So, if I’m being totally honest, I have to say that I unexpectedly but absolutely love Budapest. Today was our first full day in this beautiful city and we had a pretty amazing one.
We did get off to a bit of a rough start though. First off, I will say that we do our best to be savvy travelers. Which means specifically that Jeremy researches and plans and studies a lot of Rick Steves books and I fully trust his research and judgement. So when we read about the cheap metro tickets (about a dollar each) and how important it was to validate them (aka put them into a machine that would punch a square in them) we thought we were ahead of the game. After walking to the Metro this morning, Jeremy validated his ticket first in the red machine by the entrance and then I proceeded to follow and we were on our way.
When coming up to the main level of the metro station upon arriving at our exit, we were stopped by a stern looking Hungarian woman who demanded to see our tickets. Jeremy showed her the first one and then I proceeded to show her mine. And it was rejected. We had no idea why. She pointed out that it was not a ticket, but a receipt (that looked exactly like a ticket). We explained that we had meant to have it validated but put in the wrong paper. We showed her the other nine tickets we had gotten and told her that we had tried to do the right thing. She refused to listen to us and told us that we would have to pay her 8,000 forints, roughly $27.50 US dollars.
We spent a good five minutes trying to show her that we had simply made a mistake and pleading for grace, but it did no good. She would not budge at all. In the end, we walked away, with 8,000 forints worth of souvenir money less and our first Hungarian lesson learned. In the moment, it was super frustrating and annoying but thankfully throughout the day just became something that we got over and knew would eventually be that silly life lesson story we’d tell.
After that small fiasco, we went on to enjoy an absolutely incredible day touring the Buda side of Budapest. We walked a good twelve miles throughout the day, much of which was spent at the Buda Castle and surrounding grounds.
It allowed us to breathtakingly admire views like this. There were so many vantage points at the castle and we enjoyed nearly all of them. Jeremy and I are huge fans of beautiful European cities. We love exploring them and seeing all that each one has to offer. And the Buda side of Budapest did not disappoint.
In the afternoon, I finally decided to try some hot chocolate. Since it’s winter cold here, there are all kinds of hot drinks to enjoy. I had seen signs all over for hot chocolate and couldn’t wait to try it. When I got one, it looked and smelled delicious. Unfortunately, when I tasted it, it was like drinking a melted candy bar. It was incredibly rich and thick and I could only take a few sips before I had to give up for the sake of my cholesterol and overall health. Jeremy save me from being wasteful by adding some to his espresso, so that helped.
And then we were off to enjoy the city at night. It gets dark early here, but we had no problem exploring Buda at night. We wandered around a bit more taking in all of the beauty that Buda had to offer and then finally walked back over the bridge.
We searched out our next destination, which was the most wonderful Christmas fair festival imaginable. Hungarians are huge fans of Christmas which made us love them even more. There were lots of shopping options and lots and lots of delicious dinner options as well. We enjoyed some local cuisine and then ended our evening by getting a Hungarian dessert known as a Kurtoskalacs. Which I’m pretty sure translates into coal roasted cinnamon pastry deliciousness. Or Chimney Cake, as they were also affectionately called.
Here’s a poor depiction through a picture of our heavenly treat. It was steaming up all hot which was nice considering it was a balmy 20 degrees this evening. We ate it all hot and crispy but soft and enjoyed every bite. Afterwards we walked some more and finally headed back to our hotel.
In conclusion, Budapest has a few new fans. It’s me and definitely my amazing husband who loved Budapest as much if not more than I did. We have another full day here and are looking forward to filling it up with more adventures tomorrow, though hopefully not ones that will cost us 8,000 forints. Thanks for stopping by and Good Night!