Miles in Budapest

Story time! I went to Budapest, Hungary for 10 days. Well, eight days because the first and last days were dedicated to traveling. First, why did I randomly decide to go to Budapest in November of 2015?? As I mentioned in my last post, my relationship with my ex was stagnant and I was stupid dependent on him and after he ended it I was lost. I basically had to figure out who I was as an individual and just grow from there and oh boy did I grow! But my first step to reclaiming my identity was a solo trip to Europe to prove to myself that I can do whatever the hell I want.

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Hősök tere (Hero’s Square): I went here first…walked here first.

So, I booked my ticket, informed my boss (much to her horror, but she did allow it), trained my coworker to do my duties, and off I went. This trip was an eye opener for me and it was like testing the waters to see how independent I was. It was also to see if I have what it takes to travel the world, alone essentially. I believe I do, I mean I am preparing to move to South Korea (more on this later, I’m finishing up some things then I’ll start interviewing!).

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Behind me and my camera is Hero’s Square so of course a main road leads to it.

Why Budapest? It was one of the cities on my list (others were: Prague, Oslo/Tromso, and I can’t really remember the third). Ultimately I chose Budapest because it was the cheapest option. I’m not even gonna lie about that. Did I know anything about Budapest other than the song by that guy? Nope. Much of what I learned about Budapest, I learned while in Budapest.

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But really, how gorgeous is this??

Some logistics: I rode AirFrance (loved it, btw) and stayed at an Airbnb. After all the research I did, what I looked forward to the most was the Christmas Markets but the previous year they didn’t start until the third week of November which was when I was leaving. So, I had other things planned. But guess what! The Christmas Markets were open!

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Christmas isn’t my fave holiday (it’s Halloween!) but it’s gorgeous seeing how it’s celebrated/decorated all over the world

Some things I learned about Budapest: it’s pronounced boo-DAH-pESH. Basically, if you change all the street signs to French, you have Paris and they do film “Paris” scenes here because it is cheaper than filming in Paris. Hungarians are kind of curt? And this might be due to their very long and quite depressing history. The whole city is walkable. Thermal Baths! I’m going to be honest again…I completely chickened out of going to a thermal bath by myself. I do regret this a lot but what can I do about it now? I’ll eventually return and I will definitely go to one. I know I missed something amazing and I know that Budapest is known for the thermal baths, I am retroactively kicking myself for not going to one. BUT I did plenty of other things! NOW ONTO THE PICTURES.

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I’m on Buda and Parliament is on Pest. The bridge is Chain Bridge which is famous but I don’t remember why…
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Here is Parliament at night! So pretty!
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Chain Bridge!
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Now I’m on Pest and that is Buda Castle.
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Matthias Church. These buildings are so beautifully lit at night and I’m glad I saw them at night.
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St. Stephen’s Basilica. The crowd of people in front were lighting candles and leaving them on the steps because of the bombings in Paris
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St. Stephen’s Basilica from the other side in the day time. I think I was on my way to one of the museums but they were all closed.
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I really like architecture like this, especially mixed with brighter colors!
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I think this is a great example of something that could be “Parisian” just changed the street sign and you’re in Paris.
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These shoes on the Danube Bank were placed there to honor the people who were killed by fascists during WW2. They were literally shot into the river.

What isn’t pictured was my trip to Terror Haza (Terror House) which was probably the most depressing thing I could ever do on my first day of a trip. It’s a museum located in what was once the fascists’, and then communists’ headquarters during WW1 and WW2. In the museum were photographs of Hungarians during both wars, rooms where leaders of both regimes planned their ridiculousness, underground were rooms used to house prisoners. The conditions were not great. In the middle of the building was an old tank. It was an eye opening visit and I learned a lot more about Hungarian history.

How do I wrap this post up without completely pushing aside the history??  I can’t and won’t speak for the Hungarians but I think with any country that has gone through something like that, they are healing and the older generations will never forget but maybe the younger generations can have hope.

It really is a beautiful city to visit and in November, the colors were pretty and the leaves were crunchy!

I loved traveling by myself. It was exhilarating. I wasn’t on anyone’s schedule so if I decided to be a hermit one day, I was the only one who was missing out on stuff. Would I do it again? Absolutely! These past two years I’ve gone and done things by myself that I wouldn’t have done five years ago. That’s the reality of it. So, some advice. Do what you want. If you want to go travel but your significant other isn’t down, just go.

 

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