Saturday – Travel day to Budapest.
Anna, Ian and I woke up early, walked to Baker Street Station and took a bus to Standsted airport. It isn’t a bad airport, but out there. We flew into Budapest and picked up a taxi there to take us to our Air BnB. I had read that you needed to prebook a taxi, and it was super easy to do so. The taxi booth preprinted the address of your destination and the price, that way there is no hassle with a driver making up a price. Our Air BnB was fine, it was a studio in a good location. We decided to take a walk around the city, and see the sights at night. We were staying right by the House of Terror museum, which was the description “It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.” Heavy. We also saw Parliament, views of the Buda Castle, the Danube (which Ian made me walk down some stairs that led to the water to touch it so I could say that I’ve touched the Danube), St Stephen’s, the Four Season’s in what use to be Gresham Palace, and the Dohany Street Synagogue. We ate dinner, Ian had duck which was his meal of choice the whole trip. Afterwards we went to a “ruin bar” which is very popular in Budapest. The one we went to is I think the most popular one, definitely the oldest one, called Szimpla. Basically, a ruin bar is set up in an abandoned building, un-renovated and kitschy decorated. Szimpla was huge and had many rooms which we roamed around. The back area was a patio with a movie projector, other rooms had couches, some tables and chairs. It seemed also like there wasn’t really a roof in most areas – but a glass roof like a green house added later. If you have some time look them up online, it is pretty cool!
Overall the city is cool, but obviously still growing and figuring out how to be post communism! I have a feeling if I were to go back in 20 years, the city would change a lot.