Ever since I first heard George Ezra’s “Budapest”, I was set on going to Budapest, Hungary, to let it play through my mind as I wandered the buzzing streets of a city I’ve only read about in books.. Okay, maybe it was always on my bucket list, but George Ezra’s song (and voice) gave me an even stronger desire to visit it.
We arrived in Budapest early in the morning, with some time to spare before checking in to our AirBnb apartment. We explored the Hungarian National Museum’s courtyard which was approximately thirty seconds walking distance from us. We could not book an even better place to stay at: location, size, safety, cleanliness, and all. Afterwards, we walked down to the central marketplace downtown and grabbed some things to eat as we were Hungary from driving for eight hours from Cluj, Romania, our starting point (home). When noon came around, we went back to our place to check in and drop off our bags since we kept them in the car this whole time. For a last minute booking, I don’t think we could have found a better place to stay in Budapest even if we had searched ahead of time. Anyhow. Our first day, we explored Budapest to the fullest capacity we could. From walking downtown which was about seven minutes on foot away, we walked alongside the river only to walk to St. Stephen’s Basilica where we stopped at the Starbucks next to it for free wifi and an afternoon pick-me-up. Afterwards, we continued our adventures in Budapest to Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square), where we also visited the Vajdahunyad Castle and the park surrounding the area. En route to our next destination in Budapest, we enjoyed a small taste of Hungarian life and culture when we stopped by the Contemporary Art Museum for a night of jazz and dancing on the front porch and steps of the museum. Afterwards, we headed to the Fisherman’s Bastion to end the night with a beautiful view of the city and its lights. From there, we saw the Hungarian Parliament building and walked across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, only to take a stop at a nearby KFC for dinner. FUN FACT: if you start ordering in English at any KFC in Europe, they must respond to you in English. Add free wifi to that, and to my American friends who get lost anywhere, you will be found.
Our next day, did not start out as we planned. Long story short, someone smashed the back windshield of our car (we assume it’s because of our Romanian license plate, since everyone around us in the private lot was Hungarian). Instead of driving straight to Poland as we planned, we took a seven hour detour in our schedule to get it fixed. Through all of our mishaps, God still showed us how good we had it, so I honestly can’t complain. Heck, how many people get to take a road trip around Europe for fun?