A Travellerspoint blog

Hungary

Hungary for Budapest

sunny 29 °C
View Budapest on kmmk17's travel map.


The first time I visited Budapest, back in August 2013, I found the city to be beautiful, but under the highest temperatures in it's history - hitting almost 40˚C, it was a challenge to truly enjoy the city.

This time, Chris and I were much luckier. Despite threats of showers longing all week it was a beautifully sunny weekend in the high 20s. However with much of our luck being used on the weather, the travel there and back was our downfall.

Foxy & Kevin Bear joining us too

Foxy & Kevin Bear joining us too

With an early evening flight from Luton I took the afternoon off and we made our way to the airport with plenty of time to spare. With Luton Airport security being highly shambolic it took us a long time to finally get through - tonnes of bags being sidelined for further inspection but without anyone actually carrying it out. Waiting an age for our bags to finally be looked at, after solving the problem - a non-resealable bag being used for liquids, the stupid man resent the entire basket back through the scanner to end up back of the queue again.

Eventually getting our bags through we made our way into the departure lounge to find our flight had suddenly been given a two hour delay. Great - now we would arrive so late that the shops would all be shut by the time we arrived to grab some drinks. Next thing, it was back on time again.

After the usual delays caused by allocated seating we were finally on the plane ready to take off when, oh - we had missed our slot and would have to wait an hour to actually take off. In the meantime, the trolley service came around and low and behold an hour after schedule we finally made it into the air. Eventually arriving late in Budapest we made our way to the hotel finally arriving and finally getting to sleep just before midnight.

With just a day and a half to actually see the city, we wasted no time the following morning grabbing breakfast and making our way into the city. Already by 10am it was in the high twenties and with two large hills to climb it was going to be a busy and sweaty day.

Parliament

Parliament

We began by visiting the Gothic Parliament building, where recently renovations to the square outside had taken place, before proceeding to walk down the east bank of the Danube, past the monument to the Jews shot during WWII, to the Lion flanked Chain Bridge.

Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge

Trying unsuccessfully to get Chris to show me his Lion impression, we crossed the bridge and made our way up Fisherman's Bastion, where there are fabulous views over the Parliament on the other side of the city.

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion

Carrying on towards Buda Castle, we made our way back down the riverside and eventually to Gellert Hill, where after missing the correct turning we ended up scaling a rockface to make our way to the Liberty Monument at the top and gain stunning views over the whole city.

Budapest

Budapest


Central Market Hall

Central Market Hall

After making our way back down, having done the hardest parts of our walk around it was still early afternoon and so after stopping off at the Central Market to buy some tat we decided to head back to the hotel and spend the afternoon at the Thermal Baths.

Széchenyi Thermal Baths

Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The Széchenyi Baths are truly historic in the city and make up the largest complex in Europe. Whilst the inside baths were small and had numerous pools ranging up to 40˚C, there were also three large outside pools, including one with a rapid pool, that reached up to 38˚C. There was also a large screen up to show the Euro 2016 matches, which today also included Hungary vs Iceland, creating a wonderful atmosphere in the sun and heat of the Hungarian summer.

Returning back the the hotel after a few hours relaxing at the baths, we dropped off our swim clothes and made our way back into the city for dinner, before walking back up the main street to Chain Bridge for night time views of the Bridge and Buda Castle across the Danube.

Budapest by night

Budapest by night

The following morning we checked out and left our bags at the hotel before heading back to the Baths in the city park, walking down to Heroes's Square, before continuing down the tree lined Andrassy Avenue.

Heroes Square

Heroes Square

Stopping at the House of Terror, where the KGB Headquarters in Hungary were located, we had a history lesson in the Cold War era of the country which concluded our weekend break.

House of Terror

House of Terror

We then headed back the hotel to grab our bits and eventually make our way back to the airport for a delayed flight back to the UK.

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend in the beautiful Hungarian capital.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Hungary Tagged bridges architecture history city relax torture macabre Comments (0)

The Balaton

Central Europe - Balaton

semi-overcast 22 °C
View Central Europe on kmmk17's travel map.

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton

The second part of the trip involved visiting Lake Balaton in the west of Hungary. We stayed in the resort town of Keszthely, where there was a lovely beach into the shallow lake which was rather refreshing after the hot weather of recent. This was also the first place I had ever been where my German was actually required to get around - despite having lived in Germany for a year!

On the following day we took the trip to Sümeg, the village where my grandad lived until he escaped Hungary in 1956, and where the majority of the rest of his family still live.

Family Reunion

Family Reunion

Despite speaking no Hungarian, and most of them speaking no English, we were warmly welcomed and had a thoroughly enjoyable day getting to know them and visiting Sümeg Castle.

Sümeg Castle

Sümeg Castle


Lake Hévíz

Lake Hévíz

The following day we visited the spa town of Hévíz just up the road from Keszthely where the thermal lake had waters of 30˚C+, something I had yet to experience. The sun also left its mark on me that day, allowing me to sport a lovely sunburn for the next week. On our final day we relaxed a little as our next day involved a 5-leg travel into Austria and spent the day at the market hunting for Noodle scrapers!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Hungary Tagged beach history family castle homeland Comments (0)

Budapest

Central Europe - Budapest

sunny 40 °C
View Central Europe on kmmk17's travel map.


The trip started in Budapest, Hungary where the temperatures were exceptionally hot - and did in fact break the record temperatures ever seen in the country in August at 40˚C. Being so hot, free water was given out all day long to keep people hydrated.

Parliament

Parliament

We started our trip by taking a tour of the Parliament building, before taking in the view of the city from Gellert Hegy. We then walked over to Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion, where the buildings had now been lit up after sunset, and finished by walking across Chain Bridge to view the riverbank in darkness.

Chain Bridge & Buda Castle

Chain Bridge & Buda Castle

The following day we went to the House of Terror, which like the KGB museum in Vilnius featured many genuine torture objects from the days of communism. Scarier still was the fact the last time Mum was in the city, these activities were still going on. Following on from here we went to Heroes Square, the Central Market and then the city centre, where we stocked up on naff souvenirs.

Heroes' Square

Heroes' Square

Being so hot it was hard to cram in all the sights we wished to see, but we managed the essentials! On the evening of our final day, my friend from Erasmus, Hanna came to meet up with me and we spent the evening catching up on Gellert Hegy. Luckily that night there was a storm, and so the heights of 40˚ would never be seen again (at least not until Dubai in 3 weeks) - and leaving 22˚ feeling rather chilly.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Hungary Tagged history hot erasmus homeland Comments (0)

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