Budapest surprised the heck out of me. It didn’t feel like a tourist trap compared to other European cities, and I loved the “grittiness” of it all…perhaps because Hungary is still slightly recovering from being under Soviet occupation.
I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the Revolutions of 1989 happened just over 20 years ago, and the Soviet military occupation of Hungary ended in 1992. In MY lifetime. People MY age saw the oppression. I am thankful for not being able to wrap my head around it.
Here’s a lighter take on the whole thing.
Hanging out at Szechenyi Bath. I was so hungover from the ruin pubs the night before, I forgot to bring my bathing suit and had to wear the trunks belonging to one of the SundayFundayz boys. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.
This seems to be a trend for Contiki trips, actually — in Machu Picchu, I had to borrow Corrado’s briefs for the hot springs because I couldn’t find my bikini bottoms.
We met some friendly Brits on a stag party here, while scoping out sexy Hungarians who weren’t actually all that sexy. Other than that, we were confused about 90% of the time.
During our downtime, a few of us headed to a park to lounge around and take in our surroundings. One of our guides, Nikki, ended up being woed by a homeless man who kept planting trees beside her. He’d grin all happily as he secured his love offering with dirt. We’d smile back while quietly praying he wouldn’t shoot us.
We were a little hungover. Not long after, we wandered into a McDonald’s for some greasy anecdote, but Natalie got us kicked out because she started doing push-ups in the middle of the restaurant. (The SundayFundayz boys had a rule that if anyone said the words “ten” or “mine” they would have to drop and do 10 push-ups. Their version of keeping fit on the road.)
Touring the Parliament Building bright and early in the AM.
I’m not usually too impressed by architecture, but I did love this place.
Heroes’ Square, honouring Hungary’s historic political leaders. It was also the site of peaceful protests demanding Soviet withdrawal.
The Parliament Building all lit up from the Danube, where we had dinner and a cruise. And a live DJ on board. So baller.
Bye-bye, beautiful Budapest! I miss your face.