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Beguiling Budapest :)

I had read sooooo much about Budapest before this trip, and my wonderful friend Sylvia Hegyi had told me a little about the amazing country she calls home, to whet my tastebuds before arriving, and...I would have to say, that Budapest does not disappoint! :) The incredible people I met here have made the week I stayed here a truely unforgettable experience and amongst my favourite travel destinations yet! :) ... I cant wait to go back for another visit - hopefully someday soon :)

In true Sine fashion, my arrival to the hostel i was staying at on the Pest side of town, was kind of highly unorganised hahaha! XD. I didnt think to check to see if the hostel was a 24 hour place, i just assumed (silly me), and when I rocked up in the taxi from the airport to get in, it was all locked up =P ...BUT... the taxi driver was soooo lovely, he took me to another budget hostel that WAS 24 hours, which was super close to this hostel. he waited to see that I was going to get inside and a place to stay before leaving me down... I thought that was super nice really :) ... im sure he just wanted to get home and to bed (seeing as though it was about 3.30 am hahaha! XD)

So, the next day, I got in touch with the hostel I was gonna be staying at for the next 3 or 4 days... hows THIS for service - he picked me up AT THE DOOR and took me himself to the hostel! :)... he was either ridiculously nice, or else... i must have sounded particularly clueless and lost on the phone haha! XD he was such a lovely animated fellow actually! i was giggling from when i first hopped into the car, to when he let me into the place! :) ... he showed me around, then, made me a WICKED coffee and asked me what i wanted to see and things he might recommend to me to go do and see etc... he was a wealth of knowledge!!! and again - heaps heaps funny!!! :) the hostel was a lot quirky and pretty dang cool actually!...he had 1920's style women's dresses hanging on the wall in the hallway, and, personally, i really love it when you can write on walls/ tableclothes etc in a restauraunt/ hostel/ whatever...and there WAS a WHOLE wall dedicated to travelers to write their message to the world on, for the next people passing through to read! :) it was just fabulous! :)

The next day, i was meeting up with Sylvia, and we went for a wander around Margaret Island. Margaret Island is so picturesque! almost like a wee faerie kingdom!...again, i was astonished at how green the trees were...tell me - is australia the ONLY place that has grey trees???!!! anywhoo...

That night, we went to dinner, and i had this FANTASTIC meal - soooo tasty!!! - and some wine, and had a wicked night! amazing sparkling company - even more sparkling than the yummy wine i was drinking - great food...what more could anyone want?! talking and laughing about anything and everything from our different respective lives in our own countries, perspectives, religion, philosophy, love, the stupid and funny things we do, esoterical stuffs, our families ... EVERYTHING...yet... it didnt feel like we were there for very long... its really great when you meet a new friend and feel like you are kindred spirits, and you just click and understand each other almost instantly - i feel like ive known this wonderful woman for many many years, and i hadnt even known her for one...it was just...awesome :)

the next day, i went on a free walking tour ran by

www.freebudapesttours.hu that the animated hostel man told me about...which gave me a bit of an insight into some of the historical things - like the statues and stuff - and what theyre supposed to mean. i had intended to take a leisurely stroll along the river danube to get to the meeting place, but... the weather out of spite i think haha! waited for me to step out of the hostel and get about 7 minutes into my journey before absolutely pissing down from the heavens!!! hahaha!... so...i ran for about 3 minutes (or until there was some undercover bit) with the intention of waiting for the rain to subside...but, the weather had other ideas and, it just seemed to be getting worse, so...i decided to make a dash for it nearly the whole way till i got there hahaha! XD...needless to say, i was a drowned rat - even with my very colourful clown umbrella (that i bought on the way) hahaha! i found the whole thing pretty amusing :D ... especially since i got lost (pffft! naturally!) and stopped to ask for directions... but... the person i stopped didnt speak english, and i cant speak hungarian lol! so...i practiced my italian...and actually succeeded! yipeeee! heeheehee! XD...i actually really really love the rain - it makes everything new and fresh again just for a minute or two, so...i decided to jump in the puddles (i am well aware i have Peter Pan Syndrome, thank you very much before you say so!!! hahaha! :D)...so that was fun :D

I met some other people who were staying at the hostel when i got back, and we decided to go to this fairly famous bar called Godor (with the 2 dots over the "O's") which had a live band playing that were pretty good :)

The next day, i went on a tour of a smaller town called Szentendre. it seems that i was the only tourist actually interested in going to this place heehee!...so... i got to feel like a rich and famous person, being shouffered and carted about in a big fancy black shiny car with a driver and a guide :D the guide was hella funny!...she was about my nona's age, but...still bustling around like a mad woman! i think she might have had a touch of ADD or something because she had the concentration span of a naat, which was, making me laugh all the more! hahah!...she was one of those highly eccentric old ladies with the blue rinse through her hair and pink dame edna everidge sunglasses on even though there was no sun to speak of heehee... bright red lips and crazy glamourous clothes, and called everybody (because she seemed to know everybody hahaha!) darling or honey...she was my kind of an old lass! ... (actually...i think i could have just described MYSELF when im old and complicated! oh dear! hahaha! XD) she had so many stories...from the war up until more contempory times, and was really interesting to listen to. we hopped on a ferry and took a ride on the Danube, went across to the Buda side, she told me about the bridge and the unfortunate story about the lions that are on either end (the guy who sculpted the lions was so so proud of his work on the lions, and said they were his most perfect creation...then, some kid piped up and was like "but, they arent perfect because they have no tounges!"...the guy was completely gutted, and threw himself off the bridge because he was so embarased that he'd forgotten to put tounges in them. ... the lions now have tounges in them... i checked! haha! XD), and went through the castle district (which was way cool! :D)

The next day, i said goodbye to the hostel and the animated man who owned it, and the few people who i met there, and embarked on my first ever couch surfing experience, at Sylvia's palace :D ... what can i say?...i highly recommend it!...everyone should couch surf at least one time before they die :) ... Sylvia makes jewellery, and works from home, so, we hung out a fair bit and she was amazing about writting down very extremely good directions (that even a directionally challenged goose like myself couldnt fuck up!) to things that i wanted to go to and see, and we laughed lots and lots about all kinds of silly things :D ... we went out to go to a couch surfers birthday celebration, where i met a whole bunch of really fun, spontaneous, quirky, lovable and warm and friendly people :) the bar was tucked away a bit (not touristy which was SUPACALIFFREAKIN COOOOL!!!), and called "Shhhhh!!!"...and, once it hit a certain time, there were people who work for the club (as bouncers???) dressed up in jesters hats with bells on them and larish outfits going round to the drunk patrons saying "shhhh" once they got to the streets! hahaha!...i thought it was massively clever! :D an amazingly wonderful night was had by all!!! :D

the next day, i decided to take myself off to a hungarian bath-house (Szechenyi). i have never ever been to a bath-house before! so this was a completely new experience altogether for me! :) i came out of there feeling soooooooooooo relaxed and yet, like i'd done a days work from doing absolutely nothing but relaxing! hahaha! :D...it was great!... i got a massage which made me feel wonderful for at least 3 days afterwards! haha! :D this night, Sylvia and i just went out for dinner at this lovely restaurant she knew of, and met up with one of the fellas she was friends with that i met at the Shhhh bar... apparently, he had been out of the country and rode his push bike back in because he had had issues with immigration because his ex girlfriend was a complete bitch (by the sounds of it...i have never met this said bitch haha!...but...her reputation seems to preceede her and seems by many accounts, pretty true hahahah! XD)...then, went to meet up with some other people at another quaint little artists hub which had different sized papier mache balls and triangles hanging down from the ceiling in what seemed to be an art installation of some kind. we also played fooz-ball...we BROKE the fooz-ball hahaha!... then, we left hahaha! XD... i stole a music/ arts magazine (i guess its like the equivalent of the drum in oz?) called "Think" hahaha! XD...naughty me ^.^

the next day (and my last whole day...waaah!) in budapest, i went to check out the castle district some more, and also went to Hero's Square in Andrassy Avenue... went past The House of Terror, but, alas, ran out of time to actually go inside =[... Sylvia also showed me a more personalised tour of some of her  favourite "make-out" spots (heeheehee!) she used to go to before she became sensible and fell in love with her man of the moment :D

i LOOOOVED soooooooo much about Budapest!!!... the landscape, the interesting history, the unusual things to do here...but...most of all, the wonderful people i have met and made friends with here. Budapest seems to be such an undiscovered gem of Europe, and im sooo glad i have gotten to experience it before every man and his dog wants to come here and wreck it with the poison that tourism so often brings. i loved that i felt like a millionairre (im not!) because, the hungarian franc's are like italian lira used to be... and theres alot of franc's to make up a HUFF. i love that hungarian money is called "HUFF" - its so totally cute!!! :D ... i love that people everywhere are so friendly and helpful. the only thing i didnt like is that Sylvia told me that the government want to ban street theatre and music on the streets - but again...i love that the people are fighting this and doing so anyway :) i also LOVE my friend Sylvia for letting me crash her life and share her friends (and her matress) for 3 nights - and for making me pancakes for breakfast!!! :D and for just showing me an unreal side of a truely amazing and lovable city :) i had the time of my life :)


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