Hungry for Hungary

When we embarked on our trip through East Europe, we decided it would be a great idea to go in the off season to save money. Two Floridians trekking through East Europe in the winter with no appropriate clothes or experience in snow? Yeah, not that smart. Even so, it ended up being quite the adventure. We also made it out alive, so there’s that. 

Taking the train into Budapest we knew the snow storm was bad, but didn’t realize how bad. Walking out of the station, I popped my umbrella and was ready to face the fiercest snow storm I’ve ever seen. (Let’s be honest, I’m no snow storm expert. I’ve seen them on tv.) 

 We shortly realized we had no idea what we were doing and the walk to our hostel was going to be more challenging than we originally thought. While trying to maintain our balance on the icy sidewalks in my fake UGGs and his converse sneakers (and not doing a very good job at it), we looked around suddenly felt like those Canadians in Florida that are sunburnt at Disney and clueless.  We were unprepared and clumsy.  

To our shock, when we finally reached our hostel the owner gasped, “How did you even get here?!” 

We were aware that trains had been cancelled because of the weather. On the way in we had 3 minutes in Vienna to catch our connecting train to Budapest, which led us to sprint like crazy people in the station. Out of breath, we jumped through the doors at the last second just as they closed behind us. We found out later that all the trains and roads had been shut down and we were sitting on the last train to arrive in Budapest. Talk about lucky.
Hungarian National Parliament

Luckily, in the days following the snow melted and we were able to venture outside again without thinking we were going to freeze to death. Kind of. It was still 20 degrees.
I was excited to visit Budapest because I had heard so many good things about it. My first impression was that it felt like a unique combination of old and young, with architecture that makes you feel like a movie star on a set. (After a quick google search, apparently a lot of movies and music videos have been shot here. I’m a genius!)
The city is split into two: Buda is on the west bank of the Danube river and Pest is on the east. Despite the weather and the fact that I can still not pronounce the city correctly (“boo-dah-pesht”), we both fell in love with the city nicknamed “Paris of the East”.  
Chain Bridge (1849)
 The most amazing thing we discovered here was the food. You never really know what you’re going to get in a foreign country when you order something simple such as chicken and mashed potatoes. We soon discovered that in Budapest you get ridiculous American-sized portions. After walking for miles with frozen limbs, this is exactly what we needed. That and a shot of Zwack, known as the national shot of Hungary which is so appalling and will make your insides feel like they are on fire. Which I guess is a good thing when it’s 20 degrees outside. 

Budapest, check! We will definitely come back here again. Next time I think we’ll try to visit in the springtime. 


One response to “Hungry for Hungary

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Married Nomads·

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