional Hungarian food :). Lizzy, Kayleigh and I ended the night at a Ruin Bar, which is a bar in was an abandoned house in the Jewish Ghetto and is decorated with items that were left there. It was really a fun place and we had a good time.

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Tate Girls in Budapest

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Goulash

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Buda Castle

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Shoes on the Danube

 

Sunday morning we went to the House of Terror. It is a museum that is in an old Nazi Police station that had a prison underneath it. I never realized how involved Hungary was in the war or how affected they were by it. We learned a lot of history, but seeing the actual prison was hard to look at. After a little morbid morning, we decided to go to one of the baths for some relaxation. OMG, it was amazing. There were so many indoor baths and 3 outdoor, which is where we spent most of our time. They were so warm and a nice way just to enjoy each other’s company! We finished the night with a dinner cruise on the Danube. It was a fun way to see the city and eat some more Hungarian food.

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Széchenyi Thermal Bath

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Monday morning we walked around the city some more and enjoyed a warm day by the water! We were sad to leave Budapest and really all fell in love with the city! It was quite Americanized – there was a KFC, Burger King, TGI Fridays, Office Depot, and Starbucks, but it was a really fun place that I would love to go back to!

 

 

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Florence for the Weekend

This past weekend, we stayed in Florence, which was nice to just have time to relax and enjoy the city! We started Friday off by climbing to the top of the Duomo and the Bell Tower, visiting the church museum and the Baptistery! It was such a beautiful day and crystal blue skies, so it was completely worth the 463 steps (for the Duomo) and 414 steps (for the Bell Tower). We enjoyed some gelato afterwards to treat ourselves. We then made our way to the Church Museum, where we were able to see the real golden doors from the Baptistry – they were BEAUTIFUL! I then met up with three friends from high school who were visiting for dinner and we had a lot of fun catching up and reconnecting!

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Saturday I spent the day playing tour guide to my friends. We went all over Florence in the pouring down rain and managed to take absolutely no photos  But we had a great time and I’m so happy I got to see them! That night, Lizzy, Kayleigh and I finally made it to a “secret bakery.” It’s where the bakeries start baking late at night for the next day and you go to the back door of them and can buy fresh pastries! We all got chocolate croissants for $1 each and they were delicious!

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Today, we went to see the David at the Accademia since in Florence state museums are free the first Sunday of every month! It was a bit crowded, but so much fun and we really enjoyed seeing David and the other art around the museum. It has been a gross, cold, rainy day here, so we are all now in comfy clothes and relaxing!

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