Whenever anyone had previously mentioned Hungary, I had pictured beautiful scenery, the Houses of Parliament- and goulash. After having been there, it has become plain to me that I should have done my research.
The flight was a 4:00am-er, meaning my friend and me arrived at about 8:00am. After an hour-long trek trying to find our hostel (The Funk ‘n’ Bunk, actually) that resulted in tears and swearing, we eventually reached our destination. Our lodgings were beautiful, and filled with bright-eyed and enthusiastic reps ready to destroy our livers and tan our purses. Night one involved four boxes of white wine that tasted of urine, an expensive packet of Vogue cigarettes (the thinness is healthier, apparently) and the Szimpla Bar. The place was stunning, essentially a pile of ruins with a license to sell booze. I had never, ever seen anything like it in my life; we were drinking pure history of the city. Brimming with fellow tourists, the night descended into chaos combined with 50p sambuca shots and my friend being sick down her own leg.
The following day, needless to say, was disgusting. The communal showers and toilets did nothing for my weak stomach, and the only option seemed to be some traditional Hungarian food and a naturally heated spa (obviously). After consuming so much goulash (kind of thick, gooey pasta in a rich sauce) that we could barely move, the heated baths were extremely welcome. The spa was beautiful, a huge swimming pool with totally natural heating that verged onto being boiling hot in some areas. After roasting like hams for the entirety of the day, it seemed like a good idea to return for night 2 of the Funk ‘n’ Bunk massacre. This time, a night-long boat party sailing past the illuminated, golden Houses of Parliament. Meeting people from around the world, dancing the motion-sickness away and hurling ourselves at the terrified barmen will always remain one of my favourite nights. Ever.
Our second hangover day of fun consisted of cycling around the city, on bikes with deposits that cost us nearly all of our spending budget. Aimlessly drifting around was, as promised, the most perfect way to take in every aspect of our surroundings. We nearly died several times due to not really understanding which way cars were coming, but aside from that, pretty breathtaking. The following night caused tension amongst the troops when we were told we would be going to a ‘sparty’ (as I’m sure you can gather, a party in the spa). Although excited, flailing around like Moby Dick in a bikini whilst too intoxicated to maintain my dignity left me slightly anxious about the coming event.
After queuing for hours, we were finally released into the illuminated waters, Hungarian music booming around us. Drinks were ridiculously expensive due to the event managers clearly not wanting anybody to drown, so boxed wine had to be snaffled in the changing rooms beforehand. Despite being previously terrified, the hundreds of couples subtly mating around me, along with several electronic whirlpools put my mind at ease. The sides of the whirlpool, in case you are wondering, is where people bizarrely chose to rest their drinks, making them extremely easy to grab as we hurtled by.
Our final night consisted of cocktails for 100 forints, which probably equate to about £1, so you do not need to hear about that. A night like our last one can be witnessed outside of Evoque or Warehouse in Preston any night of the week. However, my holiday to Budapest was, not to sound cliché, one I would take a million times again and recommend to anybody that asked. Whether you are interested in different culture, architecture, foreign food or just booze, Hungary will welcome you with open arms.
Current Location: Herefordshire, England