Our time in Romania was really short, we headed out first thing in the morning. It was a full day on the bus, driving from Romania to Hungry. We stopped at a gas station for lunch, which was fine, most of the gas stations out this way had attached restaurants. It was around this time that we realized that some of the people on our trip would be getting off our trip in Hungary. So the trip starts to have a remorseful feeling. We realized that a good chunk of the boys on our trip would be leaving us, so it was soon to become a girly heavy trip.
The boarder crossing was weird. The border guards collected all the passports and called us, one at a time, to cross the border. We received our passport and boarded the bus on the “other side” of the border. So that mixed up the routine, usually we just stayed on the bus.
Since we arrived in Budapest so late in the afternoon, we went straight to Fisherman’s Bastion. There we spent some time wandering the castle, which mainly involved everyone using the ATMs for money so we could get gelato. We also got a group picture, since the castle was a fun backdrop. In our wandering we spotted a falconer by the main fountain. For money he would let you take a photo with the falcon.
From there we jumped back on the bus for a mini tour, but also to drive us to the top of the hill of Pest. On the top of the hill, there was a Victory statue. Now to get to the Victory statue from the parking lot, you need to still walk about five minuets, on the outside of what looks like another fort. At the entrance to the fort, there are a bunch of gift shops and food stalls. Now our tour was a little hungry and a little tired from the late night so, we lost a lot of them to the sausage/goulash stall. But honestly the food there looked so good! Had I not been trying to be healthy I would have been all over that. Now for those of us who did the five minuet walk to the victory statue. The view was amazing. You could see the river and across the river you could see all of Buda. It was gorgeous. The lighting was a little harsh for photos, but all of us did try our hardest.
After that we all headed to the hotel, to check in and get dressed for our dinner cruise! I have to say I was really looking forward to this cruise. How romantic would it be to see an entire old European city light up on the river? So we all dressed up in our finest and headed out to the boat. Now in typical European fashion, we needed to climb onto several boats to get to our boat. This was something I had never experienced before this trip, but in Eastern Europe, this seemed to be the way that they docked their boat. We climbed onto two other boats before we reached our cruise ship. Now, I am not sure what I was expecting as our cruise ship. But it was not what we got. Not that I wasn’t happy, because I was. But it was big. And white painted metal. With pink carpet. And metal white 80’s deco chairs. It was like a wedding barge. Anyways, we got 2 bottles of wine per table, which made us very happy. We sat with our now regular dinner buddies, Amy and Jena. Then the buffet began.
So this buffet was amazing. They had so many different types of Hungarian food in it that we wanted to try it all. We had fish eggs, salads, meats and cheeses, and some traditional Hungarian mains. However, this 3 hour dinner cruise was the fast 3 hours of our lives. We went up and down the Danube river in one big loop. The first half was the newer part of town with apartment buildings and “boring” stuff the second half had all the historic building. Once it got dark, everyone went to the roof deck to hang out and find our bottles of wine with a view. Honestly it was amazing.
From there we stumbled as a group through the alleys of Pest, towards the famous ruin bars. They’re built into ruins; old buildings left forgotten through various wars. Most of them have been taken over by artists and become art installations/bars. It was a unique atmosphere and they were full of tourists; very few locals. It was ideal for the single people looking to meet new friends, and they left most of the couples behind. The one we went too had two levels and lots of nooks and crannies. The bathrooms are rustic. Honestly, they were covered in graffiti, and kinda gross with long wait times, but they would do in a pinch. This bar was strictly for hanging out and meeting people. There was no dancing. There were chairs, but you probably had to be there much earlier to find some. So after exploring and having a drink or two we found a few other people who were tired and made the walk back to our hotel – about thirty minutes. It really wasn’t that bad, it was a really clean city and for the most part the streets at 1am were really empty.