A quick trip up to Budapest….and an aching stomach!

Szentendre B+W

Szentendre B+W

We decided to take a quick weekend trip up to Budapest (2.75 hours) for the weekend.  We met our co-teaching friend, Wendy, at the train station and headed to our hostel. For $18 a person, we had a very modern, private ensuite room at a hostel.  Looking at our room, you would have no idea there was a hostel, and actually the whole thing was in a residential building so it didn’t look like a hostel anyway. Free internet, a spacious bathroom, a comfortable queen bed and two bunk beds…and a very helpful guy running the place. He even let us check out on Sunday at 5pm (!!!!!) because the cleaning lady wasn’t coming until the next day.  As a bonus, it was very close to where my parents will be staying when they visit, so we were able to get a feel for the area.  Here are some highlights (and lowlights)  and some photos:

  • eating at a great Italian restaurant across the street, while it was pouring rain outside
  • stopping by the New York Cafe for dessert
  • taking the train to Szentendre, a cozy town up toward the Danube bend.
  • drinking several cappucinos
  • sleeping in both weekend mornings (I woke up at 6:30 am Sunday to go take pictures by the river, but it was raining, so I went back to sleep)
  • Lángos
  • Eating at a Persian restaurant and figuring out how Turkish coffee “works”
  • relaxing at Széchenyi Fürdő (thermal baths)
  • Following a young Hungarian woman who was happy to point out a detour to us, and walk with us for most of the way*

*  The thermal baths are on the metro line, 10 minutes away from our hostel.  But…there was a big organized anti-government protest at Heroes’ Square, which is one stop before the bath.  Consequently, the metro line was closed all the way back to the transfer point.  So, in the dark, we took two extra metro rides, took a trolleycar, and walked through an unknown part of the city.  But we reached the baths…in only 1 hour and 40 minutes. The baths consist of 3 large pools, steam rising out of the two outer ones. Surrounding this is a complex of wellness facilities, Turkish spa, indoor thermal pools, saunas, steam rooms, etc.  My most memorable part has to be sitting in the 40 degrees C hot tub that smelled strongly of sulfur and had a green tint to it.  My favorite parts were sitting in the lemon-scented sauna, and standing under the jets spraying water at my neck.  Very relaxing!

Budapest local park

Quiet residential park in Budapest

Szentendre main square

Szentendre main square

Szentendre - view east to Danube

Szentendre – view east to Danube

The aching stomach.  I am mainly writing this for my own reflection, but I quite possibly had the worst diet, in these last 24 hours, that I have ever had.  My meals in that time span consisted of:

  • a cake and ice cream sampler at New York Cafe
  • a salad, a 32cm-diameter pizza dough with garlic oil brushed on top, and wine
  • a restaurant breakfast “special” consisting of a large plate of fries, with sausages, bacon, and several eggs scrambled amongst it….covered by melted cheese
  • a pastry with “cheese filling” that was actually as large stick of smoked gouda packed inside
  • Lángos (dough cooked in oil, then served greasy with sour cream and shredded cheese on top
  • strawberry mousse cake
  • chocolates
  • 3 cappucinos
  • two pieces of toast with jam
Admittedly, not the most healthy food choices I could have made!

4 thoughts on “A quick trip up to Budapest….and an aching stomach!

    • Yes, and it was much quieter than it supposedly is in the summer. I have read that it is packed, and it was basically empty this weekend. But all of the stores and restaurants were open.

  1. wow…. so many rich and delicious-sounding foods, but all at once? Or over such a short span of time? I can definitely understand where the tummy ache came from!
    Szentendre looks like a great, and quite pretty, place. When your family visits, will they be staying in a hostel, a hotel type of place, or renting a house, or something else?

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