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Budapest Travel Diary
Saturday: Today my mom and I arrived in Budapest! The airport was just as I remembered it from my last trip, but this time we had a driver who took us straight to our apartment that we rented out with friends. With a name like “Tiffany’s Residence”, you can probably guess how amazing this place was. With an entire room dedicated to Audrey Hepburn and another for Marilyn Monroe, including our room, the “coral” room, not to mention the luxurious kitchen and living room. After unpacking, we freshened up and changed for a traditional Hungarian musical that told the story of their separation from Austria. Although it probably would have been more entertaining if it was in English (or if we weren’t so jet lagged), it was still an amazing experience. If I was allowed to take pictures, I would show you all the traditional costumes that added life to the performance. After we returned to the apartment, Maia and I walked down to a cafe around the corner and had (like true Americans) burgers and the best french fries and topped off the night with cappuccinos and donuts.
Sunday: If you are thinking about traveling to Budapest, no restaurant (in my opinion) can top the Sofitel Hotel, no one can do Sunday brunch like them. With everything from a omelette bar to a chocolate fountain it was almost overwhelming how much they had to offer. After filling ourselves on crêpes, cheeses and breads and elderberry lemonade, (a traditional Hungarian beverage that I highly recommend) we went back to the apartment. There we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the baths. In Budapest, there are shallow pools that are heated (some overwhelmingly hot, some lukewarm and some icy cold) that every guest switches between. Tired muscles are instantly soothed and if you’re like me, it even becomes hard to keep your eyes open. Above the baths was a room full of chaise lounges facing the sun and Danube River where I took a short nap before dinner. Believe it or not, we also had dinner at the bath house! Decked out in our robes we sipped on Pina Coladas and ate dinner, but my favorite part was the dessert.
Monday: If you’re going to travel across the globe, you might as well get the full experience. This means truly seeing the city and emersing yourself in the culture and imagining you are a native. Today, thanks to Maia’s amazing mother, the two of us were able to travel the city’s streets ON SEGWAYS. I am honestly considering saving my money and buying one simply to roll up to school on. On these little machines we climbed up to the Citadel then to the castle for lunch. For lunch we invited our tour guides to join us for a delicious and traditional meal then ended with the Parliament building which is located in a square among other government buildings, each with their own story. After returning to the apartment, I joined Maia’s dad for a speedy motorcycle ride through the city. Sweaty yet satisfied, everyone met up for dinner in a restaurant with a great view of the river (not to mention our cute waiter, wink wink) and after Maia and I drove a golf cart through a park with some lovely statues and buildings. We ended the night with decaf cappuccinos at our favorite spot.
Tuesday: Maia and I started the day off with some shopping. We were looking for an H&M and stumbled upon a shopping mall stuffed with hard to find stores in the United States. Additionally, the phrase, “go big or go home” perfectly describes what traveling with this family is like. On today’s agenda was a helicopter ride over the city. Though it was slightly terrifying during takeoff, words cannot describe how beautiful the city looked from a bird’s eye view. Pictures, though still unable to do it justice, are the best way to explain how amazing this experience was. Tonight was dinner on a boat on the Danube where (decked out in my Kendall Jenner inspired outfit) Maia and I made a new friend living in Budapest, Alexandra.
Wednesday: Its our last full day in Budapest, so we did a lot today. Believe it or not, Hungary was also greatly affected by the Holocaust due to their large Jewish population. In order to increase our knowledge of the events that took place and the brave people involved, both families spent the beginning of our day walking around the city ending in the Jewish synagogue. After the tour, we began our search for the perfect lunch place and settled for a trendy burger joint. Also, you will be happy to know I survived the metro in Budapest. You would think for a girl who rode the subway in New York City and the Metro in Paris I would be ready but it was actually quite nerve-racking. However, it was worth it when we ended right back at the mall that Maia and I did some damage at the day before and went back to do more. As a treat from my very own mother, Maia and I had an amazing dinner at the Sofitel (told you it was my favorite) with the best sweet potato fries I have ever tasted and the first beef tartar I have ever tried. High on laughter and probably some sleep deprivation, us girls made our way to the Chain Bridge which lights up at night.