When my oldest friend, Michelle (oldest as in we've known each other since elementary school, not oldest as in she's 117) came to visit, I knew we had to go on a girls' trip. Michelle is one of my most faithful blog readers and has a heart for travel just like me, so I immediately suggested Budapest. It's been high on my list for YEARS, and Fionn had already been. Luckily, she said yes! :D
We hopped an Intercity Express train and were in Budapest by the afternoon. We hit the ground running, trying to make the most of our short time there. Budapest is really cool because it's a very chic city with an incredible history, but it also has the Eastern influenced mysteriousness that makes it more interesting than say, Vienna.
First order of business was dinner, and we were lucky to find a traditional Hungarian place with good food and live gypsy music. Since we're both musicians, we couldn't really complain about that! :)
Isn't she pretty? :)
After dinner we took a walk along the Danube. Budapest is actually two cities-Buda and Pest, so we stayed on the Pest side and took pictures of the sunset before continuing our walk.
The next morning, we headed for the Central Market. Shopping first, sightseeing later! Michelle is a girl after my own heart :)
I loved the tiled roof of the Central Market. Downstairs you can find the locales browsing the stalls for meat, veggies, fruits, cheese and other groceries, and upstairs you can find all kinds of Hungarian souvenirs. Like Romania, Hungary has a beautiful, colorful folk culture. My dad and grandmother visited when I was a child, and the souvenirs they brought me are still some of my favorites to this day. So naturally, I went on a bit of a shopping spree...
Their handcrafts are really incredible. The colorful embroidery on tablecloths, shirts, vests, and pillows were gorgeous, and they had a lot of intricate beadwork ornamenting headbands and small purses. Like Romania, you could find hand painted eggs and wooden figurines too. I especially loved the colorful dolls they sold everywhere!
After making my wallet much lighter and my shoulder bag much heavier, we went downstairs to browse the food section of the market.
Hungarian cooking uses a lot of paprika, sold spicy, sweet, or mild. Every few feet you'd find another paprika seller!
I could've spent all day in the market. How about you?
More adventures to come :)