We started our day by heading down Kiraly for breakfast, finding a cute café close by. My anxiety level started rising as we continued to wait and 11:00, the time of our walking tour, got closer. Lesson of the day: Chill out While I am notoriously late to everything at home, while abroad I have found myself as the first to go, always early and trying to fit in extra activities during the day. The fact that we might miss out on certain sites because it took someone 45 minutes to scramble eggs drove me crazy. (Hey look, I’m turning into my Dad) However, we were able to meet our walking tour at the
second sight and it was totally fine. I am slowly learning how to go with the flow haha. Our guide for the walking tour was great, and we were able to see the Basilica, Parliament, the Chain Bridge, and more. Ending in Buda (who knew buda and pest were separate sides of the river? Not me) Julie, Zach, Eric and I headed to Fisherman’s Bastion and St. Matthias Church, which was one of the most beautiful church exteriors I have ever seen. We headed back to Pest and found our ways to Szechanyi bath! This is the largest and most well known of the Budapest baths, also infamous for it’s Saturday night bath party. The baths were really cool to see and a nice place to relax. I was surprised by the size, I expected it to be HUGE for some reason, as well as how warm it was. We also ended up running into the rest of our group, as well as two friends we had made from the hostel, but I headed
out early to go to dinner with Steve (the family friend, not the father). Taking a cab to the “suburbs” of Buda II, I found myself at a beautiful home in a very wooded neighborhood. Budapest was much more of a “tropical”, for lack of a better word, climate than I expected, with lots of lush greenery. The closest comparison I can make is that it resembled a house in New Orleans. Interestingly, this house was the house of the man behind the Rubik’s cube! Although I missed the 4th of July for a day, being in a backyard, with little kiddos running around and hamburgers on the grill was nice for a little taste of home. I had an amazing time talking to Steve and his wife, particularly about the adorable love story of how the met and fell in love abroad and long distance. One conversation in particular I had will definitely stick in my mind
for the years to come. I was raving to Steve about Budapest and all of the things it has that I look for in cities abroad, and we got to talking about the simplicity and benefits to just getting up and moving abroad. Not sure how happy Marj will be with this conversation…but Life lesson abroad: It is so easy to just get up and go. I could easily find quick work, take some time to look for a big girl job, and spend a short length of time living in a different country. Stateside this looks so daunting and impossible, but once there, it is no different than starting a new chapter in a different U.S. city. Hmm….Anyway, if it isn’t obvious, I really enjoyed getting to know the Juhasz’s and all of there international and expat friends. Coming back to Pest, I found the rest of my group and again headed out, this time to watch Netherlands v. Costa Rica in a great outdoor setting and then slowly making our way back to Szimpla. This night in Budapest is definitely one for the books…a few tidbits would be the fact that Bri stayed up all night talking on a bench with a British man who proposed to her, Haley set off the fire alarm in an unknown hotel, and I found myself running around an empty Hungarian mall(which was for some reason unlocked?) at 4 in the morning with Haley and our new French/Belgian friends. Finding my way to sunrise in a third city, it was definitely a memorable experience. Haley and I were heading down Kiraly when we passed Bri and said British man, Ricky, who is an absolute gem, and sat with them to talk. We then met a Scottish guy named Matt, who happened to be wearing a Tusker shirt(Anyone who likes Kenya I like) and started chatting with him as well. This was an odd scene, five people sitting on a group of benches at sunrise including three girls from North Carolina, DC, and Boston, a small Brit in a Celtics jersey and a jacked Scot in a Kenya shirt. It certainly made for interesting conversation, and will definitely be a night I remember for a long time. I LOVE BUDAPEST! And I will absolutely be returning in the future.