Flash Mobs, Hungarian Liquor, and Dancing the Night Away

Budapest Travel Blog

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Checkout at 10 from the Backpacker's Guesthouse, which I hadn't ended up staying at, meant running all the way across town and back to the girls' apartment with my pack. A nice couple in my room comments that they're glad I was ok-had been worried when I didn't come home the night before. Turns out they're doing basically my itinerary, but opposite. Once again I have Greece highly recommended and raved about, and I can't wait to get there. It's Easter Sunday, and I have no idea how to understand Hungarian, so I settle for stopping in and praying in St. Stephen's church. The cathedral is absolutely stunning inside, with beautiful paintings, marble, and gilded gold everywhere.

We had gone to the market the night before, as we had been warned that everything would be closed down for today, and enjoyed bread and herb cheese sandwiches on the steps of the operahouse before heading into a posh looking cafe for the best hot chocolate I've ever had. Apparently the Hungarians are just as big on their tea culture as the Austrians are, and it shows with people everywhere lounging with a cup and just enjoying themselves.

With Sonia as our map-lady, we made our way down to Hero's Square, which brought us to the coolest part of town with a palace of some sorts, other cool looking buildings (no idea what they were) and some famous baths. We ended up running into the three Mexican guys from my hostel, who's names I knew, but wasn't sure who was who. Seems to happen a lot to me when I meet a group of friends; I should really work on that. They tagged along with us and we all amused each other with crazy stories, one of which being that Christopher had arrived at the baths yesterday with no swimsuit. While the other two were simply stripping down to their boxers, he was a bit more hesitant, and for a good reason. Apparently, the 'boxers' he was wearing were the kind that hug you everywhere so you can see everything, and they were so warn that the elastic was stretched and warped, and you could almost see through the fabric. Maybe simply being naked would be better than this?

Coming to the conclusion that we had all seen all of the city we needed to in the past two days, we decided to head back to the apartment and play drinking games with the Hungarian liquor that the owner had given the girls because the had felt bad that she had overbooked the hostel. On the way back though, we saw a big square filled with hundreds of people just standing around. Confused, we were off to find what we called a "rolley thingy," which is this pancake-like bread rolled around a giant pin, covered in cinamon, vanilla, or sugar, then baked over coals and dryed with...a regular 'ol hairdryer? Yep. Back to the square and this time there was music. And about 500 Hungarians dancing and waving their arms and bodies in unison to a happy song. Towards the end of it, a guy ran through the rows of dancing people with a huge Hungarian flag. To put it quite simply, it was simply fantastic. From then on we referred to Budapest as 'Jollypest,' as we headed back to the apartment.

Between six of us, that was soon gone and the boys were off to the one store that was open-the liquor store. After firguring out who was who among the guys and learning a lot about each other from a rousing game of Never Have I Ever, we all headed out to dinner, where our waiter was delightedly fantastic and actually took our 200 Forint bills, which no one else would take as they had gone out of circulation the year before. But really? When I go to get change from a store or especially from a change agency, who gives out money that's basically useless?

Content to head back to the apartment to get some good sleep before we woke up at 4:30 to catch early trains, Laurie and I were all set to head back. The boys had a different idea though. Clubbing was all they could think of, and despite our protests that we had to get up super early, they kept coming back with 'Ah come on, when are you ever going to go dancing in Budapest again? We'll even pay the entrance for you.' Finally convinced and agreeing to stay for an hour, my energy shot through the roof again and I was excited to dance as soon as we walked up the stairs into a pulsating room with crazy lights. I can't believe how great life is right now,' I think to myself as we all dance in a group circle and take photos like it's nobody's business.

Dead tired, we headed back around 4 in the morning, the guys crashing for an hour on the floor while we packed. Tomorrow starts now, now is tomorrow, is today? I'm not sure I'm so dead, but the long train ride should be a great sleep.

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photo by: Chokk