I don't want to spend Christmas Eve in the airport

Budapest Travel Blog

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Tram fully decorated in Christmas lights
The 4 o’clock flight from Los Angeles to Amsterdam is brutal. Because of the time difference we get into Amsterdam about 2 o’clock our time, or in our case 3 o’clock because of the plane delay. I didn’t get too much sleep on the plane maybe 20 minutes here and there, but not enough to keep my mind very sharp. Needless to say I was pretty damned tired when we got to our destination.

Because we had to wait an hour before leaving Los Angeles, we would only have 1 hour instead of 2 hours to get to our next flight, so making the next flight was not a sure thing. We needed everything to go right in order to get on the plane to Budapest. But of course when you need everything to go right, nothing goes right and all the powers of the dark side keep you form getting to where you need to go.
At the Vaci Utca
We were originally to land in Amsterdam at 12:00 and our flight out was to leave at 1:30, no problem. That gave us about 90 minutes to get to our next plane. We get into Amsterdam in plenty of time, but we have to circle the airport because of heavy plane traffic. OK no problem, can’t really rush plane traffic. We land at 12:20. That’s cuts into our extra time, but we can still make it. We land but we have to drive to the gate. The pilot drives for what seems to be forever. What the hell, the airport can’t be that big and if you’re lost, ask for directions for goodness sake. So we drive, and drive, and drive. We finally get to the gate 15 minutes later. Shit. If we hustle, we can still make it. Everybody stands up and gets ready to deplane but the doors aren’t opening.
Heading towards the Vaci Utca
Why aren’t the fricking doors opening? I’m about to have a fit but try to keep my cool and wait patiently. I’m fuming inside and want to get out of the plane. 10 minutes later, we get off. We got to run to the next gate.

Amsterdam’s airport is huge. We have to go from the E terminal to the C terminal. Why is it when you are in a rush, everyone seems to purposely get in your way boxing you out so you can’t get through nor around them? We get to the passport area. We have 40 minutes before our next flight leaves. Although the line for the passport check is huge, I still have a bit of hope on catching the next flight. We stand in line for 5 minutes and the line doesn’t move an inch. Checking the front we notice that there’s only one person checking paper work and he’s busy chatting, arguing, wasting time with one person.
Kiosk selling traditional Hungarian Christmas food
I’m losing patience now and ready to kill someone. The line moves slower than molasses and we inch our way to the front. 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes pass. We’re gonna miss this plane and we’re going to have to spend Christmas in the airport. We reach the front get or passports checked but now we have to get through the security line. Again, 1 open x-ray machine for all these travelers. Come on now. Let’s get it together people. Wait in another line. 10 minutes before our plane leaves, we get through security. I’m sure the plane has left and now I’m sweating, a combination of running around, stress, anxiety and frustration. We’re running to the next gate hoping to make the plane, and I see it’s still there. We did in fact make it on the next flight because that was delayed 30 minutes.
Wood carvings by Hungarian artists
Awesome, get on the plane have the snack and because of sheer exhaustion fall asleep. When I wake up we’re in Budapest. Thank goodness. No more stress, no worries, life is good and we’re going to have Christmas with family.

When we land at 4:30, Budapest is wet and cold. I want to reach the Christmas Fair at Varosmoty Square before it closes at 10 o’clock. That gives us plenty of time to get home, unload the car, eat and put on some warmer clothes.

I’m glad we made our flight because the Christmas Fair in Budapest was phenomenal. The square filled with tiny wooden kiosk selling a variety of arts and crafts and traditional Hungarian foods. All the goods are all hand made by Hungarian people. No mass produced swap meat items here.
Hungarian street food
You can find things from candles and soaps, to carved wooden toys, even sweaters and hats.

The food is prepared at the square and is traditional Hungarian Christmas food. There are stalls selling stuffed cabbage, sausages, dried meats, and different types of sweets including some deep fried dough thing that looked delicious. We didn’t eat or buy anything, but I did have a mug of mulled wine, which helped me warm up. For a few extra forints you can keep the mug, which is decorated with the year’s Christmas Fair logo. Each year is different and this year is the 10 annual Festival. This is a nice and useful souvenir to take home.

Just walking around you can definitely feel the Christmas vibe. The whole area is decorated with lights, there is Christmas music playing by live performers and the best part, there is a huge decorated Christmas tree at the beginning of the square.
Mulled wine
The sights, smells and sounds that fill the square are so indicative of the Holiday season and even though it was a Wednesday night, there were tons of people there, tourists and families, all there to enjoy themselves.

We walked around for a bit and even made our way to visit St. Stephen’s Basilica. The church is amazing at night with the lights illuminating it in the dark. Hopefully we’ll get to catch mass there tomorrow.

Exhausted and a little cold, we decided to head back home and get some sleep. It was a full day today and tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we have a whole, full day planned.

Dr_Seuss says:
Had a similar experience at Schipol :-O
Posted on: Jan 08, 2010
vulindlela says:
Good read!
Glad you made it to BUD all right...
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
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Tram fully decorated in Christmas …
Tram fully decorated in Christmas…
At the Vaci Utca
At the Vaci Utca
Heading towards the Vaci Utca
Heading towards the Vaci Utca
Kiosk selling traditional Hungaria…
Kiosk selling traditional Hungari…
Wood carvings by Hungarian artists
Wood carvings by Hungarian artists
Hungarian street food
Hungarian street food
Mulled wine
Mulled wine
Budapest Castle
Budapest Castle
St. Stephens Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephens Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica
St. Stephens Basilica
St. Stephen's Basilica
Christmas lights in Budapest
Christmas lights in Budapest
Budapest
photo by: Chokk