Despite the shaky start of my stolen laptop, my first week of the four month world trip with SPAR has been absolutely incredible. To write about everything I’ve done would make for a very long post, so here’s some of the highlights of the week!
1) Szechenyi Baths Pool Party
Budapest is famous for Roman Baths. Chilling in an outdoor thermal spa is kind of their thing… well at least has been adopted as their ‘thing’ throughout history. I spent a day in the beaaaautiful Gellert Baths a the beginning of the trip, which was a very relaxed trip and generally a fantastic way to spend half the day. But the annual Szechenyi Baths Cinetrip Pool Party blew the indulgence of extreme relaxation out of the metaphorical water. Laser shows, crazy circus people, beers in the pools, LOUD music and star wars characters roaming the vicinity – even Darth Vader – made for one hell of a cool experience.
2) Cycling around the city
I’m pretty scared of cycling in the city. Even when in Amsterdam for the final of this very trip, I absolutely bitched out and opted only for cycling in a park. Safe, safe cycling in the park. But with two Dutch men who proclaimed to be ‘born on bikes’, what could go wrong, right? Right. I had a beaaaaautiful day and got to see a lot of Budapest that I probably wouldn’t have got to if not for the bikes. We cycled to Margaret Island, had an icecream, and then cycled to the Ludwig Museum. Great day.
3) The Castle District
The Castle District is probably one of the most touristy things to do here. But people flock there for a reason – it’s a very, very cool place – massive birds, icecream, fantastic architecture, history, museums, and a hospital underneath Castle Rock which was used throughout the second World War and the uprising in Hungary.
4) Dinner in the Hungarian Countryside
The very nice people who work at SPAR Hungary headquarters took myself and the other SPAR reporters on a tour of their HUGE offices, and then out for a meal. The headquarters is in the countryside, about 45 minutes drive away from the city. But it was definitely worth the drive to see a different part of Hungary. We sat eating our meal as the sunset over a beautiful lake… oh the cliche romance. We ended the meal with Palinka – a, erm… interesting, Hungarian spirit. It burns.
5) Ruin Bar frivolities
Ruin bars are, again, one of Budapest’s most famous attractions. Szimpla was my Ruin Bar of choice, if only for the sheer fact it is just around the corner from my Hostel (Bazaar Hostel – right in the city center, cheap and great atmosphere if you’re ever in Budapest!). Ruin bars are exactly what the name says – bars in ruined buildings. Decorated with some crazy stuff all over the world, lots of good music, cool people, cheap beer… definitely makes for a highlight of this city.
Slovenia tomorrow! SEE THE WORLD WITH SPAR.