Departing Bratislava, I landed in beautiful, beautiful Budapest. Words can’t describe the allure of this city. It’s in my top 3 cities, certainly. As I always say, I’m not a fan of cities, but fucking hell, this place is wonderful. I tried to learn some Hungarian, which is a really strange language. To say ‘how are you?’, you say ‘hogy vagy’ which is pronounced something like ‘hodgy vadgy’. I laughed so hard the first time someone said that to me. Still, it’s a nice language. Just sounds really strange to a Western ear.
I managed to find my hostel easily enough, Adagio Hostel, and the staff in there are wonderful. Much like Bratislava, I became a bit of a local there that summer, ending up in Budapest three times. When the road calls, as they say. The walk from the hostel to the river was around 45 minutes, and fuck me sideways if it wasn’t the most amazing stroll in the world. Walking around Budapest never gets old, the architecture and buildings are simply stunning. The walk never felt that long, and we strolled across the bridges to the mountain on the other side of the city, climbed up with our calves screaming, and sat up there for hours on end staring out at the twinkling lights. Fond memories that make me smile.
My photos won’t do the city justice, but just know that the buildings will blow your mind. You won’t need museums or anything to keep you occupied. In saying that, I never got around to visiting the baths, which I do regret. Not entirely sure how it skipped my agenda, but so it did. Most of the time I just strolled, laid-back in the baking sun. The heat was intense; the ground was hot, so hot you could grab it, the air was hot, the sun was hot – I regretted not having shorts with me. Not complaining though, it beats rain.
Met a dude in the hostel from Spain, called Iñigo, who was travelling around Europe through Couchsurfing. He was ending his trip in Budapest so treated himself to a hostel. I taught him Irish words like ‘transmoglified’. He told me in Spain they say ‘transmoglifado’. Had a laugh at that one.
He recommended a spot called ‘Altair teahouse’. It was almost impossible to find, as it’s tucked away in a side street with a tiny door, and if he didn’t show me a picture of that door I’d still be strolling around looking for it. You walk down these small stairs to a basement and there’s carpet covering every single surface, walls and ceiling included. There are small platforms jutting out from corners to lie on, there’s ladders leading up to more spaces and you have to climb through holes in the platforms to get through. It was an experience. I got tea like Pina Colada or Aloe Vera and it was wonderful. I wrote a lot in my diaries in that spot. It’s a little hidden gem that I would never have known about unless Iñigo have the chivalry to tell me about it. They had an eclectic mix of music on, and to serve you tea the dude had to climb this and that way with a tray in his hand, it was a sight. I liked that spot a lot, it was a relieving break from the harshness of the city. Tucked away under the ground sprawled out on a carpet with cushions everywhere calls for a good time.
An individual who stood out for me was a lady I met in the hostel from Holland. A beautiful, gorgeous soul, we hit it off and spent a few days wandering around the city digging everything we could. We climbed the mountain, as per usual, and her only words were ‘What the fuck? What the fuck?’ in astonishment. She made me rethink a lot of my own personal values, which is always healthy, and told me of trials and tribulations I couldn’t relate to, but hearing about it made me appreciate people a lot more. Some people get it rough, so I always count myself lucky, and such is life.
We also visited Altair, and similar reactions were prominent. ‘What the fuck is this? What the fuck?’ She made me laugh a lot. We chillaxed for a while, lounging in that wonderful cavern. Life was good in those days. To talk to someone so openly really changes the way you look at things. To relax and talk about whatever was beautiful. She left the hostel before me and woke me up to say goodbye. Such is the road. Never underestimate the impact you can have on a person.
Budapest is a beautiful experience. Time seems to stand still even though cars rush about you, people saunter past, and you bounce along. It’s these fragile moments I’ve always cherished about travelling. I’ll be lying in bed, stressed and unable to sleep, and a moment will come flooding back complete with sounds, smells, visuals, everything. Makes me eager to hit the road again, and each blog post is one post closer. Deep fam.
Peace and love.
Here’s a few photos:
And here’s a song I discovered in Budapest that’s from Norway: