Budapest: Saturday

Relaxing, Lurking, and Crying.
In a way, Saturday was the best day for me. No matter how nice it is to share somewhere you love with people it was nice to relax on Saturday and get off the complete tourist track, just relaxing a little bit with no real aim.

Saturday saw the group split into two halves once more with Leonoor, Dania and I hitting the city alone while the other three went to the Széchenyi Baths. First item on the to-do list was to have a drink in my usual cafe. Lemonade was as good as ever – seriously the best in Budapest in my not so humble opinion! Not so sure that the same people are managing the place now though which is a shame because they were always good fun. Could just be that they weren’t there the day we went though, of course.

Lemonade for breakfast is now a thing that I fully endorse.

After that, we decided to venture into the unknown to get the CD of the Hungarian version of Miss Saigon. One promising looking CD shop was closed – I’ve got used to shops being open every day in Amsterdam – but we did have to leave the touristy parts in order to get there so that was actually really nice and successful in some senses. We also were blessed with some sun once again so we sat out on the bench in the street by the closed shop and relaxed for a bit. Really, that was the focus of most of Saturday… we loosely aimed for something (most of our plans were unsuccessful) and then used the time to just enjoy watching the world move around us.

This day also saw what was probably one of our poshest meals of the trip, and that is saying something! We went to this glorious restaurant for lunch and had really rather stunning salads and cakes which both looked and tasted sublime!

Hungarian Apple Pie 1 – Dutch Apple Pie 0

The afternoon was spent looking for a tacky touristy picture frame so that I could put a nice picture in it to remember the trip. Seriously, we saw so many awful picture frames in the preceding days but no matter how many tourist shops we went into we simply could not find one! Ah well, I guess the photo will just have to go in to an elegant frame which is simply not the same. At least I know which photo I am going to choose:

A lady saw us swapping round trying to take photos and she stopped with her
toddler, put down all her shopping and took serveral photos of the three of us.
Kind people are still around in the world.

The evening saw the group come together for our final meal of the trip which was accompanied by a fair amount of wine, champagne and cocktails from those who drink; they celebrated the end of the holiday while I mourned its end.

After that, a rather bouncy Leonoor and Dania, energised by the meal, and its accompanying beverages, joined me to meet up with Gitta once more. She and her boyfriend very kindly took us to one of the ruin pubs in Budapest which was a new experience for me (got to love new experiences). Didn’t take any photos, sadly, so nothing to share but I can safely say that the place was like nothing I’ve ever seen. As the name may suggest, the pub was situated in the run down shell of one of the courtyard-houses but one that had been decorated with some of the most surreal things from a room full of television screens to some statue of a dragon-ish type thing that one could potentially sit on.

Sadly, with a stupidly early departure on the Sunday looming we didn’t get to stay for very long and we wandered back the apartment. As I settled down for my very short night’s rest I could hear Scottish folk songs drifting up from the bar below the window and it struck me that I was leaving one of the places I love dearly while listening to music from home… and going back to the Netherlands. That was a difficult moment for me – hello homesickness!

A Bit of Sunday
At silly o’clock in the morning, the others all woke up and I got up out of bed. Because I’m a complete and utter pillock I had managed to get sunstroke again. Luckily, it was rather mild – more so than I’ve had previously – and I managed to catch the flight with the others. I rather imagine I worried them though and they must be commended for really looking out for me, especially Nora who had to put up with me both ill and crying. Poor girl.

I tell you what was interesting though, walking through the streets at 3 A.M.-4 A.M., something that I can’t say I often do in my own countries and, clearly, have never done in Budapest. It was busy, busier than I would have expected, and with surprisingly sober people. Yes, there were a few people who’d clearly had a few too many but the majority were quite with it. Normal coffee shops were open, public transport was running. It was a little surreal!

Several hours later… okay, about nine hours later, we were back in Amsterdam, collapsing in our respective beds.

As for me, well, I will be back to Budapest pretty soon. Nora seems to have fallen for the place too and we discussed returning this summer but our respective flight home plans clash so we cannot do that. However, I have talked with my university and there is the potential of me studying in Hungary for a couple of months next year, perhaps. It will involve a lot of paperwork and discussions with the board of examiners but my tutor seemed pretty hopeful and willing to champion my cause. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be back anyway… not leaving it this long ever again!

Not for facebook

More on Budapest:
Theatre (to come)
Friday (to come)

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