Budapest was a late bloomer in my eyes. A day of travelling through the city to our accommodation had left me unconvinced that this city was as magical as I had heard it would be. In reality I think we were just unaware of how far outside of the city centre we were staying. As a first time traveller with very little experience using public transport this was pretty nerve-wracking . Little did I know this would turn out to be a remarkable adventure!
We started our morning late and with some trepidation – three girls who have never travelled before, alone in a massive city,are not the most comfortable of tourists. But we put on our big-girl panties and braved this big, scary world on our own.
We managed the public transport system rather impressively, I think. At the end of the day we were hopping on and off metro trains as if this were an everyday occurrence, which it most definitely is not in South Africa! Once we got familiar with the most popular stops to get on and off we had such a blast. We were so proud of how we managed to figure it out and the day spent travelling was an absolute adrenaline rush.
We had been told that the city centre is where we should head to and my goodness it did not disappoint! Stepping outside the metro station is like stepping into another world. The houses of parliament stood directly in front of us as if trying to brag, ” I knew I’d impress you”. Man oh man did they impress us! They really are like nothing I’d ever seen before, at home everything seems so boring in comparison. You just can’t fake that kind of history.
Wondering around the city was like an out of body experience, I was constantly asking myself whether this could be real or not. Surely places this magical don’t exist? Eating ice cream cones and walking around this city is something I doubt I’ll ever forget.
We braved the Central Market Hall which left us with a bit to be desired as we’d been told it was an incredible place to buy gifts although they all seemed to be cheap goods marked up way too high in order to make a large profit off us tourists. We didn’t bite. The selection of fresh fruit and vegetables though was absolutely exquisite and it was almost like a sensory overload! We decided not to be too put off by the disappointing market and carried on exploring the way, I think, good travellers do.
We tried lunch at,what I imagine, is the most typically Hungarian restaurant ever. The goulash was tasty but didn’t blow my mind as I’d hoped it would, but I suppose I can leave the mind-blowing food to Italy.
Spending my first day in Europe wondering around Budapest could be considered a spiritual experience. Our first taste of Europe was a magical one that left us feeling so excited for what is to come.