Hallo meine freunden, long time no post! Things have been a bit crazy around here lately, as we settle back into our school schedules and daily routines. But before I knew it, two weeks had flows by and the first official travel weekend was upon us. A group of girl friends and I decided to pack our bags for Budapest, Hungary! I had heard enough people praise the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ to know it was worth seeing, and now it was my turn to experience it first hand. One sleeper train and thirteen hours later, I found myself in the heart of this gorgeous city. Budapest is actually two cities stratling the Danube river- Buda and Pest- that have grown so large they’ve combined into one. It is the capital of Hungary, known for its unique architecture and rich history. By rich, I do not mean peaceful or easy. Budapest has been occupied time and time again, most notably by the Nazis and then the Communists. They have fought to overcome incredible hardship, and that resilience is apparent in the people’s demeanor. They are determined and tough, yet helpful and accommodating.
We arrived at our airbnb Friday morning, a bit groggy but ready to conquer the day. Budapest is built on a network of sandstone caves, and “caving” is one of the top tourist attractions. So yes, we spent three and a half hours underneath Budapest! It was definitly a test of my strength and flexibility, not to mention my comfort level with tight spaces- but I emerged victorious. That night we ate traditional hungarian Goulash and called it quits fairly early. Being a groundhog really takes it out if you.^The parliament building, on the Pest side of the river
Saturday morning we headed to the river front to take pictures of the lauded parliament building. It is truely a piece of art. Every detail is painstakingly executed to perfection. Next, we crossed the oldest bridge in town to visit the Buda Castle and St. Mattheus cathedal, both picturesquely perched atop a mountain on the Pest side of town.
By this point, the rain really started to pour down, so we opted to duck into a cafe. But wait, not just any old cafe. A CAT CAFE! That’s right, the entire shop was cat themed, with dozens of real live cats roaming about while we sipped our CATpuccinos. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.
After we’d had our fill of warm fuzzy kittens, we hoped over to the famed bath house. The caves under the city are formed by natural hot springs, which bubble to the surface to create natural baths. I ran in, and instantly felt the stress of a long day melt away. The cool rain provided the perfect juxtaposition to the heavenly hot water, and I emerged two hours later as one pruny yet content girl!
The remainder of the trip whized by in a blur of packing and train transfers. As amazing as this trip was, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief when our train pulled into the Heidelberg station. I am writing this post at the desk by my window, gazing out on another beautiful city. I still cant believe I get to call this one home.
Tschuss for now friends, have a wonderful week!