me in Budapest w/ the Parliament in the Background
August 22nd â€˘ 23rd
So I left Transylvania behind and left Cluj to Budapest by bus and arrived in the capital of Hungary around 6 AM in Nepliget bus station. From here I had to go to the city center to the Ginkgo Hostel where I had my booking made for one night. While in the bus station, I learned I should have got some local currency before leaving home, just enough to buy a subway ticket. So after looking around for an exchange office I gave up and started asking people if thereâ€™s one around. No one could help me, many didnâ€™t even speak English, and so I just went to circle the place one more time looking for a solution.
I was reluctant to take a cab as I knew I would get ripped off. Luckily I bumped into a passenger from the bus and he was having an extra ticket so he gave me one and even told me how many stops will there be till the centre and where to get off. So thanks for that mate whoever you are!
in Budapest with an old friend of mine...
I arrived right in the centre of Budapest near Kosuth Street and went to the Ginkgo hostel. It was still around 7 AM so no one answered on the interphone and I had to wait for one more hour until Csilla, the lovely girl who owns the place, came and I finally managed to check in. Ginkgo hostel is great, cosy and clean and I saw from other reviews that itâ€™s one of the most highly rated hostels in Budapest. (Read my review on it for further info on Gingko Hostel)
After a refershin shower I was off to see Budapest and what can I sayâ€¦ the place its great, beautiful sights, lovely architecture and like any other city thatâ€™s havin the Danube flowin right through it, you get a lots of lovely bridges and youâ€™ll find yourself becoming increasingly Japanese as your hands will start lookin more and more for the photo camera.
Other positive thing about Budapest is that itâ€™s quite hard to get lost around the city area. All the streets are well marked (plenty of plates with the street names) so if you have a map you donâ€™t have to ask anyone for directions. Food is also good and youâ€™ll get a large variety of dishes. Beerâ€™s alright and we all heard about the famous Hungarian wine.
As for minuses I only got two. First is that it was a bit too dusty as in many places youâ€™ll get construction sites or renovations going on and if you get 35 degrees Celsius outside itâ€™s not that comfortable. And secondly itâ€™s the difficulty of many of the local population speaking English. I even have a funny story about this one. So I went into this sandwich shop, which was also havin salads and all kinds of local dishes.
So I went to the guy behind the desk and asked â€śCan I choose whatever I want for my sandwich?â€ť and got a reply â€śYes sir! I give you cheese!â€ť and he took a plate and started filling it with all kinds of cheese. Some other time I asked a waiter what were the wee things floating around in a delicious white sauce and the guy ran in the back and came back seconds later with a big aubergine, waving it in my face and smiling. On top off all this everything was grand and I felt sorry I had to leave next morning around 7 AM.
Anyways! Next stop: Bratislava
PS: I met travel buddy Pat from Australia for a few pints and a chat. He was in Budapest same time with me and we got together for a few hours and had a few drinks. So cheers Pat, hope youâ€™re ok mate and everything well with your travels.