This past weekend I went to Budapest. I have many mixed emotions about this trip.
Before I discuss this journey, we must discuss how I got to Budapest. I took another bus. I thought I had learned my lesson on not taking buses on long journeys...but I guess I didn't. The actual bus ride wasn't that terrible, but the stench of the European men is literally disgusting. There were points on the ride where I literally thought I was going to suffocate and die. No beuno. I also choose to take an overnight bus. In theory, the overnight bus is perfect. You sleep the whole ride, and wake up at your destination. I have finally come to the conclusion, it is impossible to sleep on a bus. Needless to say, that will be my last bus trip.
Eventually, I arrived. Never have I been more exhausted though. Trudging through the day was quite difficult. To top off my tiredness, my roommate lost her wallet and I didn't have many Forients (Hungarian money...abbreviated as HUF...so I obviously call them hufflepuffs) so we only bought one ticket for the tram. So we go to use the tram to go to the Central Market and of coarse we get stopped by the inspectors who spoke little to no English. The one phrase she did know was "8,000 Forients, you pay, not my problem", so lovely this woman was. (Note: 8,000 forients is like 30 US dollars). After that ordeal was handled, we hobbled (my roommate is also injured) down to the market, and we thought that a Langos was in order.
A langos is basically a giant flat doughnut pancake thing that you pile a bunch of sweet or savory things on. I, of coarse, choose sweet. There was like a pudding cream cheese base to it, with bits of walnuts, lots of strawberries and cherries, and warm nutella drizzled all over. Thank goodness there aren't food labels (even if their were I couldn't read them to save my life).
The next activity I did was cave diving. Which, hands down, was the coolest thing I have ever done. I had no idea what it was until I got to the caves and realized I would have to channel my inner worm to get through cave tunnels. The group I was in was my other roommate, 2 guys from the US, 1 Australian, and 7 Irishmen. Quite a lively bunch. My instructor took us on the hardest coarse which included a tunnel called the 'human sandwich'. Those who are overweight or claustrophobic...not the challenge for you. It was barely doable for me. I will admit to asking for help. But in the end, it was the most amazing experience.
The rest of the day was spent exploring Budapest's notorious ruin bars. Which were probably the coolest bars ever. Basically, they are old building that are missing their roofs or sections of walls and someone turned them into bars. Every bar is like a giant maze filled with the most ridiculous artwork and random objects.
Saturday, I ventured into the communist part of the city to the House of Terror. The House of Terror was the headquarters of the communists. It is dedicated to all those who were effected by the communist occupation in Hungary. It was very eye-opening for me. I know that communism used to be a real thing not only in Budapest and Prague but all over Eastern Europe. The toughest part of the exhibition is definitely the basement. The basement is where they performed all their executions and such. To go in a room that had been filled with death was just....overwhelming.
To pull myself out of the gray mood I was in, I went to the Szechenyi Bath. Budapest is famous for their thermal spas. The hot water felt great on my very very very sore cave conquering muscles.
Those are the highlights from the trip. I will leave out the bits about seeing crazy homeless people and a dead dog...