Around the world: Budapest, Hungary

One of my biggest wishes is that if I am able, I would like to travel all around the world. However, given the fact that I might not be doing that the way I want it, I make sure that every time I get a chance to get away from my country, I take it. Fully!

So this is how I got the chance to travel to Hungary on Friday night/Saturday morning. We had to take a friend to the Budapest Airport because from there, he had to leave to Sweden. All started when he asked my boyfriend if he could give him a ride there given the fact he had to leave and my boyfriend said yes.
So, there you have it. I quickly grabbed the chance and “flew” away. Well, actually, ride it away. :P

Before talking more about my quick road-trip there, I would like to tell you that I had no idea what we visited, we just walked down the streets and started wondering around. And we loved what we saw. I took a lot of photos, though. Besides the fact that I am a “take all the photos in the world” person, I wanted to make sure that next time when I’ll have the chance to visit better Budapest, I had to know where to go, straightly, and what is the thing I am visiting.
This was a short-notice trip so we didn’t had the proper time to look around the Internet for touristic objectives and such other things.

So I’ll just start telling you the little story, piece by piece, or … photo by photo. :)

At first, as I told you, we had to go to the airport. So we went there, arrived at about 4 am in the morning (by the Hungarian timezone, we, Romanians, are 1 hour ahead, so in our time would be 5 am).

My first impression: Oh, my God! It’s so huge!

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This is just one of the terminals, aka Bud: Terminal 2b, as you can see from the picture.
My first impression when I saw the name of it? I was giggling, to be honest. It was making me think about a flower bud, heheh. But also about other things I am not going to mention here as some might find it a bit disrespectful, though, by any means, far from the truth. It has something to do linguistic stuff, but, we should move on, ne? :)

What I want to add about the Airport and the picture I just presented is that this is just a part of it. The part that fit in my phone’s camera. There’s the other half and the parking lot. This thing is HUGE as I said.

What about the inside of the Airport? Nice and clean. The outside as well. From here to there, maybe, a small cigarette leftover, but not too disturbing. The place is pretty clean. And no wonder, of course. In the end is the capital’s airport.
Really nice and organized, I might say. And big?! Did I mention big? Oh, right, I did. :)
At the time we arrived we would have really needed a strong coffee, though. But we didn’t find any, not even at the jukeboxes. But oh well… Luckily, later, we were able to drink a coffee when one of the shops opened.

I drank some caramel-iced coffee. Can’t remember exactly the name, as I was tired as hell but I do remember the taste. It was delicious! So delicious I couldn’t drink it all. It happens to me, sometimes, with the coffee. Same with the Starbucks one. The caramel one, some of you might know it.

Anyway, going further, our friend left for check-in. Funny note: we confused the priority boarding with priority at the check-in and so when it was no queue at the check-in, we settled ourselves for the coffee, believing that the check-in would be no problem even if the queue will get longer, because he had priority. But surprise, he had priority at the boarding, not at the check-in so he had to go through all that queue. Poor him, oh dear! But funny, nevertheless.
I heard he arrived fine in Sweden and I am very happy about it.

Now, let’s go further as this is where the fun begins. So, we left from the airport. Destination: Budapest city itself! Said and done… or, not?
Supposedly, we had a GPS…that did work, not that great, but it did…up to a certain point. Meaning, until we left the airport. At that time, it just got blocked. So we were like in the middle of nowhere, well, actually on the highway, with road signs a bit harder to understand given we don’t speak Hungarian. So, bye bye relying on the GPS, dang it!

But, we drove away… at a moment, I, personally, wasn’t even sure if that was the right route, when we got to Budapest, I wasn’t sure if that was really Budapest because we got to the suburbs which looked more like a village. And I was like “Great, we got lost!”. However, thanks God, I have a skillful and very smart boyfriend so he made it through. With the help, of course, of his friend. :)
I am a total mess when it comes to directions and stuff like that. I’d be able to get lost in my own country, probably, lol!

Ok, I might not be that bad given in England I did manage to get my way around, but I tend to be very messy before getting it right. So mess is the last we needed at that moment.

When I realized the fact that I’d be more of a trouble than actually helping, I left the guys handle it and I started to do what I know best. Or, at least, better than getting directions… I started to take pictures!
Side note: I love my HTC Desire X! Might not be the ultra-smartphone, best of its era, not a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone, but I love it. Perfect for my needs! And it meets my requirements. I always dreamed about having a smartphone being some sort of mixture between Apple and Samsung. I wanted the Apple Design and Samsung’s Android user-friendly interface. My problem with Samsung: they’re too big! Really… I mean, that is great for people who like it, but for me, that big screen of it is a big problem. It doesn’t fit my hands for God’s sake! Whereas Apple iPhone’s design was just perfect.
However, I highly dislike iOS and Apple’s marketing strategies no matter how much I like the design.
So having some sort of mixture between the design of one of them and the operating system of the other one, would’ve been a great yes, this is the perfect phone I always wanted, for me. And gladly I managed to find my perfect phone!
HTC’s seem to be what I have been looking for! But I guess this is another discussion to be talked about later, at some other time.

As I said, I started to take photos as soon as we got to Budapest. In the end, yes, we were in Budapest, not some outside village like I thought at the beginning, so I panicked for nothing.

What impressed me the most? Their architecture! I mean, look at these:

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I mean, don’t know about you guys, but I am a fool for this kind of old-medieval-school, so-to-speak, architecture. This is one of the reasons I like to visit other countries.
Because, unlike Romania, sadly, they try to preserve as much as they can from their old design. It’s what gives it the “magic” of the place.
Don’t know about you guys out there, but I, personally, I am a very fond person of each nation’s architectural design. It’s like it’s a representative image of that place. It tells you the history of the place without having to read it in books.
It’s live. You’re living it, somehow, even if you are in the 21st century and the design is from the 17th, to say it like that.

So, this is how Budapest, at first, conquered a bit of my heart.  With its architecture.

Second of all, what I liked most is their roads.

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I mean, the road bands are so large and the circulation is so fluent there. Magnificent! For once we didn’t stayed for too many minutes at the traffic lights, something that happens often, sadly once again may I remind you, in Romania. No! Everything is so well synchronized that you won’t have to wait more than 2 minutes at the traffic lights. You feel like so free, in traffic because of the large roads I mentioned, that you don’t have to worry you might scratch someone’s car, or there is too little place to do a turn on or you name it.
In Romania, besides the National Roads and, of course, the highways (not that many, but anyway), on the usual roads, on the normal streets where you have to wait at the traffic lights or you find yourself  in a crossroad, it literally feels like you are some kind of sardine in tomato sauce that barely has proper place to move around. Like, really, Romania?
Don’t get me wrong, I do love my country, however, it has some bad points that I will critique whenever I have the chance. But I guess it’s something I’ll do for my own since it seems around here that the politicians don’t give a damn, but oh well, I digress.

Let’s not get ourselves in the sad part of the story, and continue with my enjoyment, right? What else I enjoyed in Budapest? Well…let’s see. Oh, right! Their marvelous bridges! I so, totally, love them!

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There are 3 major bridges that go all over the Danube. What I liked as well is, once again, their architecture. You have like all 3 of them, with each having an unique style.

First is the green one which, in my opinion, somehow mixes both the old feeling of a bridge given its design but the modern era given its made, I think, out of steel or something very similar. A strong metal, nevertheless.

The second one it’s all about representing the new era, so to speak, given it’s construction, architecture, design. Makes me think about that big bridge from San Francisco, for example (can’t remember its name at the moment, I am sorry).

And the third, the last, but not the least and my personal favorite, the “Lions bridge”, how I like to call it, given the fact that I have no idea about the fact if it has a name or anything like that.
As I previously reminded you, I just visited, whatever attracted me… that’s the direction I took and I went on “take all the photos in the world” mood. And may I remind you, once more that I plan on doing some researches so that next time when I visit (because I plan to get back), I’ll do it properly, probably with better photos as well, I will know what I have visited, what’s the story behind it, the meaning, so on and so forth. I am a big history/mythology junkie, lol! So, probably that’s why I am so attracted to travelling, places, old architecture, stories behind it and everything that compiles the meaning of the word “history”.

Now, let me tell you a little legend regarding this “Lions bridge”. I found it out from my boyfriend who found out from his parents.

Before I being, let me mention that this bridge it’s absolute perfection, really! And I thought this before even hearing the legend itself.

It is said that the builder of the bridge went there and laid underneath it and said that if someone would find even the slightest imperfection he’ll commit suicide (kids, don’t do this at home!). That’s how proud and sure he was about his construction (no wonder why, I might add). Everyone who passed by there had no complaints. Until a little girl came and asked “Why don’t the lions have a tongue?”.

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As you can see, the design and constructions of the lions is a outstandingly marvelous one, if you ask me. However… they do miss a detail!

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They got no tongue! How is that even possible?!

Lol, I, personally, was kidding. The missing tongue was the least of my concerns as I find these architectural pieces absolutely extraordinary! I fell in love with these lions here, especially the details they’ve been constructed in. But it was a nice paraphrasing to the little girl’s question in order to make a joke, right? :)

Now, don’t ask me if the constructor killed himself or not. Didn’t find out about that detail of the story and I rather wouldn’t. But, in the end, I think it’s some sort of urban legend, that holds some truth however, it’s not that tragic killing one’s self. However, we all know that a little bit of drama/tragedy/tragic ending seems appealing to the audience.
And well, we all know we’re some sort of genetically programmed beings to be attracted by tragic stories. We go all “Aww, how tragic!” or “OMG, so tragic!” and it’s a thing that will mark your mind and you will always remember that certain aspect, hence, the story itself.

So there you have it. Thanks to some psychological little mind trick, you will always remember this legend and you will probably talk enough about the Budapest’s “Lions bridge”. So, there, Budapest has made some free publicity for itself. Ah, the joys of marketing! We all do it, anyway.
Though it might be true! Not saying it’s not. I was just playing the 2 possibilities over here.

Aaanyway, enough blabbering about that part. Going further… What did I do next? Well, as I was wondering what we should visit next, we saw from the other side of the bridge a big, grandiose castle. What we didnţt saw is how to reach it. But we made the connection later, when we realized that the other thing we were looking at, that being some sort of old train, was taking people up there for visiting.

At the beginning we just thought it was a simple train that was just taking you up there and view Budapest in another way. But then we made the connection and aha! Evrika. We went straight to the train thingie.

Before that, as always, I was taking pictures. I took some photos of the Danube because the sightseeing was absolutely lovely. Let me show you what I am talking about…

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Lovely, isn’t it? I sure loved it and it absolutely fascinated me. Anyway, let’s get forward with the story.

So we headed off towards the train thingie I told you about previously. We payed some fee in order to get up there or else, you cannot do it. I think we payed about 10000 HUF. A liiiiitle bit spicy for my taste in the beginning but then I got to understand why. Because I will show you later why it deserves the pay.

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So, as I told you, we went up there by that little cable-like train which I found very cute, if you ask me. Totally made out of wood and another thing that gives you the impression you’re like living in the 18-19th century.

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I absolutely adoooored it. I mean, just look at it. Really cute and lovely, isn’t it? :D

Well, this little thing ‘drove’ us away up to our destination. I took some photos from the inside of it and I was like… high, higher, highest!

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I have to admit it, at a certain point I was like “Oh my God, what if we crash-land out of here?”. Scary thought, but it quickly went away because in less than a minute, I think, we were already at the top.

You might wonder what I wanted to visit up there and what is this magnificent castle I am talking about.

Well, allow me to give you a slight idea. This is what I was planning to visit because it’s architecture and medieval-like feeling caught my attention immediately as we arrived in Budapest.

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I think now you understand from where my enthusiasm has risen. From this beautifully, magnificent building.

So we got up there. I was thrilled like a little kid that gets a new toy. What to do first, what to visit first? Until we decided, the first step to do was just go and see how Budapest is seen from up there. I tell you how: astonishing!

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After being absolutely mesmerized by the view up there, we found a little toy for us. It was some sort of machine that zoomed-in the landscape so you could see better different parts of the city. At first, my boyfriend gave it a check and then, our other friend and at the end, me, because while they were sightseeing through that machine I was taking, of course, pictures.

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I told him I am going to make him a star! Lol, now, jokes aside, this thing was really interesting. The zooming-in power was like 200 ft, if I remember correctly.
The idea was that I was soo wishing at that moment to have a camera that would have had such a zoom-in potential. The photos I could’ve taken! Oh, dear lord!

But moving on.

After we ‘drooled’ over that, we kept going on. While we were planning to move forward, we saw some sort of initiation of Hungarian soldiers who were supposed to be guarding the gates of a particular castle over there.

But I’ll let you with the video, I am sure you’ll get it better rather than reading my explanation.

Hope you liked it, for me, it was a nice touch. I love these kind of things.

Anyway, afterwards, we just went wondering here and there and visited as much as we could. Like I said, I have absolutely no idea what it was besides the fact that I know the big castle was the Buda castle (I just remembered reading it somewhere).

Probably next time when I will get back, I will tell you more in-detail about all these things we’ve visited, but since now, I know about little to nothing about them, I guess the best thing I should do is just leave you with the photos.

Because, you know as they say… A picture is worth a thousand words. And since I am going to leave you with many pictures, imagine me narrating little rants about this and that, eh? :)

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Well, that was about it.
Ah, forget to mention a detail. Me and my boyfriend decided to become some sort of collectors. Every place we will visit, we decided to buy a fridge magnet and have them all on our fridge, reminding us of the places we visited.

Nice, eh? :)

Anyway…as I said before, that’s kind of it… I am sorry if you would have been interested in more details and descriptions of the places we’ve seen. I promise next time I’ll make up for it.

But until next time, I hope you enjoy this one!

Until next time…

Yours truly,

Chatte.

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