My trip to Hungary started off very rocky. I was incredibly nervous about travelling to another country on my own. Having all the responsibility of getting there, sorting out tickets and scheduling everything at first seemed too much for me to handle but I managed to get through it. In fact, I really enjoyed the whole experience. On a personal level, it was a great achievement for me to be able to travel by myself as a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to do such a thing due to my anxiety. I had a massive fear of messing things up and things going wrong which would make me stranded somewhere and so travelling by myself wasn’t thinkable but I Managed to do it this year. That doesn’t, however, mean that nothing went wrong. My Luggage was overweight, my debit card for the taxi was rejected and I was not able to understand any instructions in Hungarian. But this year I was able to cope with these issues in a calm way without spiralling into a panic attack etc. I have come to realise that there is something incredibly empowering about flying on your own, you can pretend to be a successful businesses person or really anyone who incredible important which is part of the fun things you can do to entertain yourself while waiting. To add to this facade of being a successful high profile person I booked into one of the airport lounges to relax before my flight. I cannot recommend this experience enough. The cost at first was £35 which does seem a lot but this does cover a free meal, unlimited soft drink and snacks which is a very good value for money. But a few days after I booked this experience I received an email about a sale for the lounge so after the coupon was applied it only cost me £24 which is a bargain and steal at that price. The only improvement I would make to the Heathrow lounge is that it was somewhat difficult to find power sockets in the longer but this is a tiny detail when it comes to how overall amazing this lounge was.
I arrived in Hungary at about 2 am and need to get a taxi from the airport to the Air B and B which I was staying in. Weeks prior I had downloaded a taxi app and added my card but it was rejected when I landed meaning I was unable to get a taxi however there were incredibly helpful airport staff who managed to direct me to a taxi rank (where unlike in many places I was given a set price before I got into the taxi) which allowed me to sort out a taxi to my accommodation. My first of four air B and B was located close to the airport in a place called Vecès. This accommodation was a very good value for money but the design was somewhat off-putting. The room itself had everything I needed and more but the room was stuck in a period that was definitely not the 21st century which was a bit uncomfortable.
However, this place was affordable and was only for one night and so was worth every penny.
The day following I had to travel by myself to my friend Petra’s house where I stayed for the next four days. Her home was cosy and very family orientated. It was nice to see Petra again after two years of not seeing her in person but chatting constantly online. After a though catch-up we decided to get ice cream and to just relax in the house. This was a great official welcome to the country of Hungary and, as the ice cream is one of my favourite things to eat, was very enjoyable.
The next day we decided to go to the cinema to watch the new Aladdin which seemed like an awesome idea until we got there and realised it was in Hungarian with no subtitles. Luckily, I know the story of Aladdin well so we watched the film anyway. It was really interesting to watch a film being dubbed in another language and you can see my full review of the film here (https://rhysopayne.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/aladdin-2019-review/)after this we went to meet some more friends in a place called Margret island. This is a calm and relaxing island where there are musical fountains that light up and play music. This was very entertaining and was nice to meet up with other friends that I have not seen in a while.
Day three was another relaxing day as we were tired from the days prior. We slept in till 11 am and I was able to video call my mother which was really nice. We played cards throughout the day including a new version of Rumey which I had never played before. To finish the day we went on a small walking tour around some of the sights in Budapest. We started with a trek up the citadel which is a massive mountain but when at the top you can look out across the city and there are beautiful statues to look at. This is one of my favourite places in Hungary and so I really wanted to visit this place while I was here. From here we walked over to the Buda Castle which is an elegant castle where there are art galleries, statues and performances. This was a very beautiful place and was the perfect place to end our walking tour.
The next day we did something I was very excited about and only knew about a few days prior to coming to Hungary. In Hungary, there is a bear farm where you can see rescued bears and feed them honey. This was a very cool place, as there was also wolves and deer, but also as I had never seen a bear in real life was a brand new experience for me. this was a really hot day and the whole bear farm has very little shade so we left earlier than we expected but decided to attend Petra’s youth club. After the youth club, we travelled to get ice cream and pizza which was super tasty.
In my final day of the first week, we decided to hang out with an old friend by a lake. However, when we arrived it started to pour down with rain and so we were stuck inside a pub for most of the day. I tried one of the local drinks called palinka which is extremely strong but very tasty. We had to leave here somewhat early as I need to pack my bag ready to leave for my next B and B. This second air B and B was incredible. It was stylish, the host was incredibly welcoming and it provided everything I needed and more. It was the perfect place for any student/traveller to live and if you are headed to Budapest I would strongly encourage you to stay here.
This first week has been the week to relax and catch up with friends before I travel to teach in an English camp on the 28th of July. Managed to experience many new things, hang out with old friends and see some of Hungary’s famous attractions. I’m looking forward to teaching in the English camp and will post a blog about it in about a weeks time.