Monday, September 27, 2010
Thanks to the French air traffic controllers’ strike (really, working until 62 is not that horrible guys, get over it) our already late flight was made even later. So late, in fact, that when we finally arrived at our hotel in Budapest all restaurants were closed and dinner outside of room service was not an option. Really, we looked all over.
So after we split the $25 USD hamburger (are you kidding me, Budapest Hilton?!?) we went straight to bed. I had finally decided to contract the Wife’s nasty little cold and needed all the rest I could get.
Saturday we took a walking tour of the unified cities. I can’t recommend Free Budapest Walking Tours enough, and yes it was technically free since they rely solely on tips to avoid the outrageous 48% income tax in Hungary. I found them on Trip Advisor and there’s a reason they are the #1 recommended thing to do in the city.
As a city, I’d say it is one of the prettiest we’ve seen in Europe, although this isn’t too evident from our photos. Since I was so sick I didn’t have it in me to really capture it properly and since I’m a bit of a control freak about the camera I wouldn’t really let Jules capture it either. See, I can admit my shortcomings.
Our guide was really great and along with showing us some of the highlights of the city…
she also gave us a really personal look into her hometown and lots of great tips about avoiding tourist trappings, which Budapest seems to be full of...wow, everything is so expensive. I really wanted to take the afternoon Communist tour with them, but… A. I promised no more depressing tours and B. I was totally wiped out from the walk from Pest up to Buda.
After the tour we wandered around the Castle District since it was where our tour ended and also happened to be where our hotel was located…
I finally had to give in to the weariness and take a good long nap. Thankfully, this allowed me enough energy to enjoy a really nice meal with the Wife at a neighboring Hungarian restaurant that night.
Sunday we awoke to rain and cold and well, my cold so we stayed indoors and read most of the morning, went out for some lunch and then began the long trek back to Dublin.
With me feeling so bad last week we had debated canceling the trip altogether, but I’m glad we didn’t. This was the second time we had made plans to get to Budapest and although I didn’t feel great, our one day out and about really was worth it.
This weekend we’re headed to Scotland. Edinburgh has been at the top of my must-see list so I can’t wait!!
I’m determined to get better this week, especially since it is calling for cold and rainy weather there all weekend. At least I’ll finally get some wear out of my new Wellies. I can’t believe how sunny it is in Ireland. I beginning to think the Irish export this rainy/dreary weather rumor just to keep everyone from moving here.