Day Eleven – Budapest, Hungary

Today we had a full day in Budapest. This was one of those places that I wish I had taken the time to read a few more blogs about when in Budapest, this is where you should go. Since this city is huge and there are so many places that you could visit.

We started off the day as a group on a walking tour with a local guide. And I have to say the weather was perfect. It was my favourite time of spring, when its warm and the flowers are coming out and there is a slight breeze. Which made the day very enjoyable.

Our walking tour took us around all the old parts of Buda. We saw parlailment, the prime ministers house, a square that the people used for protest against persecution of jews in WWII. We walked along the river, that jews would jump into to escape capture. However I won’t lie, I missed a good part of the narration of the tour.

A team mate of ours had lost her purse at the bar the night before. She was a mess trying to figure out what to do. How to find her cards, how to cancel credit cards. We all told her to go back to the bar, but really what was the chances they had her purse?

Eventually she went back to the hotel to start seeing what she could fix, which is when I started paying attention again to what I was seeing.

We jumped on the subway to one of the oldest subway stops in the city. This stop was super cute with its wood trim work and fancy iron grates. If memory serves correctly it was right by the House of Terror Museum.

Our walking tour ended at the House of Terror Museum. We were split into two groups and given guided tours.

If you are to go to the House of Terror museum, get the tour guide to go with you. If we had gone on the tour without a local to tell us about what we were seeing we would not have understood and been very bored. Our guide was so entertaining and gave great stories which really illustrated what we were looking at.

The House of Terror museum is about all the civil conflicts that have happened in Budapest through out history. They had replicas of tanks, court rooms, jail cells, uniforms, under ground railroads. The regular war museum stuff.

After our tour, we were told we had free time until our Goulash Cooking Class lesson at 6 pm. Most of our tour group decided to go to the spas straight from the House of Terror museum. We decided to wander the city more and then head to Margate Island.

We took one of the main streets towards the river,

On the way we found a BBQ joint with a huge large patio. We decided that by this point of the tour we were tired of trying new food and wanted some comfort food, so we ordered some very large drinks, got a sunny spot on the patio and got pumped for some good old fashioned BBQ.

Honestly it was amazing, I think we both got sampler platters that gave us 4 kinds of BBQed meats. It was awesome.

Soon enough it was time for us to move on. We headed over to Margate Island. This was a large island that is mostly covered in gardens. If your looking for a spot to relax, read a book, walk in nature this is it.

We arrived at the (S) ? End of the island and were greeted by the dancing fountain. This fountain propels the water into the air to create shapes and movement. Its really entertaining to watch. The “show” starts every 15 minutes and lasts that long. 4 times a day they will add music to the show which makes the fountain really special.

We caught one of the quiet shows, and it was still really impressive what they can do with water and jets.

From there we wandered over to the small animal zoo. This was a sweet spot to bring young children. There were lots of farm animals and birds to look at. There was not that many petting options as I thought there might be.

From there we debated going to the water park. Budapest is famous for its outdoor spas. I though the waterpark was the place to go for that. I was wrong, the regular spas all have outdoor pools. The waterpark does indeed have outdoor, spa like pools, but they also have slides and hid pools and the like. Since we were here in early June, the wind was still brisk and made jumping into a pool less appealing. We ended up chickening out.

Next we headed up to the Japanese gardens on Margate island. It was a fairly small garden but hey did have a really good reflecting pond with lots of fish to watch, so that was nice.

We finished off our afternoon with a trip to the fancy gelato place. I wish I had gotten the name of it, however in Budapest, there was a gelato place that figure out how to scoop their ice cream, so that it looked like a flower. I had to try it. If you are getting one scoop you get one flavour, if you are getting two scoops then you have two flavours and your flower can have two different colours.

I got chocolate and caramel. So not the prettiest coloured flower, but it was delicious. I would definitely recommend.

Heading back to the hotel, we grabbed a quick shower and a change of clothes before dinner. We met with the rest of the tour group in the lobby where we got hotel drinks before heading out. There we got to hear all the amazing stories of the spas everyone went to, as well as the terrible stressed out day that our one college had with trying to figure out how to cancel credit cards. All in all we were in high spirits by the time we left the hotel to catch our subway to the ruin bar that would serve as our goulash cooking class.

This ruin bar was a couple of blocks away from the bar that we spent the night at last night, but this one was a lot more open and full of plants. We all sat at a long table and were given a welcome drink. I don’t quite recall what was in the welcome drink, but most of our group were not impressed and quickly found themselves some beers at the bar.

The Goulash cooking class was interesting… we think basically we were told we could put anything into the soup, but we really could not hear how it was cooked since there was too many of us, and we did not eat the soup she was making. Instead we had a cheese plate and then a previously made soup and I think there was dessert.

At that point we discovered that our tour mate’s purse was actually still at the bar from the night before, and that everything was fine. She was able to pay with her cards, she had her id. Our story of the lost wallet had a happy ending.

From this point we decide to head back to the hotel for an early night, but we were excited to explore a new country the next day!

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