This was our first trip into Eastern Europe and it definitely reminded me of the first time I’d ever been abroad. What was different about this experience is that it’s the first time I’ve been in a place that I couldn’t gist the language or at least use my Spanish skills to maneuver around. Hungarian is a phonetic language but the s makes a “sh” sound and the j makes a “ch” sound, among other combinations. I had trouble trying to do basic things like to finding toilets, converting the pricing which was in Hungarian Forints or HUF and trying to pronounce basic words because I had only seen them on paper when I arrived.
The highlights of this awesome city are: the historic Turkish baths, the gorgeous architecture (I’m pretty obsessed with the Parliament building), and Hungarian food, which we found pretty cheaply at a place called … The Mr. found a new foodie crush in the red cabbage that we tried in different places; it’s made with vinegar and butter which makes it a little tart and also salty. I think my favorite was the duck leg, roasted to perfection with a crispy skin but tender meat inside. We didn’t manage to find any good langos places which many youtubers swear by, guess we’ll have to try those the next time we are here.
I also learned that this city is actually a conjunction of two places: Buda (the hilly side) and Pest (the flat side). They are joined together as one with multiple bridges and the Danube River runs between them.
Another cool thing to note about this place is the Metro system, which like much of the architecture is a blend of the new and the old. On the yellow line which we rode to the baths, they still use the original 1896 design for the subway cars which have industrial doors that close without mercy and have an eerie sing-song tune that plays warning riders to hurry up or wait for the next one. Also they have leather straps for the standing crowd instead of the plastic or metal hooks which I’m accustomed to seeing. I liked the charm of these older cars over the new fancy ones on the Blue and green lines. They also maintain a lot of the wood around the ticket booths as well as the original pillars keeping up the structure of the older stations.
Other things that we did were: ride the Fenicular up to the National Museum, take a catered night tour on the Danube, tried Belgian beer at the annual festival and ate multiple Kartoscalacs or chimney cakes. I will admit to trying these pastries on three separate occasions: once with cinnamon, once with vanilla and once again covered in coconut. Each time was different but equally delicious. The winning combination I found was when it was paired with coffee iced with a scoop of vanilla. As a former barista, you would think that I knew of this magical sorcery called affogato, but I didn’t fall under its spell until I tried it in Budapest.
Coming home on a midnight flight was a crazy idea, time to go and try to sleep.
I’ll be writing again next month when we travel to Rome 🙂
-the tan bunny ❤