We arrived in Budapest on an extremely rainy day around 11am, and found out we couldn't get into the apartment we were staying in until 8pm. So we parked our bags at the station and walked all around the city. We didn't take any pictures that day as it was quite miserable, but we discovered that there was a wine festival going on all week on Castle hill, we found out the Faust wine cellars we had been excited to visit happened to be closed for holidays the whole time we were in town, had a nice traditional Hungarian lunch complete with Goulash, and paprika chicken crepes, and figured out the less than intuitive subway system.
We also happened to find the Ruszwurm Cafe which was an epic little tea room and confectionary - possibly the oldest in Europe. We popped in at about 5pm as we were pretty wet and cold, and found the most amazing atmosphere and tea and cakes! The cakes are all tiny layered and made there, and in many different and tasty flavours. If you ever happen to be in Budapest, you really need to try a piece!
The next day proved to be much nicer, so we headed to the wine festival where we spent the whole afternoon tasting local and specialty wines and munching on traditional snacks. The two most notable wines were Egri Bikaver or Bulls blood which is a famous red wine, and Tokaji which is a sweet dessert wine.
Another day we spent going to the Central marketplace which was pretty interesting, the Cave Church, climbing the citadel hill, walking across the city and up Castle hill. We then rewarded ourselves with another tea and piece of cake from Ruszwurm cafe. We also explored the castle area and ended with a dinner by the side of the Danube.
One of the neat things we tried were a street food called Transylvanian chimney cakes. The stall we got them at made them by hand and cooked them over a wood stove. They were very tasty and warm and delicious. We actually saw them in Prague also, but they looked no where near as good. We found a neat tea shop where we played backgammon on a real board! We'd been playing quite a bit on Jerome's phone, so it was fun to roll some real dice.
Finally, on the last day we went to a place which Jerome had seen signs for all week, but I'd been chickening out about. It was a spa type place where you put your feet in water with these tiny little fish, who nibble on your feet to make them nice and smooth. Well that's what it feels like at least, and is extremely ticklish! Really they don't have teeth. It turned out to be quite fun as we laughed for pretty much the entire time, and was very memorable!
We ended the trip by taking the night trip to Prague. It was a bit hard to sleep, but was a really fun experience, as I'd never been on a night train before, or slept in a top bunk - but I managed to not fall off even when the train kept stopping and starting in the night.
|Enjoying the wine festival
|Jerome reveling in his double 6 win over tea
|Outside the Central Market
|Inside the Central Market
|Cherry cake from Ruszwurm
|View from Castle hill
|View from Castle hill
|Transylvanian Chimney Cake
|Fish nibbling our feet
|Excited for the night train!