Other than one trip to Eastern Turkey, I don’t think I did any weekend trips this fall. Budapest is a short flight from Istanbul and the Turkish Airlines flight times work out perfectly for a weekend trip, so when my friend Charaine suggested we go, I acted fast.
I’ve been to Budapest twice before. Once was a weekend trip from Salzburg during my study abroad year. I ran around and saw as much as I could in a short amount of time. The second trip was for a staff softball tournament against the other schools in our conference. I ate delicious food, but I can’t say I saw anything. When they said, “Let’s go play softball,” I was shocked to discover they really meant a full day of softball.
THIS trip, while chilly, was lovely and relaxed. I feel like Budapest just gets better every time.
For information on how to transfer from the airport to the city, click here. We chose to take a taxi from the official taxi stand. You tell them your destination and they give you a receipt with an estimated fare and a license plate number. Like Uber, but you pay in the taxi.
On Friday night Charaine and I rugged up and went out in search of pork. It was about 9pm. The markets were closing down, but our mission was accomplished. We wandered home, turned up the heat, and settled in early.
After a lazy morning drinking tea after tea, we left our apartment to explore the markets. Our plan was simple: eat all the things and buy all the things. Sometimes we ate outside, sometimes we ate inside… Our itinerary was pretty free flow, so we simply set out to explore. Sometimes traveling without maps and books is the best way to go.
Here are some highlights:
The guy on the right in the video below became my favorite person of the weekend. He was selling his hand-carved instruments. I picked up the spoons and asked him to teach me to play, so he did! I was GREAT fun!
I also fell in love with this pottery and brought two pieces home with me:
That evening on our way out of the market to shop and eat near the opera, we caught a projection on the basilica. (Sorry for the zoom in…)
On Sunday we found an open grocery store. We stuffed our bag with food to bring back to Turkey. We then strolled down towards the Great Market Hall. Sadly, as is often my luck due to poor planning and research, it was closed. I hate missing a good market, but why not come back a fourth time?
Near the Great Market Hall were some food and craft stalls. I bought an excellent pair of slippers and Charaine bought a hat.
As we approached the end of our day we walked over to see the Shoes on the Danube. It is a World War II memorial depicting when Jews were told to strip naked and were shot at close range so they would be washed away into the river. I didn’t manage any decent pictures of the shoes, but the memorial itself is emotional. Has our world really changed?
The last stop: a bread bowl of goulash. A great end to a great weekend trip.