Budapest, Hungary: My First and Last Night Out

My last museum visit in Budapest was the Museum of Fine Arts to the left of Heroes Square. The museum had quite a nice collection, featuring some Rafaels, Rodins and even a Da Vinci. They also had a nice collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including a few mummies, human and animal.

From there I walked through the City Park, and the long way around the city to the hostel.

The next day I went to the Nepliget bus station and picked up my bus ticket for Saturday morning. I was booked on an early morning bus to Krakow. I took the train back into the city and walked across the center to the bridge that goes to Margrit Island. The island is a giant park that features many field areas and walking/biking tracks. There are cafes and bars on the island itself, along with a sports complex.

There was even a fountain that was timed to classical music coming from a loudspeaker. The water from the fountain soared very high, upwards of 100 feet, it seemed.

I found a nice flower garden and sat for while, reading, writing and taking pictures.

On the way out of the Island I stopped at a cafe and had a beer. The Hungarian beer Dreher was actually decent and after so much walking it was refreshing.

I made the long walk back to the hostel and turned in my laundry for a wash. A few of the other backpackers were going out on the town, so I got changed and went out with them. We found a bar with outdoor seating soon enough and I was quite happy to stay, but the others wanted a change of venue. We walked a lot and settled for an overprice, under-styled bar that had a lot of outdoor standing area. Then we moved again and walked even more, all around the city, never deciding on anything. I got really frustrated and finally lost it when the one bar we finally stopped at was charging a 5 euro cover charge. I called it a night and broke away from the others.

Maybe like my brother I was just getting too old for this stuff. I can’t wander from bar to bar all night, I like to just find one place with good drinks, good music and comfortable seating.

The next day I just chilled out: I sat on the boardwalk along the river and read, then I went back and packed. My bus was at 6 in the morning, so I had to make sure I was in bed early and that I was ready to leave by the time I fell asleep.

Budapest is an incredible city, for anyone thinking of going there. The hostel was also first-rate, full of friendly and helpful staff, and good-natured travelers. One pair I ran into were Joe and Don, two middle-aged American backpackers. They both had regular jobs, but Joe had traveled a lot when he was younger and makes himself take 5 weeks off every 2 years. He had spent the last 5 weeks in Europe and Budapest was his final stop before heading back home. They both had thick southern accents, but I couldn’t think of better ambassadors of the US: incredibly friendly, sociable and eager to experience other cultures.

I went to bed looking forward to the next adventure. Even after just 5 1/2 days in the city, I had become way too comfortable.


One comment

  1. sorry to hear that the ‘too old for this’ affliction has started hitting you as well. just wait until you can’t stomach the thought of drinking more than two days in a row…

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