Posted By Kristabella on October 30, 2013
I enjoy writing these recaps, I do, but because I know I’m so wordy, I also kind of dread them because just when I think “I can combine two days into one post!” then I spend a whole page talking about sitting in an airport.
But, I need to power through because there is so much left!
Our final full day in Budapest was spent on my least favorite part of the whole trip. Actually, the cramped, urine smelling train car from Prague to Munich was probably the worst part.
So for our last day, we did a Danube Bend day trip. We took a bus out to some outskirt cities on the Danube River. As you’ll remember from the last post, we were out really, really late on Friday night. And this excursion started really early in the morning. We were picked up at the hotel at 8:30 AM. Needless to say, after being out until almost 4 AM the night before, we were still pretty tired and hungover. (I forgot to brush my teeth!)
This trip involved a lot of time spent on a bus. So we slept. No, literally, we passed out in the back of the bus and were probably snoring before we even left Budapest.
We were also the youngest on the tour by at least 20 years.
After our first nap, we were in some town called Esztergom. I only am sure of this because a) that’s what the travel site says and b) I smartly took a photo of it.
So we stopped here by this bridge off the water. I’m sure there was more information about all of this and the town, but again…sleep. But this bridge connected Hungary to Slovakia. So, even though it was windy and cold (completely different than the weather in Budapest, of course, so I wasn’t properly dressed), we walked just far enough across the bridge to get into another country. So I crossed Slovakia off my list and made sure to tell people I went to five countries on my trip!
It was actually very pretty. The Danube sure is majestic, especially in these towns just a few hours outside Budapest.
Our other stop in this town was a church. A basilica. Our annoying tour guide must have earned money for every time she said the word basilica because I don’t ever want to hear that word again. Or see that church in Hungary.
We spent a lot of time at this church. It’s a pretty church, but I think even Jesus himself was bored of hearing about this place of worship by the time we got done there.
But I lit a candle for Gram, which had to make her pretty happy that a) I was actually in a church and b) that she could brag to all her friends in heaven that she had a candle lit for her in Hungary! Take that, Gram’s heaven ghost friends!
After the church, we went to lunch. We had to ride some more in the bus along the river and go to another town to eat. We slept the whole way again.
We had lunch in a town called Visegrad. Apparently there is a castle there. We maybe would have seen it if we weren’t sleeping. That would have probably been much better than the church. I’ve seen churches. I don’t get to see a lot of castles.
Lunch was OK. Because we were the youngest and slept the whole time, it wasn’t like we were the friendliest and social. We ended up sitting with some Germans, which was fine with us because we didn’t want to have to make small talk. Said German couple was then referred to as Salty and Eskimo since the dude put a ton of salt on everything and the woman wore a parka.
The food was OK. It was some soup and some chicken. There was a bunch of musicians playing for us, for tips, and since lunch seemed over, we went outside to chill on the patio and take in the views.
Apparently this was the wrong thing to do. As we were standing at the bottom of the stairs, taking photos of the restaurant, our annoying guide, Helena, ran down the stairs, yelling to us. She screamed “Laaaaadddddiiieeeeees! You forgot your cake!”
We then told her it was OK. We didn’t want the cake. Instead of coming down to talk to us, she just then continued to scream at us. “Laaaaddddddiiiiiiieeeeesssss! It is delicious cake! It is chocolate! You forgot to eat your cake!!”
At this point, the cake actually sounded delicious, but we weren’t going to go running up the stairs after her for some cake that was probably mediocre, like the rest of lunch. So we went back on the bus. Probably to sleep some more.
The guide came back on the bus to let people know they owed money. We were confused, since lunch was provided in the tour. We thought maybe some others didn’t pay as part of their tour and had to settle up. So we just waited patiently.
That’s when Helena got on the microphone in the bus, the bus that had like maybe 30 people on it, to call us out. To let everyone and their mother on the bus and within a 50 mile radius that we owed money for our “red wine, red wine, Coke, espresso…..” until we cut her off and told her we’d pay it. And that we didn’t drink all that. (Lunch was paid for, drinks were extra.)
From that point on, we were not her favorites. And we did not like her. Then she kept pointing out that my friend and I were wearing dresses and that we must be so cold! I mean, I was chilly, but it was a maxi dress that is as comfortable as pajamas and it wasn’t freaking snowing! I wasn’t that cold. Fuck off, Helena!
After lunch there was another bus ride and then we ended up in a cute little town, right along the water, called Szentendre.
This was the best part of the day because we got to walk around the town by ourselves and just had to make it back to the boat at a certain time to head back to Budapest.
There were all sorts of cute shops and I made my decision here that the thing I would collect from each country was a Christmas ornament. Bonus! Szentendre has a Christmas store! After we walked around the little town and bought some stuff, we got on the boat and headed back to Budapest.
The boat ride was pretty uneventful. It was like a commuter boat, so there was no guide, not that there was much to see. It was pretty much nothing and then BAM! We were in Budapest and the familiar Parliament building was welcoming us home.
Hey kids! Look, another photo of Parliament from the river!
After we got back to the hotel, we rested a bit more, showered and got ready to go out. We had decided we were going to hit up the famous Budapest bath houses. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go in, seeing as it was cold and I didn’t bring a bathing suit, but we at least wanted to go and see if we could go in and take photos.
We went to the biggest one. It has 22 pools, indoor and outdoor. The place was magnificent. My biggest regret of the trip is that we didn’t go in one or several of these pools. I really wish we had done that. But I’m at least glad we got to see them. Hopefully some of the healing powers wore off on me.
By this point, we were all pretty beat. We decided to search for a place to eat, but by this time it was pretty late. We found a place close to the hotel that had pretty good food and had dinner and called it a night. We knew we needed to pack and get to bed because we had an early-ish train in the morning.
Next stop, Vienna and the hills that are alive with the sound of music!
The rest of my Budapest photos are here.