Monday saw us getting up bright and early for a chilly stroll to The Central Market Hall. The cold proved the better of us, so we hailed a taxi. Four of us girls jumped in, leaving the other two girls and our resident kiwi blokes jumping in another. Turns out, our friendly local friend ripped us right off and charged us nearly triple what our fellow gender split pests were charged – the downside of being female travellers…
Situated in the 9th district, Nagycsarnok is the largest indoor market in Budapest and was designed and built by Samu Pecz around 1896. As we entered the markets we noticed the the huge variety of stalls on offer, some inviting, some….intriguing.
A mixture of groceries, spices, souvenirs and food – the world (/market) was our oyster. Hiding from the cold, yet still borderline hypothermic, we spent a few hours exploring the markets trying the local cuisine, hunting down souvenirs and our individual travellers collectibles. Generally speaking, we noticed Hungarian men were friendly and funny, even if they did rip us off at times, but the women were just plain rude. We all had our heads bitten off more than I have experienced in most other European countries – i’d even go as far to say the females were on par with the Parisians! Thanks to some hilarious Hungarian men we managed to laugh off the female battitudes. Hungarian men obviously have a pretty honest sense of humour… some interesting t-shirts were going cheap at the markets that helped us
forget ignore perhaps understand the negative natured women…
Once I had bought my gorgeous Hungarian Babushka dolls, been well over-charged for on a magnetic postcard – by the friendliest and more adorable Hungarian lady ever – we ventured back outside.
SNOW! Time for a novelty “its snowing!” photoshoot!!
We said goodbye to half the pest posse who were flying back to Lun-dan and those of us left behind started to make our way over to the Castle District. Making our way from one side of the Danube to the other in the falling snow was pretty testing to be honest. It was so incredibly freezing and although I was dressed for the cold – snow, funnily enough, melts – making clothes and boots wet. I quickly worked out that being dressed for the cold didn’t translate to being dressed for the snow. Ugh. We walked up the hill and found ourselves amongst the breathtaking beauty of the Castle District ad the falling snow only added to the historical, magical surrounds. Apart from the bow & arrow and crossbow tourist trap that we fell in to, walking around the Castle and Fishermans Bastion covered in a light blanket of crisp white snow truly felt like we were in a fairytale.
NB the girls far out performed our resident boy
We escaped the cold for the warmth of a cafe, I swear the glass of hot chocolate I ordered never tasted so good – or felt so good in my icicle like hands! We thawed out and in a rather speechless manor discussed how gorgeous this city was. We walked (& illegally bussed) back to our Ikea haven for a quick nap before our journey to the airport. The 10 hour travelling time – for a 2 hour flight – was long and saw us getting home to our little flat around 2am. A few hours of sleep before my first day at my new job really didn’t phase me – I wouldn’t have taken back a single minute in Budapest. Such an amazing place of history, architecture and beauty – the perfect city to start my London based European travels in.